The president of Morehouse, Dr. Robert M. Franklin, has been outspoken on the topic of attire and many other issues that affect the code of conduct within his campus.
The new dress code policy is a result of an eloquent address to his students that we printed in May.
He made parallels to a lot of the stigmas and/or stereotypes that must be thwarted in the minds of the world when they think of black men.
Here are some of the policy’s features:
* Caps, do-rags and hoods are banned in classrooms, the cafeteria and other indoor venues. Do-rags may not be worn outside of the residence halls.
* Sunglasses may not be worn in class or at formal programs.
* Jeans may not be worn at major programs such as convocation, commencement or Founder’s Day.
* Clothing with “derogatory, offensive and/or lewd messages either in words or pictures” may not be worn.
* “Sagging,” defined as “the wearing of one’s pants or shorts low enough to reveal undergarments or secondary layers of clothing,” is banned.
* Pajamas are banned in public areas.
* Wearing of “clothing associated with women’s garb (for example, dresses, tunics, purses, handbags, pumps, wigs, make-up, etc.)” is banned. (Morehouse educates only male students.)
According to reports the new policy has received mixed criticism from the student body.
The reaction is probably due to the student body’s general feeling that they already take their appearance seriously. (How could you not with Dr. Franklin as your president).
William Bynum, vice president for student services at Morehouse, said that the clothing rules are part of a broader agenda to develop students’ minds and “social consciences.” He said that Franklin has pushed President Obama’s idea that there should be “no excuses” for black men in an era when one of their own has been elected president of the United States.
Bynum said that while the clothing rules are capturing attention, it is important to view those rules as part of a broad set of values being promoted. For instance, on Saturday, 200 students spent the morning going door-to-door in area neighborhoods, briefing residents on tutoring and mentoring programs run by students, and providing information about nutrition, energy efficiency and job training.
Read more HERE.