A College Employee Uniform?

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Students at the University of Toledo object to a new university policy that requires employees, including students with campus jobs, to wear uniforms while at work.

According to an article by Federico Martinez in the Toledo Blade:

A new dress code for some University of Toledo student employees has prompted an unexpected backlash from some unhappy students who say the required uniform will be inconvenient and take away students’ ability to express their “individuality.”

The new dress code, which goes into effect in January, will require students to wear khaki pants and a navy blue polo shirt with the school emblem.

Toledo Dean of Students Michele Martinez apparently explained that “the purpose is to raise the level of professionalism of all employees, including students.”

The college plans to spend $2,800 to buy 280 shirts for staff.

“What they’ve told us is that the dress code will help prepare us for the future — yes, if we’re going to become a cashier at McDonald’s, or help people buy sneakers,” said math tutor Joe Ozbolt, who apparently will not really be required to wear the Toledo uniform.

I’m sort of confused as to why the University of Toledo makes any of its employees wear uniforms. They say it promotes “professionalism” but in fact it promotes the very opposite of professionalism. Professional jobs don’t require uniforms; in general only low wage jobs require such humiliating things.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer