Dress Code to Allow Casual Athletic Wear

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Athletic Director Sean Horan announced via email on Wednesday that students who participate in official King’s sports may attend class in athletic wear on game and practice days, rather than business casual attire.

The decision comes at the start of a new season for the King’s athletic department, which has expanded and includes soccer, volleyball, cross country and baseball this fall. According to VP of Student Development Eric Bennett, practices often occur right before classes, presenting a unique challenge for athletes.

At the end of Spring ‘10, Bennett – who was then the Dean of Students – announced another major change to the dress code: the abolition of Casual Fridays. In an email to the student body last August, he wrote:

“As you know, we as a College blend into our professional Empire State Building setting via our dress code. While most college campuses do not have a dress code, the way we present ourselves is a visible indicator that The King’s College is not like most colleges. We choose to live by a higher standard. Recently, the entire Executive Team reviewed all of our College standards and decided, with my support, that there will no longer be casual Fridays. The opportunity to make a good first impression is just as important on a Friday as it is on a Monday. What this means is that we can really look forward to the weekend, when we can relax ourselves and our wardrobe.”

 This previous decision makes Horan’s announcement all the more unexpected. However, Bennett stresses that the new policy was born of necessity and is not a lowering of standards.

“As the soccer field in Chelsea has no shower facilities and it is impossible for members of the team to go to their apartments, change clothes and get to class on time, we had to find a solution,” Bennett said.

Students not participating in sports are divided about the issue.

“Being a member of a school sports team is an added responsibility, not an added privilege,” Ray Davison (’13) said. “The dress code is a standard of accountability for all.”

Like many upperclassmen, Davison believes that the new policy may lead to some students playing sports just to accommodate their “slovenly behavior.”

But Women's Soccer Goalie Claire Cook ('14) is not one of these students.

"It will be convenient for morning practices," Cook said. "But most likely ... I won't wear the tracksuits. I don't want to look unprofessional when everyone else is wearing business casual."

The administration hopes the dress code exemption will not detract from the professional atmosphere of King’s but instead strengthen the school; according to Bennett, the new rule will “elevate the profile of College athletic teams on campus and … promote a neat presence for athletes.”

MiscHannah Herman