Frowns everywhere the eye wandered. Disapproving deans. Frustrated students. Teachers tired of complaints. The first day of school presented an image somewhat different from what many CB students were used to. An abundance of yellow slips stood at the entrances and greeted students with any dress code infraction known to man: short shorts, non-CB shirts, and […]
Frowns everywhere the eye wandered. Disapproving deans. Frustrated students. Teachers tired of complaints. The first day of school presented an image somewhat different from what many CB students were used to. An abundance of yellow slips stood at the entrances and greeted students with any dress code infraction known to man: short shorts, non-CB shirts, and Crocs alike.
Yet the dress code had not changed much from last year. Sure, we lost the jeans. That was our own fault. However, the problem was not students showing up in their denim. Rather, the problem was something deeper: an unspoken agreement between student and administration to disregard certain aspects of the dress code, an agreement that was bound to break.
The always opinionated senior class offered up their salty statements with little hesitation. Parker Clymer-Engelhart (‘24), disappointed with the loss of the beloved jeans complained, “I literally bought like three pairs of jeans over the summer, and I can’t wear them anymore.” Parker’s annoyance was echoed a number of times across grades. Luckily, he can wear jeans outside of school. In regards to the changes and stricter enforcement of the dress code, Finn Day (‘24) commented that “it’s pretty undemocratic, or is that a word?” Yes, I do believe that undemocratic is a word. Nice vocabulary, Finn.
Some CB students really didn’t have any complaints though. “People just want to complain about anything” Braden McHugh (‘24) insisted. He then went on to snarkily insult Californians.
Tara Cooper (‘24) suggested that the administration “commit to one dress code.” Her proposal met nods of agreement from her friends.
“You’re not going to find appropriate length shorts in women’s clothing” Mikeila Ghelfi (‘24) asserted.
“They need to provide affordable options” added Sydney Walsh (‘24).
It is generally true that cute women’s shorts are harder to find, especially within a reasonable price range. “Depending on your height, [shorts are] just gonna look different on everyone,” Rowan Condos (‘24) noted. Taylor Pagano (‘24) pointed out the at times unfair treatment boys receive. “A lot of guys wear shorts that are shorter than girls’ shorts and they don’t get dress coded for it,” she mentioned. Evidently, a number of issues arise between girls and the dress code, which has deemed by some as outdated and unrepresentative of the common styles sold in stores.
In an impassioned yet satirical tirade, Gracie Ramondini (‘24), made some impressive statements. “I hate the dress code! Khakis looks good on nobody! Are you trying to make us look ugly? And I don’t even know where you’re supposed to find them. I literally have five pants and that’s not enough. This school is gonna make me an outfit repeater!”
“They just need to chill out a little bit. Give us some grace,” a calmer Rowan announced.
“It was a bad start to the first day — nobody even said Good Morning or Happy First Day,” says Faith McHugh (‘24), a victim of the first day of school yellow slip massacre. “They just handed me a dress code slip and walked away.” Faith’s shorts unfortunately landed right in the gray area of length, something that would have gone unnoticed last year but faced a higher level of scrutiny under the new administration.
But seniors are not representative of the school population, and they generally complain the most. While they offer particularly vivid quotes, there are other grades with other perspectives.
Freshmen, without knowledge of the the CB dress code “before times”, are relatively unbothered. Bella Waters (‘27), who came from a school with a strict dress code, didn’t have a strong reaction to the strictness of the gate monitors. “It’s kind of normal for me,” she said with a shrug.
So with friends upset with the new dress code and a lack of familiarity with the new Deans of Students, I figured the only fair way to write an article would be to present both sides.
My conversation with Mr. Ramon Trejo, Co-Dean of Students, took place right inside the side entrance as the school emptied out for the weekend. Sitting at a familiar trypophobia-inducing blue table, I asked him why the dress code was so strict this year. He gave me a response I hadn’t expected.
“We just enforced what was already there,” he replied. Although understanding of the “whiplash” the students experienced throughout the transition from last year’s relaxed rules to this year’s consistent regulation, Mr. Trejo explained that the deans did not know any better. “We’re the deans — we’re enforcing what we are being told is the policy in place,” he said plainly. “It’s our job.”
Mr. Trejo also believed that our dress code is, generally speaking, pretty lenient. But he understood the difficulty that different genders sometimes face when finding clothing. In regards to situations in which he had a part in designing dress codes, he maintains, “I’ve always tried to be as inclusive as possible.” Of the opinion that sometimes barriers need to be broken down from within, Mr. Trejo avows his dedication to equity and fairness.
Our new Co-Dean of Students also offered a good example illustrating the necessity of a dress code. “If I came to school [shirt] untucked and in a tank top, shorts, and flip flops, you would think differently of me.” He wants students to understand that they too must dress in a way that trains them for their future lives.
He’s not trying to be a jerk. Why would he work with kids if he hated them? “I try to make sure to keep students first and foremost in my mind,” he emphasized, recognizing that there’s a learning curve for everyone. “You have to understand I’m doing my job, and I have to understand that you’re probably getting whiplash because you weren’t used to this last year.”
If you’re still confused about the dress code, don’t hesitate to ask Mr. Trejo or fellow Co-Dean Ms. Marlena Norman. “I’m always willing to listen,” he explained. Use your best judgment and maybe don’t give him attitude if he’s writing you one of those special yellow slips. But in general, go to him with your questions. Inseam length, appropriate shoes, liturgy dress, and more — he can give you an answer.
Most importantly for the Class of 2024, Mr. Trejo thought senior privileges were a great idea, but he maintained that it should be earned. “Don’t ruin it for everybody else” he said as a word of warning.
CB students are experiencing a time of change, and although it’s extremely minor from an outside point of view, dress code matters quite a lot. With stricter enforcement of the dress code, people are less certain of what is safe to wear, and the loss of jeans has made some students particularly upset. Always present with dress code concerns, female students also feel somewhat targeted yet unable to buy clothing that will prevent a yellow slip and also save them from the laughter of their peers.
But if the biggest problem with our school is the dress code, isn’t that a good thing?