Town Hall Meeting about Uniform Policy Opens Student-Administration Conversations

Cat Oriel January 12, 2016 Comments Off on Town Hall Meeting about Uniform Policy Opens Student-Administration Conversations
Town Hall Meeting about Uniform Policy Opens Student-Administration Conversations
Students gather in the Rose Room as the meeting begins. Students, teachers and administrators discussed and debated the uniform. Photographer: Syd Stone '16

On Friday, Dec. 4, students, teachers and faculty members filled the Rose Room to discuss Archer’s uniform policy.

Archer’s Student Council hosted the town hall meeting, which was moderated by English teacher Brian Wogensen.

“The goal of this town hall meeting was to discuss an issue that students care about and have an open dialogue about any topic that kids want to talk about. When discussing topics for the town hall meeting, the uniform was the prominent topic of discussion that came up,” Student Council adviser Margaret Shirk said. “The town hall meeting created an open and safe environment for students to talk about what mattered to them.”

Although Student Council intended to cover a variety of topics, only a few questions were asked during the 45-minute lunch period. The questions were: “Why do you think we have a uniform?” and “Why does the skirt length policy exist? Do you like it or dislike it?”

Students and teachers expressed their opinions regarding the comfort, style and professionalism of the uniform.

“I don’t particularly like the uniform policy. It’s great that we have skirts and there are pants options for when it is cold, but it’s really difficult to wear the pants that Lands’ End provides because everyone’s body shapes are different and I don’t feel like they are flattering to my body type,” Gaby Sumpter ‘16 said.

“I feel like there should be more accommodations for the winter especially since we can’t wear sweatshirts and outside jackets. Otherwise, I just sit in class and I think about how I am cold,” she added.

Although some girls find it unflattering to their body types,  others appreciate the sophistication it brings to the students’ appearances.

“I like the uniform policy, I like that we have a uniform. I am one of the people on this campus that brings guest to campus and we have admission representatives from over 100 schools come and talk to students and I want them to see Archer at its best,” Director of College Guidance Scottie Hill said. “I feel like Archer girls are so articulate and passionate and that looking professional while being articulate and passionate really helps everything, but especially the college process.”

As stated in the Archer Student Handbook, “Skirts are to be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee.”

“I don’t think the rule that is stated in the handbook is ridiculous or absurd. I understand where the school is trying to come to and why they made that rule,” Kimia Khatibi ‘16 said.

French teacher Valerie Yoshimura recommends consulting with Lands’ End before buying garments if fit is an issue.

“[Students] can find out exactly what the garment is going to measure by calling Lands’ End ahead of time and asking specifically for garment measurements. They are different than the body measurements that are posted on the website,” she said.

According to the Archer Student Handbook, only “students who consistently follow Archer’s uniform policy will be allowed free dress on scheduled Fridays throughout the year.”

“I think [the uniform policy] is constantly evolving but we try to stay focused on why we’re here, which is to learn and grow,”Dean of Students Travis Nesbitt said. “Students are always welcome to propose changes to the handbook and policies. They can do that through submitting a petition, through talking to me or administrators. Also, I think Student Council is a great forum, Student Council members are those who are elected to represent their peers and they talk a lot about school policy.”

The conversation between the girls and the administration for any topic is ongoing, not only limited to the town hall meetings.

“I think that every student is entitled to a platform to voice their concerns about any policy at school. There should continue to be town hall meetings and opportunities for students to interact with administration,” Anna Allgeyer ‘18 said.

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