Student and faculty committees collaborate to make changes to dress code

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Senate’s dress code committee and the faculty committee have been making efforts to promote edits and changes to Southern’s dress code found in the Student Handbook. 

Some of these edits include changes that would level the dress code differences between men and women and remove the policy prohibiting wearing shorts to classes and convocations. These specific changes and edits being made to the dress code are not verified as a school policy. 

Hannah Moraga, a sophomore pre-physical therapy major and chair of the Senate’s dress code committee, expressed the intentions behind the push for change. 

“The whole idea of us changing the dress code would be to change a lot of the wording, as much of it was unclear,” Moraga said. “We are really looking for clarification of the rules, and also looking to make the wording less aggressive.”

When asked about specific changes in regards to the jewelry fine, Moraga said, “If they want to keep the jewelry rule, we want to understand how much you are fined, why you were fined, and when exactly you are fined.”

In the edits, the dress code committee proposes a three-step process, based on offenses, on how the school is going to enforce jewelry guidelines. The first offense would result in an email reminder, the second offense in a verbal reminder and the third offense will be a fine of $5. 

Sophomore marketing major Nathalie Levterova emphasizes that a clear way of addressing and enforcing dress code is vital.

“The way dress code is handled is very important. If it’s done professionally, I can respect that. But if it is done in almost a demeaning way, it’s misrepresentative of what the school is trying to do with it,” Levterova said.

According to accounting Professor Julia Hyde, “There’s not a lot of guidance for administration about dealing with dress code. At the beginning of this school year, faculty were encouraged to enforce dress code. How faculty go about doing that, there were no further details.”

“We are also trying to shift the mentality of the reasoning behind dress code. Yes, this is a Christian establishment, and modesty is definitely something we believe in,”  Moraga said. “We wanted to push for professionalism and have that behind more of the reasoning behind dress code… When we go into the workforce, it’s something we can carry with us.”

According to Moraga, the faculty committee’s support for the changes has facilitated the proposal. When asked how these changes will benefit Southern as a whole, Moraga said, “Passion is what makes change. All this work for…not even a [full] page, in a manual that people are never going to open, [this work] is going to change how people, why people, come to this school.”

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