Story by Reagan Ebb | Staff Writer, Video by Christina Soto | Broadcast Managing Editor
Baylor University posted a sign Sunday afternoon in the Student Life Center notifying students of a dress code policy change for the SLC. One of the new rules said female students could no longer wear shorts that were shorter than one’s fingertips. In response to the policy change, many students responded with frustration, turning to Twitter and Facebook to question Baylor’s decision.
In response to the student body, Baylor University issued a statement on Twitter, saying it had been brought to their attention that the newest change in dress code for the SLC created “confusion.”
“Therefore, we are returning to our former interpretation of this policy and will seek additional student input should there be any proposed changes in the future,” the statement said.
Houston recent graduate Jacquelyn Kellar said she had mixed feelings about Sunday’s events. She said if she was still a student, she would not have had a problem with the new rules. Kellar also said she thought it was great that Baylor listened to the opinions of the students and that the school handled situation well.
“It’s important for students to feel heard,” Kellar said, “I believe that the responsibility to keep men focused in the gym should not fall to women and their attire.”
Atlanta sophomore Kerlin Anderson organized a student protest to be held outside the SLC at 6 a.m. Monday. The protest was canceled due to Baylor’s change of heart, but Anderson still plans on making her voice heard.
“Right now, with the #MeToo movement, voices are more important than ever,” Anderson said.
Anderson said current events like the Larry Nassar trial make this happening at Baylor even more enraging.
“You would think that Baylor was being conscious of how women are being treated,” Anderson said. “There is such a heightened consciousness around the issue of sexual gender generalizations.”
Anderson said even with such a small issue as a dress code change, that Baylor did not think about the repercussions of the event. She said the action seemed to foster a rape culture, saying that some people ask women what they were wearing when a sexual assault occurred.
“I felt that Baylor was almost for blaming women for how males were reacting to our athletic wear in an environment where we are working out. It’s just absurd,” Anderson said.
Anderson said she thinks Baylor only revoked the dress code because the students’ outrage.
Peoria, Ill., junior Amanda Seaboch said she was disappointed in how the university handled the situation, commenting on Baylor’s Title IX situation.
“It was two steps backwards in the direction we should go. Their initial reaction was ‘blame the victim,’ so it goes back to Title IX. Are they doing it because they have to? Or because they actually care about women?” Seaboch said.