Uniform Enforcement: Is it really necessary?

Belle Wilson and Giovanni Rizzotti

PRO: During this time, we need to maintain normalcy with uniforms

JC needs to take a firm position on enforcing the dress code both online and for in-person learning.  Over these past few months, the uniform policy has become more lenient than ever. It’s almost unrecognizable.
In the past, girls would roam the halls with the fear of Dean of Students, Sean Ireton stopping them because they had sweatpants on. The boys had the fear of being caught wearing a non-uniform sweatshirt.
Now JC students in school can wear non-uniform outerwear, and girls can wear sweatpants under their skirts.
Students who engage in virtual learning never seem to wear uniforms although it is required. They keep their cameras off or show their ceilings to avoid revealing they are not in uniform.
It’s almost like there isn’t a uniform policy at all.
This in-between uniform policy blurs the lines of professionalism. Wearing a mix of colors and designs doesn’t represent any of the standards that JC has upheld for decades.
Even before windows were kept open in the building, JC students experienced cold temperatures in the winter, but this didn’t cause any changes to the uniform policy at all. Students have always seemed to question the possibility of being able to wear sweatshirts of their favorite colleges or hooded JC sweatshirts. All these suggestions were never implemented, and for good reason.
Now due to pandemic safety guidelines, JC’s building climate has been colder than ever as teacher are required to have windows and doors open. Now extra outerwear is allowed in order to ensure students are kept warm, but this can’t be at the expense of the remainder of the JC uniform.
All students should be expected to put on their uniforms each day. Additions to wear what is necessary to stay warm while in the building should be directly related to JC and its uniform.
Uniforms make students stick to a routine. You never have to wake up and waste time planning the perfect outfit when a uniform is simply chosen for you.
Putting on the JC uniform also helps students prepare for their learning environment. JC proves this by making students wear their uniforms to exams and any testing scenarios.
While it seems that JC hasn’t made a formal statement regarding updating the dress-code for virtual learning, students seem to have chosen to wear whatever they want.
The temptation is great to go to bed and wake up in the same clothes they slept in to join their Teams meetings. With this being “allowed,” it encourages students to be less productive. Getting up and putting on your polo for class makes students have to mentally prepare for school after they wake up in order to join calls.
Not wearing a uniform during virtual learning can make students fall into habits that school isn’t as valued as it should be. They won’t have the same mentality of being a productive student. Instead, Teams calls feel more like just another obstacle to getting more sleep or naps in the day.
Wearing comfy sweatshirts or even pajamas while some students take their classes from the comfort of their homes can cause students to fall asleep.
Keeping as much of a solid routine to resemble some normality in students’ lives is vital in their success. With a lot of factors in life feeling out of teenagers’ control, a uniform policy establishes a routine and a sense of normalcy.
Overall, wearing a uniform brings a sense of school spirit to school, whether in person or virtually. It also makes it feel like each student is a part of a community. We are all different, but the one thing we have in common is that we’re Patriots.
Uniforms are needed in order to ensure every Patriot is set up for success.  – Belle Wilson

CON: Students should not have to wear uniforms on camera or in the rooms

When the new school year started, it was announced that students would have to wear their uniforms on camera while doing virtual learning. Students would also have to wear uniforms when going into school, but they would not have to wear their winter uniforms.

However, realistically, there should be no need at all for wearing uniforms during this time.
There are multiple reasons why uniforms shouldn’t have to be worn. One reason is that it is too hard to enforce wearing uniforms when students are online. Students are required to wear a John Carroll shirt but are not required to wear the school khakis or skirts.
Teachers should not have to spend valuable class time doing “uniform checks” as students attempt to keep their cameras off or aimed at the ceiling.
I, personally, have not seen this rule enforced at all on students who don’t wear their uniforms on camera. If students aren’t wearing their uniforms on camera and aren’t being disciplined for not doing so, then what is the point of even wearing them on camera?
Students are already facing so many challenges due to the pandemic. Why shouldn’t they be as comfortable as possible while they face hybrid or virtual learning?
Another reason why uniforms should not be enforced is the weather.
For the past few weeks, it has been brutally cold. Because of the windows having to stay open in classrooms to circulate air, it’s made it even colder.
It has also been cold in people’s residences, but to a lesser extent. For this reason, we should be allowed to wear jeans and other cold-weather clothes to keep us warm in the classroom. For some, being cold while wearing a uniform is not a motivator to come to school for in-person learning.
However, when it becomes spring, and temperatures begin to warm up, you’ll obviously have to change what you are wearing.
When it comes to that, you should be allowed to wear a normal, short-sleeved shirt and work-out pants to deal with the milder temperatures.
The school appears to be focusing on uniforms more than other issues. They should not be doing this. While uniforms do represent our school and what it means to be a Patriot at John Carroll, there are just some issues currently ongoing that should make the school let us not have to wear our uniforms unless we really want to.
There should be more important things for the school to focus on, not just uniforms.
As we are in the final semester of the school year, the pandemic still rages on, but the weather will change, and there should be no enforcement when it comes to uniforms.
We are teenagers living through a pandemic. We’ve lost control of a lot over the last 11 months. We should be able to control what we wear. – Giovanni Rizzotti