Extreme weather conditions should call for an appropriate uniform policy


California gets hit with extremely high temperatures. Belmont had highs reaching towards 100.

A heat wave has hit the Bay area with temperatures soaring well over 100 F. While Notre Dame has called for a minimum day the first day back after the Labor Day weekend, should more regulations be put in place to ensure students’ safety and comfort in the classroom?

This year, the uniform policy has become more strict than previous years, with a polo shirt requirement for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. With the effects of 110 F weather on our community, I have noticed that the polo shirt has caused discomfort among students in the classroom wanting to beat the heat. Polo shirts cause excessive sweating in the underarm area and are not specifically meant for combating high temperatures.

While the shirt is short-sleeved with breathable fabric, the various NDB sport shirts designed for summer heat are more suitable alternatives which would help students sweat less and be able to focus more in the classroom. In the midst of heat waves, a more relaxed uniform policy should be put in place to ensure students’ remain as cool as possible in the classroom, including but not limited to NDB athletic tank tops and other shirts fabricated for keeping students cooler.

Last year, while under different administration with more relaxed uniform regulations, wearing my NDB Varsity Pom tank tops in the blistering heat was my go-to shirt for staying comfortable amidst rising temperatures. The shirt did not reveal any midriff or have a plunging neckline, but it did show my bare shoulders, which is against the updated uniform policy today.

The policy against showing shoulders in school brings me back to the idea that they are “distracting,” but NDB should keep students’ comfort and safety in mind amidst heat waves without putting the obsession with girls’ showing their shoulders at the forefront of their uniform policy. While I do understand that the usual modest uniform policy should be enforced throughout the year, some exceptions should be made in response to extreme climate conditions, which should allow for other NDB sports shirts to be worn.

“I think that NDB sports tank tops and other summer/lightweight shirts should be allowed, especially among this heat wave. If Notre Dame can adjust our daily schedule, they should be able to handle allowing us to wear tank tops,” says junior Lucy Wood. She even relates this to another instance where we received uniform policy leniency amidst the harsh winter season, and states, “this is very similar to when we were allowed to wear sweatpants under our skirts during last winter. Changes are already made on a daily, so allowing the students to have more freedom of dress should be no problem.”

With the unexpected heat waves that may come back sporadically throughout the year, an alternative uniform policy should be implemented accordingly for students to remain as cool as possible. We will not be able to focus on our schoolwork if we are uncomfortable due to wearing clothes not suitable for certain weather conditions. Keeping the same uniform policy throughout the year no matter the extreme temperatures would distract students from learning when they are putting more emphasis on staying comfortable amidst the harsh weather. To keep students’ learning optimized and health prioritized, a temporary change to the uniform policy would allow students to feel comfortable at school and less affected by extreme weather conditions.