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Editorial: Dress Code Is Not Unlike an Amoeba

Sweaters, skirts, pants, socks, facial hair; at times it can seem like the school is trying to control every aspect of what we wear and how we look. The hallways buzz with complaints about “new” dress code rules and the unbelievable injustice of them. These complaints have always been around, but lately it seems like the walls of dress code are closing in closer and closer, and as they do these complaints become louder.

One of the most controversial aspects of dress code is the new skirt policy, which mandates that all upper school girls wear a kick-pleat skirt. Of course, whenever something new is introduced to the Academy community, there are going to be protests. The main problem with this is that though there are skirts available for almost all price ranges, the process of buying a whole new set of skirts can get expensive very quickly. On top of that, most girls consider them somewhat unattractive. While collectively everyone understands that this rule sprung from an excessive number of too-short skirts, it is the general feeling that this rule came out of nowhere. In addition to this, the upper school guys are still trying to figure out why girls are allowed to wear skirts all year long while they are required to wear pants in the winter months.

Sweaters have also been a topic of discussion lately as students protest last year’s supposed mid-winter announcement that some cable knit sweaters are dress code, as long as you cannot see through the holes in the sweater and the cable-knit pattern isn’t too large. Unfortunately, for those people trying to fight the new sweater rule, the rule has actually been in the dress code for at least three years.

On top of this is the double standard that is sportswear. Is it fair that varsity athletes get to wear their letter jackets while JV athletes and those people who do not play school sports are not allowed to show school spirit with sweatshirts? Many people are confused how a hoodless, Columbus Academy quarter zip sweatshirt sold through the Viking corner is considered exclusive when anyone can join just about any team, while not everyone can make varsity. While students understand that no sweatshirts are permitted in the dress code, the reasoning behind this rule is what often seems ambiguous.

It is obvious that dress code is constantly in flux. As new trends emerge, new pieces find their way into the Academy hallways and the administration has to decide whether to condone or ban them, but from the eyes of the students we receive no justification, only orders. In addition to this, it sometimes seems that, when new rules are made,the faculty acts as if these rules have always been there, or that we should know these rules even though they have never been explicitly stated. This especially becomes problematic when additions to the dress code are seemingly announced part of the way through the year.

Students want to know how the school goes about deciding what is dress code and what isn’t, but even more that that we want a clear standard. More often than not, there is not a problem with the rules of dress code itself, but rather with the ambiguity of them. Communication is truly key when it comes to matters of dress code, and with a little more explanation from the school and a little less backlash from the students, that buzzing in the halls might just simmer down long enough for us to get some work done.


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