Sagging pants among banned clothing at U of West Alabama

LIVINGSTON Ala.

The University of West Alabama’s 1,850 students aren’t being forced to wear uniforms, but a new campus dress code stresses what not to wear.

Pants can’t be too revealing, specifically sagging or low-riding pants, for example, and nothing can be worn on the head, unless it is religious in nature.

Also banned: any sort of revealing shirt, such as tube tops, netted jerseys or cutoffs. Shirts with writing deemed obscene are banned. Sleeveless undershirts are not to be worn outside residence halls. Students cannot go barefoot or wear only socks or cleats inside.

“It’s more an appropriate dress policy than a code telling you to wear khaki pants and blue shirt. We’re not going that direction,” Danny Buckalew, vice president of student affairs, told The Tuscaloosa News for a story Wednesday.

While drafting the policy, Buckalew said he came across some colleges and departments within state universities with dress requirements, but found no other university-wide code.

For a student’s normal day, the dress code allows casual clothes such as jeans, flip flops, T-shirts and shorts.

Students’ reaction has been mixed.

Emily Harry, 19, supports compliance with the dress code.

“I had one in high school, so it really doesn’t bother me,” the nursing major said. “If the school says so, you need to do it.”

Vvonaka Richardson, 25, said she didn’t see why certain dress was required.

“It’s not going to make me learn or keep me from learning,” she said. “We’re all adults.”

She said that choosing one’s own attire was a student’s right at a public university. She wondered how far the policy would extend.

“If that’s what they’re doing now, they’ll probably do something else,” Richardson said. “We’ll probably be in uniforms next.”

Students are also told what to wear at major university programs. They must wear business casual for graduation, the career fair and honors day.

“We are preparing students for a professional life, and they need to dress that way,” said UWA President Richard Holland.

The code was devised last year after concerns arose that student clothing was causing health problems in the cafeteria, which also serves the general public.

Buckalew said students who were allowed on campus early, such as athletes, were required to follow the code before school started. That created a trickle-down effect that brought other students in line, he said.

Buckalew said the code was not created to target any one group of people, and said no one had complained to his office.

“I wouldn’t say it’s unenforceable,” Buckalew told The Associated Press on Wednesday. He said students who violate the dress code would be reminded about it, with faculty members helping enforce it.

Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, http://www.tuscaloosanews.com

–Associated Press



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