New Dress code at Dear Old Morehouse: Thoughts?

Morehouse College Appropriate Attire Policy
October 2009

Published in The Maroon Tiger
It is our expectation that students who select Morehouse do so because of the College’s outstanding legacy of producing leaders. On the campus and at College-sponsored events and activities, students at Morehouse College will be expected to dress neatly and appropriately at all times.

Students who choose not to abide by this policy will be denied admission into class and various functions and services of the College if their manner of attire is inappropriate. Examples of inappropriate attire and/or appearance include but are not limited to:

1. No caps, do-rags and/or hoods in classrooms, the cafeteria, or other indoor venues. This policy item does not apply to headgear considered as a part of religious or cultural dress.

2. Sun glasses or “shades” are not to be work in class or at formal programs, unless medical documentation is provided to support use.

3. Decorative orthodontic appliances (e.g. “grillz”) be they permanent or removable, shall not be worn on the campus or at College-sponsored events.

4. Jeans at major programs such as, Opening Convocation, Commencement, Founder’s Day or other programs dictating professional, business casual attire, semi-formal or formal attire.

5. Clothing with derogatory, offense and/or lewd messages either in words or pictures.

6. Top and bottom coverings should be work at all times. No bare feet in public venues.

7. No sagging–the wearing of one’s pants or shorts low enough to reveal undergarments or secondary layers of clothing.

8. Pajamas, shall not be worn while in public or in common areas of the College.

9. No wearing of clothing associated with women’s garb (dresses, tops, tunics, purses, pumps, etc.) on the Morehouse campus or at College-sponsored events.

10. Additional dress regulations may be imposed upon students participating in certain extracurricular activities that are sponsored or organized by the College (e.g. athletic teams, the band, Glee Club, etc).

11. The college reserves the right to modify this policy as deemed appropriate.
*All administrative, faculty, students and support staff members are asked to assist in enforcing this policy and may report disregard or violations to the Office of Student Conduct. ”


4 Responses to “New Dress code at Dear Old Morehouse: Thoughts?”

  1. 1 lkr
    October 13, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    laughable. only time will tell how real it all really is…really. I am confused about the use of the word “work” several times in this document (e.g. Top and bottom coverings should be ‘work’ at all times Discuss.

  2. 3 Keisha
    October 18, 2009 at 11:43 am

    First of all, it is a shame that these young men have to be told HOW to dress! I’m talking about the “men” that are walking around with their pants down around their knees, walking like they have sh*t in their underwear. They want to be treated like men, they say they are men, yet they display such immature behavior….why does someone have to make it a RULE for you to pull your pants up? The problem is not the faculty, but the desensitized youth of today.

    There are too many young men FOLLOWING trends that does not make sense, does not look good and are inappropriate. These young men are so caught up on trying to look the part of the males they see on TV and in prisons that they don’t even realize that they are killing their own sense of creativity. You don’t have to use your creative skills when you are following someone else’s sense of “creativity”.

    It is a great idea for someone to finally step up and make these “men” pull up their pants…I don’t want to see your underwear! It looks nasty and you look sloppy!

    As for the “men” that are wearing women’s clothing…there is a time and place for everything. Most likely if you have started wearing women’s clothing, everyone already knows your gay, so relax. If you are serious about your education and about being a leader, you would take yourselves more seriously and stop making a spectacle of yourselves…straight and gay. How do you expect people to take you seriously when you have to be told to pull up your pants and to not wear women’s clothing? Your actions today WILL affect you in the long run…

    Come on, son! Knock it off!

  3. 4 Terry Mills
    October 18, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    There is a lot of controversy and debate over the recent Morehouse College “Appropriate Dress Policy.” Unfortunately, much of the negative feedback has focused on “individual rights of expression” and the issue of cross-dressing on campus. Yet the issue of individual rights has not adequately been discussed in these various forums. For example, is there an “absolute individual right” that is seperate from a private institutions right to establish certain standards? Also, are individual rights seperate and distinct from the rights of a community in which one resides? Of course, in the particular case of Morehouse College, have those who oppose the policy actually been deprived of there indivdual rights of expression? Perhaps not, since they do have the option of attending another college or university. This debate cannot overlook the fact that virtually all men of Morehouse chose this prestigious institute because of the very values and traditions that are now being widely disputed, questioned, and in many instances rejected. I am not suggesting that cultural norms are not static, but do perhaps shift and change over time. However, Morehouse College does attract many potential students and parents, corporate recruiters, potential donors, etc. Given such a long (142 years) history and tradition of setting certain standards and expectations that are a part of the “Morehouse brand” should individual rights to express oneself over-ride the goals, values and traditions of a private institution. The National Basketball Association (NBA) did not think so, broadcast TV news stations do not think so. Many organizations do not think so.

    Now as to the matter of cross-dressing. Although the media and many blogs have focused on this issue, it should not be interpreted at discrimination against gays (this is too easy and not a realistic argument, but one the easily evokes emtional responses). I am on the Morehouse campus every day, and I can state that there are a number of gay men of Morehouse who are not repressed or stiffled, and who are obviously gay in their dress and mannerisms. Most of these individuals where stylist clothes and look sharp. On the other hand, for a small segment of the student body who choose to cross-dress and corporate interviews, or other campus functions can one REALLY argue that this is appropriate? If the Morehouse policy is carefully read, it DOES NOT tell the students what to wear. Rather, it states eleven (11) exaplmples of what NOT to wear. Also, the policy does not state restrictions on one’s free time, as many have reported. Rather, the policy sets an expectation of appropriateness in the public spaces of the campus. Is this too much to ask for?

    With all due respect to changing fashion, youth culture, and contemporary times, some expectations and traditions ARE worth upholding. It’s easy to critize when one does not have to actually make a decision. On the other hand, it take a degree of courage to take a stand on a controvresial issue that MANY support, but are afraid to take the heat!

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