The new dress code rule at Staten Island Academy (SIA) has many students aggravated and frustrated. It was set into action for the current 2019-2020 school year. Last year, students were allowed to wear maroon, white or gray outerwear (sweatshirts, hoodies, etc.) on top of the maroon or white polo. This year, students cannot wear solid outerwear, it must say “Staten Island Academy” or have an SIA symbol on it. In this article, the 7th and 8th grade journalism class went behind the scenes to find out the reasons behind the new dress code and the impact it has on the students.
Ms. Corigliano, the director of the middle school, says, “The new dress code changes are actually old.” This means that the new dress code for this year is the original intention of the dress code: that students can only wear outerwear in classes if it says “Staten Island Academy” or has an SIA symbol on it, not just solid colored outerwear. For many students, this change is very aggravating for various reasons. Ms. Corigliano says that the reason for going back to the basics is because, “Over the last couple of years students in US and MS started to take advantage of the new rule. Wearing logos, black, or other colors not approved…This started to unravel and become difficult to enforce.” After learning this, we now understand how with many students constantly being out of dress code, it can start to become hard to enforce. However, we think there may be have been alternative options. For example, there could’ve been weekly e-mails like the ones we receive now that remind us of proper dress code, or if a student was out of dress code, they could’ve gotten a detention. Just as they would if they wore sneakers on a formal day.
For many students, this change is aggravating for various reasons. Students now have a collection of hoodies that they can only wear on weekends. Since their personal hoodies cannot be worn in class anymore, many of their favorite clothes are now going to just be sitting on shelves. Many of the SIA sweaters and outerwear are very expensive, especially since students wear them for about one year. Eventually, they grow out of them and have to buy more. This can be a lot of money spent on clothing only worn during school hours.
Additionally, many middle school students don’t know where to purchase SIA branded outerwear. To help this, maybe it can be posted somewhere clearly on the portal or sent out in an e-mail to the middle school. The places where it can be purchased are Flynn and O’Hara, Fan Cloth during the athletics seasons, or directly in person from Mrs. Crane.
Maybe if the students knew the reason for the dress code, they would be more content with the changes. Had they have known that the main reason for the change was because so many people were wearing outerwear with logos or not the accepted colors, they might have followed the original dress code all the time.
With all of that being said, we now understand the reasons for the dress code changes. However, there may have been other options that could have better benefited the students and given them more of an understanding of the reasons for this change.