SBI dress code is irrelevant – The Famuan

A flyer detailing the dress code for a career exhibition
Photo courtesy: FAMU Career and Professional Development Center (2020)

The phrase “dress for success” is a common motto for many people, although it
takes on a different meaning depending on how you look at it. At Florida A&M’s School of
Trade and Industry, a professional dress code is applied.

The policy, located on the FAMU website, states, “As a vocational school, this dress
the code is intended to contribute to the overall professional development and appearance
students. »

The dress code considers typical student clothing such as ripped jeans, rags,
spaghetti straps and the like unacceptable. SBI class programs indicate that dress violation
code could lead to an unjustified absence.

Sackeena Edwards, a psychology major with a business minor, says the dress code
changed her for the better. As a former pre-physiotherapy student, the transition to
SBI was a bit of a culture shock, relying on peers and professors to learn the ropes.

“As soon as I set foot in the SBI building, I realized that everyone was coming
suited and booted. It was very professional. I felt a little uncomfortable at first
because I was wearing a t-shirt and ripped jeans, and I thought that was not acceptable,” she said.
said. “But I didn’t take it as offensive, I took the opportunity to improve myself and express
myself differently.

A more restrictive standard is retained for forums, which are professional development activities
events. Forum policy states that “SBI students must dress as ‘corporate’
attire during certain components of professional development.

Forum policy details specific colors, clothing length, jewelry, hair, and piercings
guidelines for women. For men, earrings, dark shirts, facial piercings, braids and
dreads are not acceptable.

After the summer 2021 social reports, many companies have adopted more
progressive values ​​and strengthened their diversity, equity and inclusion practices,
welcome potential candidates and employees as they are. In addition, bills like the
Crown laws prohibiting discrimination based on hair have been passed in 18 states since

L’Oréal, a company active with SBI, has a more relaxed tone on dress codes on its
career page: “In general, everyone dresses as they see fit; it can
be a suit or casual dress. We believe there are more important things than clothing
codes (for example, being consumer-centric). Of course, there is the occasional customer or
date with a business partner where a more formal look is appropriate. Nevertheless, you
should dress as you feel comfortable.

This begs the question, is it worth it?

As an HBCU serving the best interests of black students, what is the benefit of requiring
students to adhere to such strict guidelines when their potential employers take more
relaxed approach to professional standards? A better method would include
encourage students to cultivate relationships with more progressive companies to pursue

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