New FAMU standards tailored to improve lax dress


Next time you plan to wear that do-rag, bead slippers or hot pants to class or a school function, you may be marked absent or not allowed to participate.

The Board of Trustees recently applied a dress standard to promote professionalism; The Millennial FAMUan: Dress Standards.

“At Florida A&M, student should dress in a way that shows respect for not only themselves, but all other student,” reads the standard. “We believe FAMUANS would expect students attending the University to dress in such a way that would uplift their race, culture and professionalism.”

In the past Florida A&M has been called the Fashion And Modeling University. Not to take away from the university’s prestige and academic excellence, but instead as a compliment to the style and culture FAMU students have created.

Many students have taken that acronym too far and have pushed the limits of dressing from unique to inappropriate.

Student body President Breyon Love, who was a major proponent in pushing the dress standard proposal, believes the standard will further encourage a learning environment and sense of pride.

“This is a training ground for the professional world and dress is a large part of that,” Love said.

Students will be denied access to classrooms, libraries, dining halls, snack bars, student centers, offices, musical events, convocations, commencements and career fairs if their dress is considered to be inappropriate.

The following are undeviating examples of articles of clothing that are considered inappropriate:

Pajamas, midriffs or halters, mesh, netted shirts, tube tops, cutoff T-shirts, scarves, caps, hot pants below waistline revealing undergarments, do-rags and/ or hoods and bare feet.

With policy being so newly implemented many students and faculty members are still unaware of the guidelines.

But, how hot is too hot?

FAMU History Professor Kevin Eidhal, who had not yet heard of the dress standard, said the decision is “inherently subjective.”

“We’re usually the last to know, while the students are often the first,” said Dr. Verian Thomas, the interim dean of the graduate school. He felt the dress standard was a good idea, but expressed some concerns.

“Are we supposed to enforce it? Who is going to police it?” he asked.

Vice President of Student Affairs William Hudson Jr. said, “We are encouraging professors to discuss the implications of proper dress in the classroom and professional environment.”

Tyrek Smith,a  21-year-old electrical engineering student from Spartanburg, S.C., agrees that there are some students that push the limits with their wardrobe. ” If you can’t wear something in your momma’s house then you shouldn’t try to wear it out in public,” he said.

Although Smith agrees with the policy, he also believes that it is situational as well. ” As college students we are adults, and no one should have the power to turn me away from my education or access to anything on campus just because they feel as if, I’m not dressed to their personal standard,” he said.

It is unclear whether the new standards will be well accepted. Love said he doesn’t predict any student backlash.

“We’re encouraging the right dress for the appropriate occasions while allowing freedom of expression,” Love said.