Morehouse College New Dress Code Policy Stirs Controversy

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 By

Morehouse College

(Image from Wikimedia.org)

(Image from Wikimedia.org)

Morehouse College is an historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Wikipedia, it is one of four remaining traditional men’s colleges in the United States. Like any other college, it’s a place for learning and future leadership preparation. Ambitious individuals from across the nation have secured personal loans just for a chance to attend Morehouse College. So what’s all the big fuss about Morehouse College today?

The New Dress Code Policy

Morehouse College President Robert Franklin has issued a new dress code regulation and not everyone is finding it to their liking. The new policy bans caps, do-rags and/or hoods in classrooms, the cafeteria, or other indoor venues. Unless medical document is provided, sunglasses or “shades” will not be worn in classrooms or at any type of formal program. No pajamas or bare-footed chaps are allowed anywhere on campus grounds. And yes, not even those shiny glittering “grillz” are allowed anymore on campus regardless of whether they are permanent or detachable. Oh and did I forget to mention no “sagging”? Fellows, I suggest you seek some advice from the infamous Steve Urkel. I’m sure his sense of style will save you from the wrath of the “sagging” punishment.

Not a Typical Dress Code

http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

So the whole dress code deal sounds rather fair to me. I mean, we live in a corporate world that requires we walk, talk, and sometimes even act a certain way. I doubt anyone who walks in with saggy clothes and a mouth full of street talk will be able to land a decent job in the corporate world, or even get passed the front doors for that matter. It’s absolutely important that you dress to impress. It’s quite understandable if you asked me. However, there is one rule that is causing a lot of controversy, perhaps enough to leave the school in need of personal loans.

According to the Maroon Tiger, the Morehouse College Student Newspaper, the policy outlines 11 expectations, one of which states that there will be no wearing of clothing associated with women’s garb including dresses, tops, tunics, purses, pumps, and anything else that associates with women’s attire.

Necessary or Overly Extreme?

A lot of students are finding this new dress code policy a pure shame and an embarrassment to the school and their fellow school mates.

“I’d hope that if a kid shows up to his interview with a 1580, great leadership and a real interest in the college, that he wouldn’t be turned away because he likes to wear lipstick on Saturdays,” says one blogger. “I must be missing something,” said Frank Leon Roberts, a well-known contributing writer to various newspapers and magazines. “Is there some kind of growing, critical mass of high-heel wearing, gold-tooth rockin’ boys threatening to take over the campus?”

It’s obvious this new Morehouse College dress code policy is stirring up quite a controversy. Of course, I’m sure there is at least one student who would rather secure personal loans for make-up and accessories than laptops and textbooks. But is the school taking it too far by asking their men to put away their lipsticks and high-heels? Was it necessary or overly extreme? What do you think?

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This post has 6 comments

  1. Anna says:

    First off… the information in this article is wrong …m The rule is that feminine garb is not to be worn in classrooms or at any formal events such as commencement,convocation and so on. What any of the men do in their personal time is their business. also the president talked with an organization called safe space which is for gay students( on the campus) and they did not have a problem with it. some people however felt it(the rule) was a personal attack on gay men because they are the only one's dressing in feminine garb.

  2. RC says:

    The world turns on an on and we continue to cling old ways of being. It seems we care more about the image or the appearence of a thing moreso than it's internal development. Martin Luther King by the way is probaly grave turning because freedom seems to be only okay if it perpetuates what is popular or right in the eyes of hetrosexual men. That's the shame Ron.

  3. ron says:

    Has all america lost it’s mind or what, if Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today and wittnessed the degrading,immoral condition of the african american male he would vomit. isn’t enough that 60% of our males are either locked up, on drugs, M.I.A fathers enough without handing them over to sodimity. if this is allowed we lose respect as a people throughout the world as well as here in america.

  4. Fred2 says:

    Blogger Sandra Rose, who is openly lesbian BTW, provided a common sense explanation for Morehouse's new dress code:

    "Morehouse College has a rich tradition of educating and training black men to be leaders. A man can’t lead other men wearing a dress."

    Amen to that.

    Do you think President Obama would be taken seriously by the leader of Iran if he came to the meeting in a dress with matching pumps and makeup?

    Me neither.

  5. Peter Stone says:

    Even though it's quite frankly a real waste of a universities' time, it is after all a private college, so they can technically have dress codes.

    That being said, this is a university, a degree granting institution of higher learning. It isn't about what the student wears in class, it's the work they turn in – DUH! That said "Women's attire" – if I were a student, I'd wear a kilt to class to prove a point. And yes, it's also a form of self expression. (What universities are supposedly big on, and if they have an art department…they're hypocrites.)

    The faculty and administration at that university have bigger things to worry about than the dress code – if they aren't on the Top 10 World Universities' list, dress code isn't supposed to be on the agenda, when improving the quality of academics and increasing admissions should be.

  6. Joe says:

    This seems to be indicative of our society as a whole, where any deviation whatsoever from the "norm" is looked down upon and punished. I think that when in the classroom, the college does have some say in their dress code. Even public schools have some sort of dress code. But what a student does in his free time should not be governed whatsoever, and should be allowed some freedom of self expression, even if it is a passing phase.

    The bigger issue seems to be that they are going on the entire principle that men wearing women's attire is somehow perverted. What's wrong with it? Women wear men's attire all the time…and yet they aren't perverted. They are just seen as normal women who have put on men's clothing. Why is it so wrong to go the other way??

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