One of the key features of the Woodstock student life is the freedom we are entrusted with. A major part of that freedom is the fluidity of the dress code. The absence of a uniform enables students to express themselves through their choice of clothes and feel comfortable in their own skin in a large community like Woodstock.
Our extensive community at Woodstock is comprised of various cultural backgrounds, each with a different set of ideas and values with which they lead their lives. This also means that in turn, there will never be one single opinion that every member of Woodstock agrees with. The difference in cultural backgrounds also influences students to have different opinions on the dress code.
Most students that have come from schools with uniforms have especially positive perspectives on our dress code. Two Grade 10 students from schools in Nepal and Bhutan that have uniforms. They feel that our dress code allows them to express themselves as opposed to having every student wear the same clothing every day and they do not think it is particularly strict.
A Grade 11 student who joined Woodstock this year is, however, from a traditional public school in the United States where she did not have to wear a uniform. When asked how the Woodstock dress code is different from the one at her previous school, she replied by saying that she did not have a dress code in the past and that she feels that there are more firm rules here. She mentioned the neckline rule and the length of one’s bottoms needing to be longer than their fingertips as two of the rules she found relatively strict.
After speaking with Mrs. Sarah Khan, the head of Student Services, it helped gain a deeper understanding of the administration’s perspective in regards to forming the dress code. The diversity of our community and their backgrounds and beliefs, are the major reasons behind Woodstock having a dress code. The dress code was also put in place to avoid any conflict between students and staff members where personal opinions were involved as having guidelines everyone needs to follow is more convenient.
Another factor that was taken into consideration was the community Woodstock is in. The people of Landour are relatively conservative thus, it is important that we as students uphold their respect and show them ours as well.
Over the years, the only major changes made to the dress code were about the length of bottoms needing to be no more than four fingers above the knee. Now, as you may all know, the rule about the length of bottoms is measured based on the fingertips of the wearer.
Finally, Mrs. Sarah also believes that with such a diverse community of thoughts and cultures, there are always bound to be disagreements about certain guidelines but it is important for us to follow those guidelines while on campus to ensure that we are being respectful to those around us.
Pema is a guest reporter.
Edited by Asha.