Penn’s newest endeavor, a school wide dress code, has caused outrage among students. Between endless DP op-eds and unorganized protests on locust, it is clear that this dress code has ruffled more than a few feathers. While we at the Punch Bowl are generally in favor of upholding individual freedom of expression, we aren’t completely opposed to the idea either.
We are not here to argue that the new dress code will “stop bullying” or “create a sense of school unity and pride” as Amy Gutmann promises. Instead we simply wish to open the eyes of our readers to the truth of the matter: it doesn’t matter.
The new dress code states that students may only wear Penn approved shades of red and blue, with basics in black, white, or beige. While Penn logos are strongly recommended, they are not mandatory, with the exception of Wharton students who must have at least one Wharton labeled item on their person at all times.
At first glance, this dress code seems severely restricting and completely contradictory of our basic rights of freedom and choice. However, recent polls have shown that 13/15 Penn students already follow this dress code instinctively. In fact, many students are already so eager to show off the school they attend that it is far more common to see a student with Wharton clothing than without (even if they are in the College). Penn students already have a natural tendency to only wear red and blue. Thus, the implementation of such a dress code would produce little to no substantial changes in the average Penn student’s wardrobe. The only exception to the rule: a vintage Penn branded sea green sweater.