Converse Cause Controversy

On special occasions, students are required to trade their usual school attire for the dress uniform. The Pace student body transforms into an army of clones in khaki and white apparel. These days emphasize our unity and sense of community, not our individualism. One of our only outlets for self expression lies in our footwear. We are willing to dress alike for these days scattered throughout the year, but recently, our obedience has been called into question. Should we, or should we not, be able to wear Converse on dress uniform days?

For some students, Converse are an essential part of their everyday wardrobe. They are versatile and can be worn throughout each season. The Pace handbook specifies that on dress uniform days, girls must wear leather shoes of certain colors (black, brown and bone) and are prohibited from wearing athletic-type shoes. “Converse DO NOT fall into the leather shoes category and they DO fall under the athletic shoes category,” said Dean of Students Gus Whyte.

Converse were originally created for athletic purposes, and even though they are no longer used as such, they are still not permitted on dress uniform days. Many students have voiced their frustration with this restriction. “I bought a pair of navy Converse specifically to match my navy senior uniform,” said senior Anna Van Zyverden. “The fact that Converse are considered athletic shoes is beyond me.”

Although Mr. Whyte’s argument to this certain restriction is valid, many students are still reluctant to obey the rule. Converse may not the best choice of footwear for these formal days, but wearing them would not hinder students from looking “nice.” Pace students’ main objection, which is compelling, is that Converse are no longer athletic shoes. They cannot be found on any court or playing field. It’s not fair for students to have to conform to the outdated views of our elders in this case.


Photo: Roxie Stricker

Junior Sarah Kitchen displays the uniform skirt with her Converse. Photo: Roxie Stricker