Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, October 19, 2009

College Tells Men To Pull Up Their Pants And Ditch the Dress: Oh The Humanity!

I graduated from a private college where men were required to wear khaki pants and polo shirts, and women had to wear skirts. I didn’t care for the dress code, but it didn’t bother me that much. As a private college, my college had every right to enforce their dress code the way they saw fit. If students didn’t like the dress code, they could always attend another college.

That said, I have to side with this college’s recent dress code.

An all-male college in Atlanta, Georgia, has banned the wearing of women's clothes, makeup, high heels and purses as part of a new crackdown on what the institution calls inappropriate attire.

No dress-wearing is part of a larger dress code launched this week that Morehouse College is calling its "Appropriate Attire Policy."

The policy also bans wearing hats in buildings, pajamas in public, do-rags, sagging pants, sunglasses in class and walking barefoot on campus.

However, it is the ban on cross-dressing that has brought national attention to the small historically African-American college.

The dress-wearing ban is aimed at a small part of the private college's 2,700-member student body, said Dr. William Bynum, vice president for Student Services.

"We are talking about five students who are living a gay lifestyle that is leading them to dress a way we do not expect in Morehouse men," he said.

Before the school released the policy, Bynum said, he met with Morehouse Safe Space, the campus' gay organization.

"We talked about it and then they took a vote," he said. "Of the 27 people in the room, only three were against it."

There has been a positive response along with some criticism throughout the campus, he said.

So the demographic which the new dress code is supposedly aimed at doesn’t have a problem with the new dress code? Only three are against it? Where’s the controversy?

I’m all for freedom of expression, but I’m also for common decency. Being told not to wear sunglasses indoors, to not wear your pants down to your underwear, and to wear shoes on campus seems to be common sense rules.

As for the “no dress-wearing” rule, I wouldn’t think that would discriminate against homosexuals as it would transsexuals. Then again, the desire to wear women’s clothing doesn’t seem to elicit special privileges. If students don’t like the dress code, they can always attend another college.

And if your college has to pass a rule telling you not to wear your pants so low that others can see your underwear, you’re wearing your pants way too low.