A men’s clothing store used to advertise using the slogan that the “suit makes the man.”
Apparently, that thinking shaped the new dress code policy for Morehouse men.
The prestigious historically black men’s college has a new, more rigid dress code, outlined in this AJC story. In explaining it, Dr. William Bynum, vice president of the Office of Student Services, said,
“We expect our young men to be Renaissance men. When people go about campus we want them to represent the college in an appropriate manner.”
“This is necessary, this is needed according to the students,” he said. “We know the challenges that young African-American men face. We know that how a student dresses has nothing to do with what is in their head, but first impressions mean everything.”
Among the expectations in the policy:
* no caps, do-rags and/or hoods in classrooms, the cafeteria, or other indoor venues
* no sunglasses worn in class or at formal programs
* no jeans at major programs, as well as no sagging pants on campus
* no clothing with derogatory or lewd messages either in words or pictures
* no wearing of clothing usually worn by women (dresses, tops, tunics, purses, pumps, etc.) on the Morehouse campus or at college-sponsored events.
Violators face academic suspension. The story says most students are supportive and cites a student leader:
Cameron Thomas-Shah, the student government co-chief of staff, is one of them. While working as a resident’s assistant (RA) he said he noticed freshmen dressed in a way that was unflattering to Morehouse.
“The image of a strong black man needs to be upheld,” he said. “And if anyone sees this policy as something that is restrictive then maybe Morehouse is not the place for you.”
I thought the ban on jeans would be the most unpopular aspect of the policy, but the news story says it’s the restriction on women’s clothing that has many students up in arms.
I am not a fan of dress codes only because there doesn’t seem to be any link to improved academics. However, I have no doubt that a campus – or a workplace — looks more professional when kids dress up a bit.
I just wonder about the enforcement aspects of telling 20-year-olds how to dress.
What do you think?