Stay classy, Friday through Wednesday

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By: Dan Frascella

I’m sure that by this time in the school year, almost everyone has heard the announcements from Mr. Newton that “Operation Cover-up” is about to hit the student body with full force. I have heard oodles of complaints regarding dress code slips or trips to the Dean’s office. However, I truly feel as though the administration is doing the students a great service by cracking down on inappropriate dress. The new efforts at CHS to enforce the dress code should be seen not as an attempt to subdue our freedoms as students, but as a way to preserve pride in ourselves and in our school.

Last Sunday, my family drove to Bloomington to visit my cousin from Rhode Island, now a freshman at IU. As I waited for her outside the McNutt Quad, I was appalled by the students’ absolute disregard for outward appearance. One girl was walking around (in public) with pajama pants and a ratty old T-shirt with a vodka advertisement. Almost every male wore a backwards baseball cap, blaringly saggy shorts, and a T-shirt that I wouldn’t touch with a six-foot rod, for fear of contracting Polio. As I watched in horror the throngs of students who looked like mops, I thought to myself, “Is this the image our generation will carry into adulthood?”

Hopefully not, and that is why “Operation Cover-up” should be seen as just one small step in promoting the decency and dignity of 21th century teens.

Certainly, I am not the only one who has caught on to the serious slob-fashion epidemic plaguing young people today. A recent act by the IPS School Board has implemented a stringent dress code for students, requiring them to wear collared shirts, dark slacks, belts, and proper shoes, with the intention of projecting a better image to the community, reducing distractions, and preparing students for situations later in life, such as interviews or meetings. According to the superintendent, the movement has been relatively successful thus far, and I have a feeling that “Cover-up” will produce similar results at Carmel.

With this said, you may have noticed a group of students, myself included, who participate in a weekly tribute to the noble ideals of respectful fashion, called “Stay Classy Thursday.” Conceived in the fall of last school year, the movement to promote pride in CHS and in our generation has grown from a small circle of my friends to a regular weekly following of about twenty people. I would strongly encourage everyone to take part in this weekly statement to society by wearing formal clothing to school on Thursdays. Although we learn to not judge a book by its cover, people do perceive what we wear as indicators of our values and personalities. I challenge you to join us, and I guarantee you’ll be surprised at the positive response. By taking one day out of the week to spruce up and put on a tie or a dress, our generation can improve our image in the eyes of the community and feel better about ourselves as well.

Picture our generation in about twenty years. We will be CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. We will be school principals or teachers. We will occupy high positions in the U.S. government. Can you imagine what our world would look like if all these people wore hooded sweatshirts and an old pair of jeans to work? Have you ever seen Bill Gates in a Corona Light T-shirt? Didn’t think so. It’s time for our generation to get serious about the image we project to everyone by how we dress, and “staying classy” on Thursdays is a great place to start.