I'm starting to come to a sad realization about my people. We all too often get fired up about the wrong shit. We get all passionate about little things while the big issues go ignored until they become big enough to crush us. For example, why in the hell are HBCU's issuing dress codes and fitness codes? Are these really pressing issues that deserve priority focus?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Considering all the problems that HBCUs are currently fighting; falling enrollments, soaring costs for everything from building maintenance to tuition, campus safety issues, underpaid and overworked professors, academically ill-prepared students and shrinking endowments, I think that creating drama over student clothing choices and denying students their degree because some chart says they are too fat are really low on the list of important issues.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for folks pulling up their pants and folks being in better physical condition, but the first job of any collegiate institution is to EDUCATE it's students, not regulate them on personal life decisions such as dress and weight. HBCUs need to be more worried about raising money, finding the best professors, and get the best resources for their students, not creating roadblocks that makes it harder for their predominantly high risk student body.
Whose buying all this "business dress" clothing? My minority students and quite a few white students as well, struggle to buy BOOKS, forget clothes. And is Lincoln University going to provide personal trainers, dietitians, 24-hour workout facilities, and nutritionists to help their students make the required weight for graduation? Are they going to remove junk food and fatty foods from the cafeteria, bookstore, and dorms, to prevent their students from gaining the infamous freshman fifteen, twenty-five, or fifty pounds? Do they have the money and time to deal with the lawsuits from students that sue?
I've seen dressed up students at HBCUS before, many dressed to the department store hilt with brand new backpacks that are empty because "new school clothes" were more important than books and school supplies. College students struggle with time management just with classes, jobs, and extracurricular activities, now to ensure graduation a regular physical workout is added to the schedule. Could you see that? Girl, I can't study for that math test tomorrow, I got t0 spend an hour on the treadmill. How about mandatory study tables and hours instead, now that would be an idea.
And if I was a student at any of these colleges, EVERY single faculty member, staffer, and administrator would have to be dressed for success and lean and mean before they could point a finger at me.