Whether you are ready to graduate or a first-semester freshman, the freedoms college offers never get old. Setting your own schedule and deciding your own bedtime are luxuries associated with living the college life.
Would you consider choosing your own wardrobe among those freedoms? Most college students wouldn’t.
However, students at the University of West Alabama are being forced to adhere to a dress code.
Reported in Oct. 22’s edition of The Crimson White, UWA’s dress code, which was implemented in August, requires students to wear neat and modest casual or “dressy” attire to class, all university offices and the cafeteria. For men, sleeveless undershirts are not allowed outside residence halls. Business attire must be worn to formal programs, career fairs, campus interviews, graduation and most off-campus events.
No hoods, caps, bandanas or do-rags are allowed in class or at university meetings and functions. No saggy pants. No extremely low-riding pants. No bare feet. No netted shirts or cut-off shorts. No cleats. No clothing with offensive images or words.
The editorial board of the CW is thankful, first of all, that our university is staying out of this one. Finally, we’re allowed to make our own decisions. Picking your battles is a good strategy, and this fight is one we’re glad to sit out.
We also think that a dress code in college is preposterous.
College students are, for the most part, at least 18 years old. Our mothers didn’t pick out our outfits in high school. Our university shouldn’t pick out our outfits for college.
We’re not children. Yes, we’re young, but that doesn’t make us incapable of dressing ourselves appropriately. We’re simply beyond dress codes.
If you want to wear pajama pants or Soffe shorts to class, more power to you. Understand, however, that people will judge you on what you wear. For many of us, a T-shirt and jeans is the perfect ensemble.
UWA President Robert Holland said some UWA students showed up in jeans and baseball caps to the Alabama Symphony. The dress code was created to give advice to students about what is appropriate.
“What we basically found is students did not know how to dress for formal occasions,” Holland said.
There are certain occasions that require certain types of dress – career fairs, business meetings, dinner with your grandparents, job interviews.
However, if you haven’t learned how to dress by now, you’ll learn on your own – the hard way – how much impressions matter. It shouldn’t be the university’s responsibility to teach students how to dress.