Enforcing & Evolving

Molly Mullen, Staff Reporter

The dress code is heavily dreaded by students. However, over recent years, it has become more and more relaxed. Now things such as tucking in your shirt aren’t required and male students may wear earrings if they choose. But how have these changes impacted the student body and staff?

Dean Steve Henderson says that uniforms are less problematic on any given day, however out of uniform days tend to provide the most trouble. 

“Students try to push the envelope when it comes to out of uniform days,” said Henderson. “They want to see what limits they can push without getting caught.”

Henderson tries to keep his standards as fair as possible for all students. “I don’t want students to ever think that I am targeting them,” said Henderson. “Is it possible for me to catch one student and not another for the same thing? Sure, but that’s only because there are 600 of you [students] and only one of me.”

If you ask any student which gender they think gets dress-coded the most, they’ll most likely say girls for things such as skirt length. “The only thing I need to constantly reinforce for guys is facial hair,” said Henderson. 

With girls feeling constantly targeted, it’s difficult to feel comfortable and like they’re not being judged. “There are a lot of kids that I have talked to over the past couple of years who are uncomfortable with their bodies and uncomfortable with how they look, and with putting on the uniform and tucking in the shirt with the belt, it can highlight areas of their bodies that they are uncomfortable with,” said Cyndi Buist, head of senior high. “I want kids to come here and feel comfortable with how they look and their bodies and comfortable with themselves.”

Of course, there are certain rules that come along with wearing a uniform and choosing to attend a private school. A certain image must be pertained to come off as clean cut and professional. “Obviously there’s something about understanding how to dress appropriately when you’re out in the world,” said Buist. “If you have to go out to a job interview or meeting new people, there’s a lot of things about the way you look [that] sends a message about you.”

Another huge change over the recent years regards the best dressed uniform. “Most of the changes in my opinion stemmed from when COVID hit,” said Buist, “We changed best dressed because we weren’t even sure we would be able to gather as a large group. We’re not going to require everyone to buy a shirt to wear once a month if we can’t even meet as a group.”

Overall, the dress code and uniform is an evolving policy. “The world is changing, kids are changing, even work environments are changing. It’s no longer a requirement at most places that you wear a suit and tie or a business dress and pantyhose,” said Buist.