Letter to the editor

Jordan Meyer

I experienced Career Services present to one of my classes this semester on professionalism and professional dress, and was very disappointed in the lack of progressive thought and awareness on their part. The main points stressed the importance of rigid, sexist, classist, old fashioned work norms that UND should be working to break with a new generation of innovative and educated workers.

There was a lot of stress on how women should “keep it classy”, cover their bodies, not be a distraction, etc. In a climate where victims of sexual assault and harassment are finally becoming empowered, it’s disheartening to hear these sorts of statements made about women and their “distracting” bodies. In addition, there were mentions of investing in quality (read expensive) clothing, that perpetuates the thinking that only people who fit the traditional, heteronormative, white, middle class clothing uniform can produce quality work in the business environment. This was also unrelatable for certain members of my class. For example, there are some members of the Muslim community who dress differently than Westerners typically do. This sort of presentation is completely pointless to them. We were also told to cover up tattoos and piercings, as if people who possess such things are all delinquents, as was believed in the 50’s.

This presentation was given during a Media & Diversity class, where the message should especially be inclusion and valuing diversity. With all of the changes that UND has been implementing with budget cuts and reprioritizing, this should be at the top of their list.

Jordan Meyer is a contributing writer