Sunday, September 23, 2007

Morehouse to Institute Dress Code

Hat tip: Dr. Marc Lamont Hill:





From Diverse Online:


Morehouse President to Freshmen: ‘Look the part. Act the part. Talk the talk and walk the walk’
By Tracie Powell
Sep 12, 2007


When 20-year-old Marcus Traylor stepped onto campus last month on the first day of the fall semester, he was struck by something he had never seen before on the Morehouse College campus: a group of 100 or more freshmen walking to class wearing stylishly new maroon sports jackets, complete with Morehouse insignia.

During his first two years, it wasn’t uncommon for Traylor to see fellow students walking across campus wearing pajamas and flip-flops to class.

That won’t happen under the college’s new administration, and Traylor says that’s OK with him.

“I saw the new sports jackets and wanted one for myself. They are very professional looking, very smooth,” Traylor says. He adds that he’ll have to pay for his own jacket, while every member of this year’s freshmen class was given one by the university. Next year, the cost of the jackets for incoming freshmen will be included in new student orientation fees.

Morehouse could soon join a growing number of university campuses that have instituted dress codes. A handful of public and private campuses, where students once exercised the freedom to dress as they please, have adopted stricter codes of conduct that prohibit sagging jeans, flip-flops and even the wearing of baseball caps inside buildings.

While other college campuses such as Paul Quinn College in Dallas and the business school at Illinois State University recently began regulating student attire this fall, Elise Durham, media relations manager at Morehouse College, points out that the school hasn’t officially changed its policy, but has set forth a set of expectations for students.

Still, candidates running for Morehouse student government positions are debating the issue, and the school’s new president is also talking about it.

Morehouse’s new president, Dr. Robert Michael Franklin Jr., wants to make being smart cool again and put morality at the forefront of the college’s mission. The jackets are the first step in that direction, according to officials. It’s also part of the school’s new, stricter dress and conduct expectations.

In two separate speeches to incoming freshmen as well as returning upper-classmen, Franklin emphasized a laundry list of unacceptable behaviors and conduct, which included cursing as well as the kinds of clothing some students wear.

“We are Morehouse, and we will not tolerate sagging pants that gravitate far below your waistline. No do-rags; no baseball caps inside buildings,” Franklin said in his first public address to students last month. “No pajamas in the classroom. You are men of Morehouse. You are better than that. I will be watching and expecting class from you.”

“Look the part. Act the part. Talk the talk and walk the walk,” Franklin emphasized to students who gathered inside Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel to hear his speeches.


Traylor doesn’t mind Franklin’s charge to the Morehouse student body. “They’re getting stricter on the dress code, and that’s fine. It’s a show of pride. I think it’s a good move, a move in the right direction.”


- Tracie Powell



I don't know how I really feel about this. On the one hand, I think our youth look absolutely ridiculous with pants hanging down to their knees and wearing clothes 2 -3 sizes too big. On the other hand, I know that college is about personal expression, and that's what you work through when you're in college - it's supposed to be about that, and if you're a Black student at a Black college, you're definitely supposed to have that extra comfort level to be yourself and express yourself.

I'm as conflicted about this as I was about the hair codes instituted by Hampton last year at their Business School. But, I can't help but think those young men look FINE in that picture above...LOL....sue me, I can be shallow.


So, is the Dress Code part of the overall, get the young men in the frame of mind for success, or, is it like the blogger Johnathan L. Walton asks: Is Negro Industrial Education Making a Comback?

3 comments:

The Angry Independent said...

I see this as a very positive move.

It helps to end the fashion show mentality that is so prevalent in high school and college, especially among Black students. I can recall when I was in middle school and high school.... it seemed as though students put more emphasis on clothes than on school supplies and learning.

They would have their new Jordan sneakers (another thing that I hate about Black culture) that they spent $100.00 + for, but they would often neglect to bring everything they needed for learning...such as pen, pencil, paper. They'd often have to ask the teacher for the basics.

So any effort to curb or to end that kind of nonsense is a plus...and it makes that University look good.

SOME (not all) of the Black colleges have been taking some heat lately for not being up to par. So any push to turn around that image is a good thing.

rikyrah said...

I've thought about this for a day, and I have to admit, I'm still confused about it.

On the one hand, I am all for uniforms , K-12...I think it cuts away some of the foolishness of materialism that is running rampant in American culture today, not just Black America.


I also wonder about quelling the individual spirit, and are we trying to make them conform to a Mainstream, i.e., ' White' world.

On the other hand, keeping up with the Joneses for these young men, and the fashions that they buy - IS EXPENSIVE. Looking that horrible actually costs a lot of money with all those labels.

I'm still confused because I can see both sides of the argument.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe this policy states that students have to wear uniforms. It does however, state that students are not to wear sagging pants. Still sounds like freedom of expression to me, just without having see somebody else's underwear.