Professor posts showy message about modesty

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Amanda Johnson -- Associate Professor Amy Stumpf posted three attention-getting fashion tips on her office window that were originally posted on Feb. 23.

In what one student said was a “humorous” display, Amy Stumpf, associate professor of society and religion, sent a message about modesty through three “fashion tips” posted on her office window, which faces Stamps Courtyard.

“I find [the display] kind of humorous, but also humor speaks, kind of speaks a language that people can kind of see the ridiculousness of the situation,” Mark Gomez, junior, said. “So, a lot of time it points out a good point, but it also gives us a good opportunity to laugh at ourselves.”

The fashion tips read as follows: “Leggings, stockings, yoga pants are not tights,” “The hem of shorts should be closer to your knees than your belly button” and “You catch what you fish for.”

Stumpf said she decided to post them as a result of “seeing many people out of dress code.”

“I put the note in my window as a fun way to get some conversation going about the importance of proper dress,” Stumpf said.

Stumpf is building up a track record of shocking students. A couple weeks ago, she spoke in chapel. Before her message, she sang an original song called “The Chapel Song.” The lyrics read, “Chapel, chapel, la la la. Chapel, chapel, ha ha ha … I love chapel.”

By using humor and the shock factor, Stumpf believes she is able to disarm people.

She said, “If … I can do something that disarms people, gets them to take a second look before they tune out, and get them to buy into me. Then, usually I have a shot at getting a few of my words and ideas across. Besides, humor really does go a long way in making friendships, even the distant friendships between a speaker and an audience or a professor and students.”

Most of the students interviewed about the office-window fashion tips voiced approval of the display. Though, males were hesitant to speak their mind, seeing the window display as a female issue.

“This is like girl stuff,” Kyle Roche, sophomore said. “I don’t know if they’re trying to distract the guys, or if they’re just doing it because it’s comfy. Well, don’t do it just because it’s comfy.”

Another male student, Alex Hannis, junior, said, “I feel like they’re pretty irrelevant to me, so I don’t really, I don’t really have much of an opinion. I mean, they don’t really influence me in any way.”

California Baptist University’s student handbook does not specifically address wearing leggings as pants, but it does state, “Clothing that is excessively tight and/or form fitting” is inappropriate to wear on campus.

Over the past few years, wearing leggings as pants popularized in mainstream culture.

This includes the “jegging” trend. Jeggings are, in effect, leggings that look like jeans, but are made from the same material as leggings.

“I’m a modest person,” Victoria Lane, junior, said. “When I see people walking around in leggings, stockings or tights, I think, ‘Really?’”

No faculty members criticized the window display, either, at least to Stumpf’s knowledge. Rather, she said she received requests for additional tips to be added.

Stumpf said, “If you want to wear stuff that we don’t wear here at CBU, there are plenty of schools you can go to. So, abiding by dress code is simply a way of saying, ‘I want to be here,’ and not abiding by dress code is saying, ‘I don’t want to be here.’”

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