December 3, 2023

On Oct. 15, 1982, The Banner staff wrote a column titled “Brilliant Rule of the Week” in which they point out one of the brilliant rules enforced by the university. I felt the need to bring it back when I saw that beginning Feb. 14, the Recreation Center would begin to require a dress code.

It would be wrong not to acknowledge the brilliance of this rule. The dress code cites “safety and hygiene” as the chief reasons, and I cannot think of a greater danger within the gym than crop tops, sports bras and certain types of tank tops. Sure, there are 45-pound plates and barbells, but crop tops and short-shorts have the most potential to cause harm.

I would also like to recognize the dazzling logic of this rule. Especially after recent health crises, we know there is nothing more valuable than hygiene. It is a brilliant idea to force students to wear certain outfits instead of taking other, much less logical steps such as placing more disposable wipe dispensers in accessible places around the gym, or promoting the practice of wiping down equipment.

I have some suggestions that I think could help us advance “safety and hygiene” even further. Here is my proposal: We start with the Recreation Center, and then in a few months, we ramp up the dress code to encompass the whole school. After all, I think we need to ensure “safety and hygiene” everywhere on campus. Every couple months, we can gradually lengthen the requirements for shorts (for example, we can add an inch more to the length requirement each month), and in about a year or so, I think we could ban shorts altogether. It might take a year and a half to reach a stage when we can only wear pants or skirts, but I think we can get there if we are strategic about it. In about three years, I believe we could transition to full uniform, for the sake of “safety and hygiene,” of course.

The Recreation Center was a great first step, though. Sheer brilliance.

For more installments of Brilliant Rule of the Week, check out The Banner’s archives online at the Annie Gabriel Library website.

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