We’ve discussed Mormon fashion before, but it looks like one university is taking modest dress codes very seriously, much to the dismay of its students.
Gawker came across an item in the Brigham Young University-Idaho student newspaper about a campus testing center denying students entrance because they were wearing skinny jeans. Here is one such incident, as reported by the BYU-Idaho Scroll:
At 8:30 p.m., 30 minutes before the Testing Center was scheduled to close, Vermillion entered the facility prepared to take her test and was told by an employee there that she would not be permitted to enter.
“I got in line and the guy said that I couldn’t take a test because my pants were too tight,” Vermillion said. “I thought he was joking at first.”
Vermillion wasn’t given a warning, despite the Testing Center’s history of issuing warnings to students for similar violations of the CES Dress and Grooming Standards.
“I thought it was going to be like, ‘Next time, wear a different pair of pants,’” Vermillion said. “I’d never gotten a warning. I pointed out to him girls around me who had gotten in who were wearing jeans much tighter than my pants, but he just said, ‘It’s at the discretion of the Testing Center employees.’ He got very angry and was very rude.”
However, this doesn’t seem to be just an issue of modest dressing.
Even when a fellow employee attempted to persuade him to allow Vermillion to take her test, he did not relent.
“Another girl who worked there told him that the pants I was wearing were looser than hers,” Vermillion said. “It was really frustrating because there were skinny girls who were wearing tight pants who were getting admitted, but I’m curvy so my regular-fitting pants were a little bit tighter on me and he wouldn’t let me in. It was offensive and humiliating.”
Offensive and humiliating indeed! While no new dress code or clothing ban is in place at BYU-Idaho (the school maintains there is no official ban on skinny jeans), the testing center recently put up signs to better enforce the existing rules.
Last month a sign was posted at the Testing Center that read, “If your pants are tight enough to see the shape of your leg, your pants are too tight. The CES Dress and Grooming Standards state that: ‘Clothing is inappropriate when it is . . . formfitting.’ Skin tight clothing is NOT appropriate attire.”
Concluding this notice was a short paragraph that read, “If your clothing or attitude does not meet the commitments you have made to live the Honor Code, will you please go home and prayerfully visit with your Father in Heaven and recommit yourself to be a true disciple and abide by the Honor Code that defines your commitment to be a disciple.” The sign was replaced three days later.
Testing center manager John Dexter has since switched up some of the wording on the sign. He also told the Scroll that some employees are stricter than others. There are a few big problems here. First of all, the school doesn’t support a restriction on tight pants, but the testing center is enforcing a policy anyway. Secondly, they are enforcing this “rule” in an inconsistent manner — and perhaps due to students’ appearances.
Do you think this is fair?