EDITORIAL: Suit yourself (but only in black)

Rutgers Business School’s dress code for career day was impractical


The annual career fairs at the Rutgers Business School always attract a plethora of eager college students, dressed for success, for the opportunity to try and impress potential employees. But this year, Rutgers Business School decided that “dressing for success” had a different definition.

In this year’s career fair flyer, it told male students to wear “clean, polished dark dress shoes," and wear black or dark gray professional suits. This "flyer" is available online but an estimated 40 students were kept out of the career fair because of their choice to wear either blue shirts, blue suits, the wrong shade of gray or brown shoes.

Having a dress code for a career fair is more than understandable. First impressions are incredibly important, and encouraging students, who are preparing to venture out into the real world, to dress appropriately is something the Rutgers Business School prides itself on. But it may have taken it too far.

Following rules are important, especially for something as official as a career fair, where employers are assessing your every move. But following a rule that bans specific suit colors, that students have been encouraged to wear in Rutgers Business School forums, is utterly ridiculous. On top of that, if Rutgers Business School truly wanted to implement this dress code, it would have made a more conscientious effort to ensure that every student would be aware of this change, especially if the dress code differed from that of previous years. When students have worn specific suits for interviews and career fairs for a few years consecutively, suddenly changing the rules without properly informing them of the changes is unfair.

Rutgers Business School should have also considered the fact that they are speaking to college students. A majority of college students get no financial assistance and suits are expensive. The average retail cost of a suit ranges from $200 — $1,000. That’s a lot of money, especially for students who attend a University with one of the highest in-state tuitions in the nation. If a student already owns a suit that is not in accordance with the dress codes Rutgers Business School randomly decided to implement, what are they supposed to do?

Rutgers Business School explained that they did, in fact, have a program established that assists students with paying for business attire, but the only information about this program is located in the student handbook. There is no mention of this program online and there is no email associated with it either. Why offer a resource only to ensure that it is placed in the most obscure and inconspicuous place possible? Shouldn’t Rutgers Business School be rampantly promoting this program if they really want to help out?

If in the "real world" employers had a vendetta against blue or brown suits, then Rutgers Business School’s decision would make sense. But the most incredulous part is that a Rutgers Business School student was quoted saying that a police officer “told (him he) had a nice suit that was too light. He said that in the real world, the suit was fine, but in this world, it was too (light).” If Rutgers Business School is not preparing these students for the real world, then what are they preparing them for? Isn’t the whole point of these career fairs to expose students to real-world careers so that they have experiences lined up for after they graduate?

If Rutgers Business School implemented this dress code because they truly wanted their students to succeed, they would not have barred students from the very opportunities they claim they were helping them obtain.

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 149th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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