Does Southern’s dress code need to change?


The Right To Self-Expression Without Sexualization

Written by Luisa Macena 

Southern’s current dress code is based on a conservative ideology, which is understandable considering the ideologies of Southern’s founders and many donors. To follow the dress code is to respect their ideas and ways of living. However, it is necessary to understand that this is a new generation that grew up differently than those before us.

We shouldn’t be so strict with dress code because it perpetuates rape culture. I have personally witnessed that most professors and deans are more strict about dress codes with girls than with boys. I grew up hearing teachers say that we shouldn’t distract boys from their education, but that just tells us that our education doesn’t matter. All the dress code has done is promote the objectification and sexualization of women and blame the person wearing the clothes for the onlooker’s perception and actions. 

If we, as a community, are so worried about a boy’s attention in school when a girl is wearing a skirt that’s just a little too short, why are we allowing them to drive? How can they focus on the road when there are women on billboards wearing short dresses and lingerie? It should be considered a public safety hazard, but it’s not. 

I feel certain items on the dress code should be taken away. Yet, we shouldn’t get rid of it all. We should be allowed to wear what we want without being punished or criticized for our choices. Clothing is a way of self-expression and we should be able to have fun in choosing the colors and styles of our clothes. If my skirt is a bit above my knees, I should be allowed to wear it. And no one should be sexualizing my body for the items I choose to wear.


Dress Code – A Stepping Stool to Professionalism 

Written by Marisa Negron 

Growing up in an Adventist family and attending Adventist schools exclusively up through college, I always had a dress code. Until college, I always had a uniform to wear, which I hated then. Looking back, I now realize it was the school’s way of blurring the lines between rich and poor students. 

Of course, my high school held the students to a certain standard. So, when I got to Southern Adventist University, I actually appreciated the ability for students to express themselves a little more freely with what they wore instead of having to wear monotonous uniforms. 

Although Southern has rules and regulations that seem, at times, a little inexplicable, I believe that the dress code overall is a positive thing for the university. We, as students, are not going to be in school for the rest of our lives and will someday have to face the professional world. A dress code that encourages us to dress modestly prepares us for what will be an expectation later in our careers. 

Yes, casual dress is becoming more and more prevalent in businesses like ones geared toward creative work environments. However, in this case, I would say it is better to be safe than sorry. Dressing professionally in college will build the habit early on.

A dress code can be defined as a boundary, and I believe boundaries are made to be pushed. If the dress code is set at a more modest level, then those who choose to cross the lines are still going to be within the lines of modesty. 

For example, Southern’s handbook states that ripped jeans and jewelry are not technically permitted, but not outright banned either. Some faculty and staff will not tell a student to remove such articles of clothing if he or she wears it to class. If Southern’s dress code was more lenient, the boundaries would be even closer to immodesty. The lines would be crossed, and students would ultimately show up to class in short shorts and crop tops. Therefore, I believe the dress code is lenient enough to allow for individuality, but strict enough to teach students professionalism.

Share this story!

Leave a Reply