Expelled for wearing a miniskirt… in Brazil

A 20-year-old tourism student has been expelled from a Sao Paulo university after chaos broke out on campus when she turned up in a short dress. Read more...


A 20-year-old tourism student has been expelled from a Sao Paulo university after chaos broke out on campus when she turned up in a short dress.

The photos above show Geisy Arruda sitting in class at Bandeirante University (Uniban) on October 22. So outraged by her outfit, her classmates took photos of her to post online. When she left the class, a group of boys started following and taunting her. One student is heard shouting "Shout at her people!" The situation escalated to such a point that the police were called to escort her from the premises in a professor's white coat. As she's being led out, the crowd chants "Puta!" (whore) repeatedly. The incident was filmed by several students on mobile phones; who then posted the footage on YouTube.

Amateur images compiled by TV IG.

On November 8 Arruda's university placed a public notice (below) in Sunday newspapers. Entitled "Educational Responsibility", the ad explained that Geisy Arruda had been expelled for disrespecting "ethical principles, academic dignity and morality". It also said that the university would be temporarily suspending some of the students seen heckling the 20-year-old in the videos.

The decision has caused outrage across the country. Both the national student union and Brazil's top official for women's policy, Nilcea Freire, have publicly condemned it.

UPDATE (11.11.09 - 9.30am): Arruda was officially readmitted to the university in a statement made on Nov. 10 by vice chancellor Ellis Brown. The location of her class will have to be changed however to make her return "more relaxed", he said.

"People think the whole country is super liberal but it's not at all the case in Sao Paulo state"

Raphael Garcia studies international relations at Pontifícia Universidade Católica in São Paulo.

You might see half naked women in carnival but it's not like that everywhere in Brazil. People think the whole country is super liberal, but Sao Paulo state is very different. It has a long history of conservatism, especially outside of Sao Paulo city; the university at hand is in fact situated in Sao Bernardo do Campo.

Bandeirante University (Uniban) is what's considered a ‘cheap' university in Brazil. The teaching standards are poor and the students are often from the lower classes, which are ultra conservative.

On top of that, class consciousness is a big problem here. UniBan was rated in the lowest ten of the country's 167 biggest unis last year. The students are probably a bit embarrassed about going there. With all that frustration teamed with their attachment to old fashioned ideals, this was an explosion waiting to happen.

Personally I think the uni heads thought they'd profit from the affair. Otherwise what was the point in placing an ad in all sorts of newspapers. If you hadn't heard of Uniban before, you will have now! It's unacceptable publicity. The heads of the university should be criminally prosecuted for turning a victim of abuse into a scapegoat - and then capitalising on it."