When some people think of Florida A&M University, they conjure up an image of the Marching 100 or the prestigious schools of Pharmacy or Business; many people however may refer to the university as the “fashion capital of the hill.” While some people may take that as a compliment, others may regard it as an insult.
Although FAMU has been ranked as the number one HBCU, the university has also received negative attention for the way some students choose to dress. Many students and faculty members complain that the way some students dress isn’t exactly appropriate for a college environment.
Should a dress code be implemented or should the student body be able to dress however they please? While some individuals may think a dress code will prove helpful, others such as Shaquana Harper, a fourth year political science student, from Orlando, disagrees. Harper said she thinks dress codes or uniforms would take away from the uniqueness of the campus and the negative effects might outweigh the positive ones.
“I feel that if the University implemented a dress code FAMU would no longer be FAMU,” she said.
The School of Business and Industry and the Division of Journalism and Graphic Communication designate certain days to professional dress. Many students have concerns about the dress code. Some wonder about the effect on the learning process. Others wonder what it would entail.
Women are taken 55% more seriously by men in the workplace when they are covered up and not exposed, according to dressforsuccess.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing dress attire for low-income homes. But some students, regardless of the statistics, don’t see the point of a dress code. David Longmire, a third year economics major from Brooklyn, is upset about the thought of a dress code.
“We are too old for any type of dress code,” he said. “How can they expect us to act like adults but treat us like kids?”
Evan H. Adams is the Library Technical Assistant Supervisor at FAMU. She said that although this is not a private institution something might have to be done.
“I feel like these are college students,” Adams said. “We shouldn’t need [a dress code] but some students should just plain know better.”
Adams also said she worries that if implemented, the dress code could affect the innocent students. “Other students should not be penalized because someone else doesn’t care about how they look,” she said.
While having a dress code may force a direct change, Longmire said he thinks the administration should lead by example. “Guide us with your words, not force us to dress a certain way,” he said. “Why take away our individuality?”