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Dress code needs to be updated to allow more freedom of expression

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Dress code needs to be updated to allow more freedom of expression

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Clothing is a form of self expression, and should not be regulated by others. Telling someone what they can and cannot wear is taking away individuality and independence. In the past month, an announcement was added to the daily Blue Sheet regarding the dress code, and more specifically, the “uptick in dress code violations.” The last time the dress code at St. Paul Academy was reflected upon and altered by Upper School Council was in 2015 because “the old version was too gendered, it didn’t feel safe and inclusive for all students,” USC Vice-President at the time Moira McCarthy said. However, even though the dress code was relaxed, it is still restrictive in multiple ways.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently changed their dress code, shortening it to only two words. It used to be a long and detailed 10 page long rule book, but after taking over as CEO, she changed it to “dress appropriately.” ”

There are four things that are required under the dress code: “shirts or tops with sleeve openings that extend no lower than midway down the ribcage, shirts that extend below the waist, over the navel area, and pants, dresses, skirts, or shorts that extend at least to the mid-thigh” are required at all times, with the only other required thing being footwear. Although the intention behind these rules is to ensure that everyone is properly covered, these rules are outdated even after a short span of three years.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently changed their dress code, shortening it to only two words. It used to be a long and detailed 10 page long rule book, but after taking over as CEO, she changed it to “dress appropriately.” This rule is short and sweet, yet effective. It gives the employees a way to express themselves and have freedom with their clothing choice, but still understand that their clothing choice has to be appropriate for the workplace.

Students at SPA may not be adults like the people working at General Motors, but they have the maturity to know what should and should not be worn at school. Some schools, such as East Longmeadow High School in Massachusetts have changed their dress codes to saying that all clothes must cover up all private parts of the body, which encompasses every student and does not imply that only some need to cover up. This is a smart idea because it gives all students the independence to choose what they wear, but also forces them to gain and utilize their understanding of what is and what is not appropriate.

It has been three years since the dress code was changed, and three years is a long time for teenagers. Clothing has not only changed since then, but also the rest of the world, including school rules. Clothing is a way of expressing oneself, and should not be focused on over school work. The dress code at SPA should be reevaluated by USC and the administration, and a helpful way of doing this would be to talk with students about their issues with the dress codes and ways that they think could fix it, because, after all, administration does not have to deal with dress code. Students do.

 

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About the Contributor
Eloise Duncan, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Eloise Duncan is the Arts and Entertainment Editor on The Rubicon. This is her second year on staff. She joined The Rubicon as a staff writer in 9th grade...

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