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Do Not Abuse College Sweatshirt Rule

Kai Blatt/ Staff Illustrator

Currently, the Student Handbook of Expectations barely addresses the second-semester senior college sweatshirt rule, simply stating, “A Senior is allowed to wear a college sweatshirt after Spring Break.” Twelfth graders have long enjoyed this tradition, as it symbolizes all their hard work in the past and their bright futures to come.

But this year, as senior college sweatshirts populate the Marlborough hallways, the UltraViolet is appalled to see a handful of 12th Grade students wearing apparel from schools they have not even applied to, in an attempt to mock schools with less academically challenging reputations. We think this is incredibly rude and urge the administration to update the Student Handbook, limiting seniors to wearing sweatshirts from colleges they have been accepted to. The new rule would not only put a stop to these current seniors’ inconsiderate behavior but also ensure future twelfth graders do not follow in their misguided footsteps.

A small group of seniors has been wearing sweatshirts from colleges considered easier to get into than others in order to laugh with friends at the thought of actually going to such a “bad” school. This is disrespectful to these so-called “bad” colleges, because there is no doubt numerous students work hard each year to be able to attend the schools that some Marlborough girls scorn. Just because a school does not cost $50,000 a year to attend does not mean that it does not provide a valid and useful education to its students. These flippant seniors are acting out of limited knowledge. How would you feel if someone went around wearing Marlborough apparel as a joke, as a vehicle to talk about how terrible it would be to go here? Wearing college sweatshirts is a privilege, not a right, and it is time every senior realizes this.

We at the UV believe the current rule should be altered to say something along the lines of, “A senior is allowed to wear a sweatshirt from a college to which she has been accepted.” The UV recognizes that the majority of the 12th Grade wears sweatshirts from colleges they are going to attend or have another personal connection to, and these girls do not deserve the harsher policy. For example, many girls wear sweatshirts from schools a brother or parent attended and are therefore not being disrespectful. In an ideal world, this restriction would only apply to those seniors being hurtful, but it is obviously impossible to specifically monitor who is mocking a school and who is not.

Furthermore, we cringe to think of any number of girls deliberately demeaning students who may not have had all of the advantages that we have had and therefore do not have as easy access to the Ivy League or to other schools ranked highly by U.S. News, and we feel it is necessary to stop the joke before it becomes a cruel tradition.
Besides, why waste the money? A college sweatshirt usually costs $40 or $50. It is not worth spending this kind of money over something you will wear once or twice to get a laugh about with your friends. After that, you’ll throw it in the back of your closet, where it will continue to sit for years to come.


  1. erin fitzpatrick sullivan June 23, 2012

    wow. maybe we should be reviewing the girls’ EQ instead of their IQ in those halls of marlborough. let’s not perpetuate the reputation of the snobby girls’ school, ladies! good for you, ultra violet.

  2. R.Cassens June 23, 2012

    As the proud parent of one of the students who chose to wear one of the aforementioned sweatshirts, let me say that you have completely missed the point. My senior daughter decided in the 10th grade that she found the whole idea of showing off where one was attending college to be boastful, distasteful, obnoxious, highly insensitive to those who didn’t get into their first choice schools, or were wait listed, and completely counter-intuitive to the idea of equalizing students by having everyone wear a UNIFORM. She made plans back then to wear a sweatshirt from a for-profit school (one whose only admission criterion was the ability to pay). To insinuate that wearing a shirt from a for-profit school is somehow demeaning to other students highlights the relative insecurity of the author. In fact, my daughter was congradulated by her peers for her bravery in making a statement that this tradion is one that should perhaps be re-thought; and I received many calls of support from parents for having a daughter with the guts to do what so many talked about doing themselves. Suspending a uniform policy that is in place for 5 1/2 years so one can brag/show off where one goes to college is wrong. Finally, questioning the validity of a purchase vis a vis its cost and how people choose to spend their own dollars is really no business of the author and has no place in this discussion.

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