OPEN LETTER: Senior Matteo Mendoza discusses school attire

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Fellow Cubs,

One of the most convenient perks of a Loyola education, our school’s incredibly lenient dress code, is being taken for granted by our student body like never before.  Students gripe at new regulations mandated this school year, the most controversial being the ban on both Chubbies and joggers.  Yet, we fail to appreciate the freedom with which we can dress when compared to our fellow private high schools.

As a senior I can wear Loyola t-shirts every day, but even as a freshman, I felt so lucky to attend a school that didn’t impose a uniform.  Most of us— 60% of the freshman class, according to Director of Admissions Heath Utley— matriculated to Loyola from a Catholic elementary school with a uniform.  The Loyola dress code is an undeniably liberating break from those constraints.  

The Loyola dress code also strays from the norm among private high schools in the area.  The vast majority of girls schools impose a uniform, and even other schools that only use a dress code, such as St. Francis, still enforce brands such as Dickies that must be worn by all students.  Loyola’s rules, on the other hand, are in essence much less constraining: Simply wear a collared shirt —seniors exempted— and look presentable.

Admittedly, this school year’s updated dress code has included specificities that upset some of our students, specifically those who embraced the short shorts and joggers trend (myself included).  The new dress code bans shorts or pants that have a drawstring, display loud patterns such as the American flag, ride excessively short, or are made in the “joggers” style.  

The champions of Chubbies feel targeted for their choice of dress, yet I implore them to consider their options.   While I no longer wear my chubbies with a drawstring to school, I still dress in code when I wear short shorts that have a button.  The options of short shorts with a button, or perhaps Chubbies with a less flashy pattern or embroidered designs, are both great alternatives for these disenfranchised students.

We should also consider the benefits of the new dress code; for example, under the leadership of Dean Annarelli, underclassmen no longer have to tuck in their polos. No longer will students wearing their polos untucked at lunch fear the the threat of a JUG, and students can wear collared shirts in a way they please.  The decision to remove tucked in polos from the dress code is quite a progressive step towards practicality and comfort for students, and we all should appreciate this move.  

In the most ideal, comfortable world, we would be able to wear pajamas and sweats to school everyday.  Yet in the context of Loyola High School, one of the most elite private schools in California, students are upheld to a certain level of respectability and poise on campus.  No, you can’t wear your favorite “ ‘Merica ” shorts to class anymore, but consider your options: would you rather wear a uniform?   The choice is clear.  Cubs, stop complaining.

-Matteo Mendoza ‘17

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