The Dress Code Dilemma


Minnah Zaheer

Learn to love this swatch of fabric — it might be part of our uniforms next year!

“I would hate uniforms. I feel like the way I dress is a part of my identity so I would be losing part of myself.” -Madison Kerley, Sophomore

All of you have likely visited your HUB pages by now and have seen the survey that we’ve been asked to complete regarding the dress code. In the 2016-2017 school year, Westside High School may very well be a uniform campus, meaning every student will have to wear a specific uniform to school every day. Our school administration has been going back and forth between being a uniform campus for a few years now, and if this survey indicates anything, we’re more than likely going to be wearing uniforms next year.

There are many interesting points regarding dress code, including subjugating boys and girls according to what their wearing. A very popular argument is that women are targeted more than men by dress codes: “They expect more from girls because girls can’t show shoulders and can’t wear leggings but guys can wear basically anything and they still don’t get in trouble,” said Raul Leal, a freshman. Sarah Hudson, a sophomore, made a similar statement: “I believe that the current dress code is neither too strict or not strict enough because the things that some people may see as not needed are actually necessary. I think that girls have it harder with dress codes because it is statistically proven that girls are more likely to be dress coded. Girls also have strict rules over how long a skirt must be and it can be hard to find a skirt that fits the criteria.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, some men find themselves wronged by the current dress code as well. “School dress code is too strict because guys can not wear short sleeve shirts. Guys have it harder for dress code because we cannot wear sleeveless shirts, but girls can,”said Chance Campbell, a junior. A more neutral response, given by junior Elizabeth George, breaches on the important points from each argument: “It evens out. Guys are permitted to wear dry fit shirts while girls can’t wear yoga pants, but girls can wear cheer-leading uniforms while guys obviously don’t have that option.”

The next, and more likely reason for dress code, is regarding safety. We asked some students if they felt a uniform would help with campus security. “A uniform won’t do anything for safety; they’re just clothes. If an intruder really wants to they can somehow get a uniform,” said sophomore Madison Kerley. This is true, and the same argument can be said for ID’s. however, by placing a uniform, it would be easier to weed out those who are trying to trespass. A perspective from a member of alumni helps to clearly see the situation, when asked, “Do you think a uniform will keep our campus safe?”, “It probably would.” says Nicholas Saldivia. This simple answer leaves room for questioning. After much protest to the physical uniform, the former Westside student still believes the uniform would make our school safer, and it’s not an unpopular opinion either. With threats to the school looming in the back of faculty, as well as students  minds, and heightened security implementation on campus, it’s no shock that a uniform would befit the current situation. A parent’s input also plays a role, in the pragmatics of the scenario, “ I have a mixed opinion on it. I do agree that it keeps the school and students safe since people would be able to recognize students from Westside. However, I don’t like the idea of having to pay money for a uniform when students like seniors are only going to be having it for one year. This is a waste of money since obviously seniors won’t need it anymore once they graduate,” said the mother of Blake Gomez, one of our reporters. The class of 2017 also has some notable protest: “It’s my senior year next year so no ma’am I do not want to purchase a uniform to use for one year,” said Elizabeth George.

So the results are in: the majority of students, unsurprisingly, do not favor a uniform. Regardless of the fact that they may increase campus security, uniforms are too oppressive of individual style in students. Elizabeth George brought up an interesting point when she commented that making Westside a uniform campus is a bad attempt to please administration, and uniforms can only go so far to do this.