‘Risky’ dress code prompts discussion

'Risky Business' inspired dress codes catches administrations attention

Photo+Illustration+by+Carissa+Prestholdt
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‘Risky’ dress code prompts discussion

Photo Illustration by Carissa Prestholdt

Photo Illustration by Carissa Prestholdt

Carissa Prestholdt

Photo Illustration by Carissa Prestholdt

Carissa Prestholdt

Carissa Prestholdt

Photo Illustration by Carissa Prestholdt

Abby Intveld and Dani Orloff

When volleyball captain and senior Maddy McIntosh dressed up in “Risky Business” apparel—a white button down with boxers—she said she didn’t think it would cause any problems.

“We went ahead and did it, we didn’t ask our coach or anything because we didn’t think it’d be an issue since other people do the dress code,” McIntosh said. “But after we did it, our coach said it’s inappropriate because it doesn’t look like we’re wearing pants.”

According to Principal Scott Meyers, after being approached by concerned parents about athletic dress codes, the athletic department reminded head coaches and players to be mindful of their clothing before athletic events.

“We just wanted to bring it up since athletes are representing a team and since people were sharing some feedback with us we wanted to make sure that it was getting back to our coaches and captains about what some of the reception was and about some of the dress codes that were selected this year,” Meyers said.

McIntosh said she feels the discussion surrounding “Risky Business” dress codes was surprising.

“We understand why it’s (a concern), but it’s confusing because people have been doing that dress code for a lot of years,” McIntosh said. “Other sports did it this year, so when the volleyball team did it, why was it an issue?”

Freshman cross country runner Josie Mosby said she was disappointed when she heard her team wouldn’t participate in the “Risky Business” dress code in the future.

“That kind of sucks because that’s a big one that most sports do and when you do it, everyone recognizes it and it’s kind of funny, so it’s sad,” Mosby said.

Athletic Director Andy Ewald said the athletic department remains conscious of the impact dress codes may have.

“It’s on our checklist to remind them that much like warm-up music, make sure the dress codes aren’t offensive to anyone, and that will reflect on your program in a positive way,” Ewald said.

Through these conversations, Meyers said he hopes the athletes and coaches gain a clear understanding of their community.
“It’s interesting, poor taste is hard to define, so you have to go deeper than that. That’s why we have to have a conversation about what’s in poor taste amongst the group you’re representing,” Meyers said.

McIntosh said she believes the dress code practice does not remain consistent throughout the school.

“It was kind of unfair because people wear much more revealing clothes in the school and ours isn’t that inappropriate,” McIntosh said.

According to Meyers, the dress code announcement intended to start a conversation between the captains and coaches to create awareness about the concerns.

“There isn’t a desire to have a firm dress code that’s a list of strict rules, it’s more of a discussion on it,” Meyers said. “It definitely was not intended to be a shaming measure. This is all more of a conversation than a consequence or a punishment.”

Meyers said the administration acknowledges potential gender bias in the dress code policy.

“Our school is aware and the student office has been talking about how dress codes often times focus on females which is something we recognize as something we don’t want here at our school,” Meyers said.

According to McIntosh, dress codes allow the volleyball team to publicize their games to the student body.

“For us, dress codes are a fun thing to do before games and it’s fun to all look the same. People will see us and ask us if we have a game and it promotes the game and makes people think ‘oh maybe I’ll see them play tonight,’” Mcintosh said.

Despite this limitation, Mosby said she is grateful athletes are still able to promote their events with other dress codes.

“There’s a lot of other ones that we can do,” Mosby said. “I’ve loved doing dress codes with my team because they are really fun.”

Ewald said the dress code should be representative of the St. Louis Park School District.

“We just want to make sure if teams are choosing to do dress codes as a form of team bonding that they’re doing it in a tasteful way,” Ewald said. “It should be a positive reflection of their program and of the school.”

 

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