Underclassmen in Maroon: Senior Sweaters


PC: Abby Beamer ('22)

A student wears a maroon sweater on dress day.

 What is something that Bishop’s students know about the color maroon that other teenagers may not understand? That the color belongs to seniors, even if more and more underclassmen have started to wear maroon sweaters on campus.

Assistant to the Dean of Students Ms. Melissa Kirchberg explained that non-seniors “are not allowed to wear maroon polos, sweaters or vests” under any circumstances. The seniors-only maroon tradition has been a part of Bishop’s for at least the 16 years that Ms. Kirchberg has been here, and it will stay that way. Students either do not know about the rules, or just don’t care. But, if they are perfectly aware of this rule, will anything actually change? Last year, around this same time, many students broke dress code by wearing checkered Vans shoes to school. This was very quickly shut down. At first, many students didn’t know that this was against the rules, but many reminders via email were sent to the student body to alert them of this violation. The first email reminder that checkered shoes are not allowed was sent out on October 9, 2018. The email, including several reminders about uniforms including about white shoes, also included a friendly, “It’s your choice.”  Now, it seems that students –albeit less than how many wore checkered Vans –have found the maroon sweaters as another way to disobey the dress code. Why do students feel a need to break dress code, and more generally, break the rules?

“People break dress code all the time,” said Alex Bonaguidi (‘22). “As long as they don’t do it when I’m a senior, it’s fine,” added Tanvi Ghosh (‘22). “I don’t think some people know they are not allowed,” responded Ashley Cohen (‘22). So although some students wearing the sweaters don’t even know the rules, others might just not care about the dress code or the rules around the sweaters. Breaking dress code had become standard, according to the students, and once they know that what they are doing isn’t allowed, they seem to continue to do it anyway.

“I’m not even a senior, and I’m annoyed,” says Alex Scafidi (‘22). Underclassmen violating senior priviledges is disrespectful and undermines the noteworthy tradition at Bishop’s. “It’s been part of the senior tradition for the 16 years since I’ve been here,” said Ms. Kirchberg. 

This being said, it seems like the seniors themselves don’t care much about the maroon sweaters. “I don’t care because I didn’t know (maroon sweaters) were a senior privilege,” said senior Meghan Behr . Her classmate Maddie Yu added, “Maroon polos are off limits, though.”  

So before an underclassman decides to throw on that maroon sweater, they should remember that they are actively breaking the rules, and there are consequences for that. “It’s a privilege that you wait all of high school for,” added Alex. Instead of choosing to break dress code, underclassmen should just throw on a blue sweater and keep senior privileges to the seniors.