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The Aquilian

Should the dress code change?

Students in the very relaxed dress code (from Gonzaga’s website)

One of Gonzaga’s major selling points is that the students do not need to wear a uniform. The simple dress code convinces a lot of kids to attend: any polo, any pair of khakis, a belt and Sperrys. If you want, you can even wear any Gonzaga related hoodie. Simple enough, right? Apparently not. Every day, I walk the halls and see tons of kids out of uniform. Random shoes, hoodies and no belt. Does the dress code really need a reform? What would a reform even look like? 

I think that the dress code is in a good place. My main issue with it, however, is that it does not give the student complete creative freedom with their dress. In this day and age, fashion is one of the main ways that people express themselves emotionally. Streetwear has taken a huge rise as of recently and does not seem to be slowing down. When people buy clothes, they feel a sense of pride that what they just bought is theirs. They own that look. 

What I have observed after going to schools with uniforms for 12 years is that I barely know my own friends’ fashion styles. Whenever we have a free dress day, I always think about how interesting everyone’s styles are. “I would’ve never expected this person to be wearing this,” I always say to myself. This whole time I only knew my friends’ personalities, but I never knew how they portrayed themselves fashionably. 

I think that the first way we can fix this is letting students wear their own sweatshirts. This is, in my opinion, the best way that at least I express myself in terms of my clothing. 

People also love to express themselves in their shoes. This is where I would draw the line. A lot of people wear vibrant, extravagant sneakers, which would not fall under the “mission statement” of the dress code: that we look presentable and uniform as a private school. In the dress code we can have certain forms of Sperrys, and I think that gives us perfect freedom while still looking presentable. This part of the dress code I would not change. 

Overall, the dress code at Gonzaga is fair. It should not be this difficult for students to stay within the code, but I think that we deserve some leniency. Wearing our own sweatshirts should not be as big of an issue as it is, but I think that this is the only change that we could make that would still make sure we look put together as a school.

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