Sweatpants and pajamas

At one point, sweatpants were considered only appropriate for bed, lying around or working out.

Today, these warm, comfortable garments have sparked a debate at several universities about the appropriateness of students wearing them to class.

Recently in Louisiana, Caddo Par­ish Commissioner Michael Williams managed to pass legislation banning people from wearing pajamas in public.

“The moral fiber in Amer­ica is dwindling away,” Wil­liams said. “It’s pajamas today; what is it going to be tomorrow?”

This legislation sparked national attention and it was later adapted and applied to school districts in Florida and Vermont. Universities, such as Illinois State, have also followed suit.

Though there is no dress code in place at UDM, some students believe that there should be some sort of guidelines in place, especially since professors are expected to present themselves in a professional manner.

“If I was a professor, I would not think highly of students in sweatpants,” said first-year civil-engineering student Mark Calcaterra. “I don’t think that I would make it a class rule, but I would want those students to think about how they are presenting themselves.”

First-year communication studies major LaTonya Penn agrees.

“The way that some people dress is inappropriate,” said Penn. “At the minor fair, I noticed one girl who was wearing short shorts, even though it was cold out. People need to cover up.”

Peter, a second-year dental student who does not wish to reveal his last name, thinks that there should not be a dress code because wearing sweatpants allows students to attend class and feel comfortable.

“Not having a certain dress code allows you to jump out of bed and go to class,” he said. “I mostly wear sweatpants for comfort reasons. They are relaxed gear and they are comfortable to sit in for hours and hours.”

Peter does think, however, that in certain cases a dress code should be put into place or students should dress up.

“In certain events I will dress up for class, but it all really depends on the purpose of the day,” said Peter. “I like to dress up for exams because that way you feel good, look good and do good.”

Some professors require that their students dress up for presentations.

In Chantal Bussell’s English class, her professor required his students to dress professionally for presentations. 

“It doesn’t affect me personally when people dress in certain ways,” said Bussell. “College should be more professional than high school because everyone here is preparing us for our futures.”