Diving into CNU’s divisive dress code

The diversity and inclusion statement has yet to be applied to all parts of student life


Here at CNU, students express themselves in every type of way possible. From tattoos and hair colors to piercings, there are creative new takes on how to uniquely showcase yourself in a community hypnotised by mainstream looks. Personally, I have gotten tattoos in places that are away from the public eye, for my own personal daily reminder. But for others, that is entirely not the case. Those who have any type of visible body art might have some issues getting involved  in the CNU community. 

On campus, there are many ways to get involved and find friendships. For some, it’s through on campus jobs that they are able to find a small community while making a quick paycheck. But when it comes to on-campus jobs, students find themselves unable to showcase who they truly are due to the demeaning, strict dress codes on how to look and dress. Students are told to cover piercings and tattoos, and may even be advised to not dye their hair unruly colors. 

These rules specifically apply to one’s own gender or sex, which is simply derogatory considering ones gender or sex should not determine how one should traditionally dress at work. For example, male student employees for this university aren’t allowed to wear earrings, while female student employees can. 

But honestly, why do students have to wear a bandaid over their nose ring, and not their earrings? Isn’t a bandaid more distasteful than a small piece of metal?

Also, more importantly, what happens when someone identifies as agender, or they/them? 

The university does not uphold the values currently stated on their websites Diversity and Inclusion tab: “Christopher Newport University is committed to promoting an environment that honors the uniqueness of each student. The presence and active engagement of a diverse community offers a vibrant, rich and transformative campus experience that impacts all facets of student life.” 

In this case, why is there a gender divide for students working under the school? CNU’s diversity and inclusion statement should apply to all areas of life, especially on-campus jobs. Students should be able to showcase anything they please, as long as it doesn’t include any threatening concepts. 

A majority of students, have a meaningful connection as to why they got a piercing, hair color or tattoo. Even if one doesn’t, that honestly isn’t anyone’s business. The fact that we, as adults, are able to have the ability to make individual decisions for our own comfort is essential. 

I hope CNU is in the works on changing the current dress code for on-campus jobs because frankly it’s not a joke anymore — it’s an issue.

~Ashley McMillan, A&E Editor~

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