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When it comes to the classroom, students should have to worry about tests and papers, not how they are dressed.

Don’t mess with how I dress

SGA President Graham Davis and Vice President Derika Powers proposed during SGA’s meeting on Jan. 23 and town hall meeting on Jan. 25 that VSU enforce an in-classroom dress “standard.” If the standard moves forward, it would allow a professor to take action against students who are dressed, in the professor’s opinion, inappropriately.

The purpose of the standard is to improve the student image upon the professor as well as VSU’s image upon the community, according to Davis.

“We are here for a higher education and ultimately most of us will use our degrees to go into the work force so why not have standards much like other scholarly institutions and businesses across America,” Powers said.

When it comes to the classroom, students should have to worry about tests and papers, not how they are dressed. Everyone is different, including professors. What one professor deems appropriate, another might not. A teacher’s personal taste should not affect a student’s.

It shouldn’t matter what is on your back but what’s in your head. Teachers should judge you based off of what you can do. Your work and manner will leave a deeper imprint upon the university and its professors than if you wore pajamas to class or not.

When we got accepted to VSU , we left the restrictions of high school behind, including a dress code. We are all adults here, but we are also trying to explore ourselves and our futures away from the comforts of our guardians’ nests; we should be free to express ourselves and dress as we like. We are forced to follow dress codes in elementary, middle and high schools. In the professional world, businesses have their own dress codes. Following the same rules for so long without a period of free expression could cause students to harbor resentment for professional dress and lead to rebellion once they hit the “real world.” The problem is, rebelling against the dress code in a work setting could cost them their jobs.

For most of us, college is home away from home. You don’t have to dress up at home; you shouldn’t have to dress up here . Don’t come to class barely clothed, but you shouldn’t have to come in a suit either.

VSU does not currently have a dress code in the Student Handbook, Dean Russ Mast, Student Affairs vice president and dean of students, said.

That’s how it should be at this stage of our education. We should be focused on prepping for the future.

During our time here we should therefore feel liberated, not stifled.

SGA wants student inputs and feedback on this issue. If you are all for letting a job you don’t even have yet dictating your daily life, then by all means, support the standard. If you like liberty with your wardrobe, let SGA know now.

Attend an SGA meeting; they are held Mondays at 8 p.m. in the University Center Magnolia Room. Contact Graham Davis or Derika Powers; their emails can be found on SGA’s VSU website. They are our student body representatives. Let them represent you the right way.

Take action. Remember you have a chance to stop this before it starts.

To read more about the dress standard, see the following:

Clarification: Graham Davis and Derika Powers did not create the idea of the dress standard but rather were approached about it by some students.

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One comment

  1. I am a Professor at a small private university with multiple campuses. I am one of the top rated professors of all the campuses. This is student rating and the fact that my pre to post test scores are p. < .0003 for my students in my classes. I was also awarded the "innovative instructor of the year".

    I wear new jeans, polo and a jacket…and occasionally wear tennis shows (because of some knee issues as a former athlete)

    The school doesn't like it. My dress has nothing to do with my production. As a matter of fact my dress is what sets me apart from other instructors and allows me to connect and educate them in a way that my stiff colleagues with "god complexes" cannot.

    This is my last term teaching because quite frankly I find that colleges and universities are less interested in great results, but making sure they have everyone look the part. No wonder are students are screwed….are universities are majoring on the minors and minoring on the majors.

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