Sun. Jun 4th, 2023
photo of pair of black leather shoes

Recently, students at Notre Dame may have noticed a subtle change in what was once a concrete policy that would have resulted in infractions if violated.

By | Dylan Nguyen

Notre Dame has implemented a new shoe policy for students. As part of this new policy, the current standard of black dress shoes and flats have been opened up to include the following:

  • Any all-black running shoes or sneakers, low top and in good condition
  • Low-cut Doc Martens

Polling of the student population has revealed that this decision has garnered universal acclaim, with students praising the increased flexibility in the wet winter months as well as more choice when purchasing footwear.

Naturally, with a radical change like this, one question presents itself: why now?

An interview with Mr. Deslauriers revealed that the administration had been trying to change the shoe policy to adapt with the administration trying to find a solution that would retain the classy, formal feel that is appropriate for a Catholic independent school, while also being relevant in the modern-day and age.

These changes were also brought about due to the school wanting to accommodate students who may have had difficulty procuring dress shoes and flats due to economic hardship, as well as give students more freedom in choosing the right shoe for them.

The switch in policy according to the administration was not a “forced hand” in response to major complaints or numerous dress code infractions, rather that it was made to proactively adapt to the modern climate.

Personally, I view this change positively in that it may shine a light on independent schools: that a formal education in a Catholic school can co-exist with the relaxation of a strict uniform policy.

The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Lao Tzu

Students will not only appreciate the contribution that this change will make towards the school atmosphere, but they will also enjoy the flexibility, and most importantly, the comfort that the expanded parameters will allow. Running shoes and sneakers are more suited for use in the wet and cold winter months as opposed to dress shoes and flats, which lack insulation and waterproof capabilities.

Most importantly, the new parameters afford everyone much-needed clarification regarding what is allowed. The concrete examples and definitions presented to avoid any confusion or variation, create a more transparent rule that may eliminate high numbers of dress code violations.

Such changes ultimately place the student in a more comfortable and accepting position, which undoubtedly should benefit all at Notre Dame.

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