Since opening its doors in 1856, Seton Hall University has been an exclusively private, Catholic school. Typically when hearing “private catholic school,” most people already have a pre-programmed image in their heads of a preppy, well-dressed school-boy or girl, wearing matching uniforms bearing the school’s colors and logo. While that may be the case at many Catholic high schools, things are a little different here at Seton Hall.
For many incoming freshmen, choosing what to wear each day is normal, as they have been doing so for many years before coming to college. However, for some Seton Hall students, being able to decide what to where for class, without a dress code, is a new experience.
Tim Smith, a freshman history major, said that he has recently faced these changes.
“It was very different; I have actually been wearing a uniform since kindergarten,” Smith said. “This is the first time I actually had to pick out clothes. People didn’t understand why I had to buy clothes for school and they kept telling me to wear what I wore to school. They didn’t really understand the idea of a uniform.”
While wearing a uniform may seem normal to Smith, to others it is completely alien.
Nate Valyo, a junior economics and IT management major, said he previously attended a private Catholic institution two years ago. Valyo said that while looking back on his experiences, he had some advice for new freshmen, especially those coming from a private high school.
“I think that overall, the way someone dresses reveals a lot about them,” Valyo said. “So I think it is appropriate to wear whatever you want to class, but the message you’re sending to the professor and your fellow classmates might not be a good one if you look like you put no thought into your appearance.”
Jackson Tennant, a junior elementary and special education major, said that though he came from private schooling as well, he was not a fan of dress codes. He said he prefers dressing down to a uniform any day.
“I feel like it’s appropriate to dress down for class,” Tennant said. “Obviously it’s important to look nice every once in a while, but it’s more important to be in class and learn.”
He continued, “If someone feels like they can learn better when they’re dressed down, more power to them.”
Pierre La Monica can be reached at pierre.lamonica@ student.shu.edu.