The Shirt And Tie Revolution

Senior Leaders Organize Silent Protest Against Current Dress Code


Andrew Sosanya

Above, UDII Jefferson Pereira completes work while wearing an atypical school outfit of shirt and tie. Jefferson supports this silent protest.

Leo Smith, Staff Writer

Today approximately 200 students came to school dressed in shirt and tie to protest the school’s current uniform policy, according to maroon section leader Scott Bamberg. The protest was organized by Scott and the seven other senior leaders

“There are guys walking around here in raggedy hoodies,” Scott said. “So wearing a shirt and tie better suits us as individuals, as a prep school, and as young men.”

“The senior leadership team thought it was a good idea to see how the school would look in shirt and tie because we know there has been some opposition regarding whether the uniform is appropriate and whether we look like a prep school,” Rui De Oliveira, blue section leader, said .  

“We had faculty advice but no administrative approval,” Rui added. “It was a spontaneous decision.”

According to Rui, Senior Group Leader Bruce Davis III had a meeting with group leaders where he told them he wanted all students in shirt and tie and requested that they relay the information to their group members.

Some students believe that changing the uniform would positively affect the overall culture of the school.

“I think that the usual uniform is not conducive to good academic performance. For teenagers hoodies give us a feeling of comfort. But when we are wearing shirt and tie it gives us a sense of professionalism,” said UDII Jefferson Pereira. “Even though we wear hoodies to be more in-tuned with the monastic life here at St. Benedict’s, ultimately, the hoodies do not help us with our academic attitude.”

Some students developed strong opinions about this protest after learning about its true intent later in the day.

“I don’t think this was well organized because many students didn’t know this was even a protest,” UDII Justin Dickerson said. Justin dressed in shirt and tie after a senior leader instructed him to do so.

“Senior leaders told group leaders to tell guys to come in shirt and tie and that was the end of it,” Justin said. “Even assistant group leaders didn’t know they were involved in a protest either,” he added.

Other students, however, believe that changing the uniform will not add or detract from the school in any way.

“The hoodies are more convenient, more comfortable. The uniform shouldn’t affect students because no matter what you wear, you’re a student and are expected to do your work,” senior Michael Bonet said.

Like the students, the administration responded to the protest in a variety of ways.

Headmaster Father Edwin Leahy said Bruce’s attire as well as lower division senior leader Freddy Ulloa’s looked like “Mr. Roger’s.”

Michelle Tuorto, Dean of Faculty, provided a more positive response. “The way you dress influences your actions and the way that you carry yourself,” she said. “Today when I looked around the hallways I saw people who were ready to get down to business. People who looked the part of what we are all trying to be here: people of quality and intelligence.”

Whether or not the administration will take the protest seriously has yet to playout; however, Assistant Headmaster Michael Scanlan said that students are to report in full uniform tomorrow, Tuesday, November 24.

“Little steps,” freshman leader Tristan Farinhas said, referencing the actions the students had taken today. “We’ll get to where we want to be, where we need to be, eventually.”