A Dance of Compromise and Conflict: Visitation’s Uniform Debate

Margot Kern, Staff Writer

At Visitation, the uniform, enforced by the school, creates a dance of compromise and conflict between the students and staff.  Students are required to wear a uniform consisting of brown, closed toe shoes, white ankle socks, a navy pleated skirt which should fall no higher than two inches above the knee or navy pants, a white blouse buttoned to the top, and an optional  navy sweater or vest with a monogram. The main reason I believe uniforms should be required is to show pride and create unity throughout the school and give a sense of belonging. Roughly 17,000 students across the U.S wear school uniforms, so it is not an uncommon occurrence.   Here at Visitation, there is debate about the value of the uniform.

 Like many, I have two thoughts on the uniform debate.  Uniforms are a great way to save time in the morning when you don’t have to pick out an outfit.  Uniforms can also make students feel welcomed and respected. Furthermore, wearing uniforms can be cost effective and equalizing.  Not everyone can afford the latest, expensive trends or afford to have many clothing options; some may not care about clothes at all. With uniforms, everyone looks the same, which minimizes concern about your appearance or how others view your style.  Finally, a formal uniform is always appropriate to wear during Mass.

On the flip side, a uniform can be bad because students look like everyone else, which creates a loss of individuality.  It is very hard to stand out and be yourself when you can’t wear something that speaks to you and reflects who you are. Uniforms can be uncomfortable with the skirt, which can be very cold during the winter months.  As leggings or sweatpants underneath skirts are prohibited, legs are exposed, and goosebumps abound come November, especially if the school is not very warm. Only Donalds sells the Vis uniform, which is not close to everyone.   Personally, I think taking tests would be easier when wearing something more comfortable.

Overall, the school’s uniform has pros and cons, but Visitation students continue to wear it every day.  I would really enjoy having more options added to our uniforms in order to stay comfortable and warm throughout the day.  Sweatpants underneath skirts during colder months or a Vis sweatshirt would get my vote! In conclusion, even though uniforms are a small part of Visitation, they really do make a big difference in how the student body relates to each other.