Dress code update


Magan Lietermann

Senior Magan Leitermann can be seen wearing a crop-top, which meets her midriff, but is considered against the current dress code.

Wilhelmina Viviano, Editor

Possible updates to the dress code were brought to the attention of principal Thomas Lietz late last school year. One student’s concern has started the conversation on change and awareness of the old dress code’s lack of modernization.

Lietz and senior Mina Viviano spent many hours searching for revised and updated dress codes as examples to follow in the foot steps of change. Individual searches and messages were also sent back and fourth, which resulted with meetings to discuss their findings.

With all the information gathered, suggested updates were brought to a Dec. 2 meeting with Steven Pfannes, Utica Community School’s Executive Administrator of Secondary Schools, and Dr. Michael Bender, Chief of Staff.

This meeting was to propose changes to the dress code for the entire district.

“At the meeting, we brought attention to how outdated the dress code is,” Viviano said, “and how it was negatively affecting some students.”

On Dec. 23, Lietz brought the rehashed dress-code to his Student Advisory Board, looking for feedback.

“The feedback was very positively received, as it was from Dr. Bender and Mr. Pfannes,” Lietz said. “All the changes that we are proposing to make the students seem to react positively and the whole conversation had a very positive tone.”

The change in dress code is hoping to get rid of gendered terms and speaking in a negative way, to create a more comfortable environment for all students.

“I enjoy the idea of a revamped dress code. I was shocked that the district was even taking this into consideration,” student advisory board member and senior Haley Grooms said. “I hope that changes will be made in order to eliminate the sexism within the old dress code. I understand why the old dress code stood for so long, but it is 2020 now. We need to fix it.”

The current dress code also uses the words “indecent” and “proper coverage.” Thus, making some students feel like they dress improper if a shoulder is showing.

“The old dress code had a harsh and demanding tone,” senior Charles Borus said, “whereas the new proposed one has a calm and light tone. Some of the things in the old dress code were outlandish and outdated.”

Changing the wording and updating the district dress code is hoping to prevent the majority of future uncomfortable conversations between school workers and students being told to cover up.