Fayetteville Tech eyes dress code, smoking ban

Posted October 19, 2010 4:01 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2010 6:44 p.m. EDT

— Students on the campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College might soon have to pull up their pants and snuff out their cigarettes.

The Fayetteville Tech Board of Trustees is considering implementing a dress code and a smoking ban.

The proposed dress code is designed to "improve the learning environment, enhance school safety and promote good behavior," according to a draft that the board is expected to debate at its November meeting.

"Whenever you see pants down around the knees and underwear exposed, to me, that is just absolutely inappropriate," Fayetteville Tech President Larry Keen said.

Keen said he has no problem with the clothes that a vast majority of his students wear, but he noted that some "are going to push the envelope."

The dress code would ban baggy pants, some piercings and suggestive language on clothes. Violators could face suspension or expulsion.

Keen said he wants students to start dressing like they will have to in the workplace.

“It all has to do with employability,” he said. “When they go out thinking they are dressing in a particular way, and that it does not give them a competitive edge in a very competitive market, then we’re doing them a disservice."

Keen said college officials are gathering input from students on the dress code and plan to word it carefully to head off legal challenges.

Students are divided on the idea of a dress code.

"No matter what kind of job you get, even if you work at McDonald's, they're not going to let you walk around with a little short skirt dress or spaghetti-strap shirt," student Beatrice Medina said.

"As long as it doesn’t distract anyone from their class and stuff, then (how they dress) shouldn’t really change anything," student Britt Bordone said.

Bordone also dismissed the idea of an outright smoking ban on the Fayetteville Tech campus.

The college already prohibits indoor smoking and restricts smoking to designated outdoor areas.

Twenty-five community colleges in North Carolina already have tobacco-free campuses.