Just weeks after they fired a staffer for writing a homophobic email, Atlanta’s Morehouse College has issued a new dress code banning its all-male student body from wearing women’s clothes. Surprisingly, the college’s gay student group endorsed the change.
No dress-wearing is part of a larger dress code launched this week that Morehouse College is calling its “Appropriate Attire Policy.” The policy also bans wearing hats in buildings, pajamas in public, do-rags, sagging pants, sunglasses in class and walking barefoot on campus. However, it is the ban on cross-dressing that has brought national attention to the small historically African-American college. The dress-wearing ban is aimed at a small part of the private college’s 2,700-member student body, said Dr. William Bynum, vice president for Student Services. “We are talking about five students who are living a gay lifestyle that is leading them to dress a way we do not expect in Morehouse men,” he said. Before the school released the policy, Bynum said, he met with Morehouse Safe Space, the campus’ gay organization. “We talked about it and then they took a vote,” he said. “Of the 27 people in the room, only three were against it.” There has been a positive response along with some criticism throughout the campus, he said.
Those in violation of the new dress code will be barred from class until they dress “appropriately” and may face expulsion.