School to consider changes in daily uniform

Sara Kloepfer
A&E Editor

In the last three weeks leading up to Christmas vacation, CSH students have been unrecognizable. Gone are the typical gray skirts, replaced with the jeans and baggy sweatpants of free dress.

On a chilly dress uniform day in November, Head of School Andrea Shurley announced free dress until Christmas Break, with the exception of three dress uniform days.

“It’s been an ongoing conversation among the administrative team, teachers, parents — what is the most practical way for students to dress,” said Shurley.

The administration sees the period of free dress as an information gathering time for students to help them evaluate how the uniform fits into the school community.

“No decisions are being made, but we are testing this in order to have better conversations in the future about our uniform,” said Dean of Students Celine Curran.

Students will be asked for input towards mid-January, beginning with Student Council. Curran wants students to consider how the uniform reflects daily activities.

“When participating in coed community, it’s important for girls to be comfortable,” said Curran.

In the past, students have succeeded in appealing to the administration for changes in the uniform, such as the options of sweats and school-related t-shirts, adding to the variety of uniform possibilities for students.

“We are not trying to change the uniform or move away from it, we are trying to balance all these options,” said Curran. “That includes dress uniform, modified uniform, dress code and free dress.”

Shurley has collected handbooks from Sacred Heart schools from around the country that have both a uniform and dress code to use as a reference point. Both Curran and Shurley agree that a seniors-only option, such as the navy blue sweater, would still be in effect.

“We always take senior leadership into account,” said Curran.

Students, as well as alumni, have already started sharing their opinions.

“Alums are always weighing in,” said Curran. “For me they play a critical role in the spirit of tradition of the Sacred Heart, but right now our current students and families are the most important. We will continue to focus on developing strong traditions.”

Curran emphasizes that the changes are being considered with the concern that students feel the least pressure about what they wear.

Some students believe that the uniform best applies to this statement.

“I love the fact that we have uniforms,” said junior Monica Rodriguez. “It makes getting dressed so easy and simple. I don’t understand why we’re trying to fix something that isn’t broken.”

Others welcome their newfound freedom.

“I like the free dress because I can dress more comfortably and warm in this cold weather and I have more choice in my clothing,” said sophomore Nicola Forbes.

If a dress code is established, Curran, Shurley, and Dean of Studies Doug Grant will decide the specifics.