A united uniform front: Archer students required to wear uniforms on-campus, at home


Photo credit: Chloe Richards

Uniform policy posters hanging in the bathroom describing the new rules from the 2018-2019 school year. As students return to campus they are now required to wear their uniforms whilst on-campus in addition to students who are continuing remote learning.

By Vaughan Anoa'i, Editor in Chief

As Los Angeles County ventures into the yellow tier, and students are permitted to participate in on-campus learning more frequently, the Archer administration made an announcement on April 12 requiring students in grades 6-11 to wear their Archer uniforms when on-campus as well as when learning remotely. Following the Spring Break vacation, Archer required all students, with the exception of seniors, to wear their Archer uniforms when learning on-campus.

“With the exception of Seniors who may choose free dress instead of their uniforms, we would like all other students to wear their Archer uniforms when on campus starting after Spring Break (April 26, 2021),” Head of School Elizabeth English wrote in an email to addressed to all faculty and students. “Appropriate free dress will be acceptable until that date.”

Following the break, as more students arrived on-campus wearing their uniforms, junior Lily Miro commented on the sense of “togetherness” that the Archer uniforms promote at this time.

“I think it’s really smart for students to have to wear their uniforms on-campus,” Miro said. “Especially coming back from being online, I think it promotes togetherness and a feeling of unity at Archer.”

Echoing Miro’s sentiment, junior class dean and English teacher Kathleen Bergen said she believes uniforms are important and create sense of community for all students, regardless of grade level.

“I’m very pro-uniform, I wish that I wore a uniform to work because I feel like wearing clothing that not necessarily is exactly like everyone else, but signifies that you’re a part of a larger community,” Bergen said. “It is helpful in making people feel like they’re a part of something.”

As someone who has decided to continue remote learning at home, sophomore Kennedy Schultz said it was hard at first to feel included and in-sync with her classmates who were learning on-campus, but the recent implementation of the uniform has contributed to a more universal feeling of inclusion and normalcy.

“I feel like by wearing a uniform you can also feel more apart of the group who’s there,” Schultz said. “You feel more included by wearing the uniforms, and I feel that could be beneficial … They [the administration] want to make people feel more included in the conversations for people who are on Zoom, and I think they’re trying to get us more acclimated to regular school as well.”

Considering that the first COVID-19 lockdown began in late March of 2020 and did not permit in-person learning until last month, Bergen said there were challenges in implementing the usage of uniforms, both for students who planned on returning, and those who felt more comfortable staying at home.

“Not everybody may have had uniforms ordered or uniforms that fit because some people have changed over the past 15 months, which is a ridiculous amount of time,” Bergen said. “I know that an email went home to parents saying that anybody who needs uniform tops, we have a ton of them so we’ll just send them. It was just in an effort to make sure that everybody had the same opportunity.”

In contrast, Schultz said the incorporation of this new rule may cause students to feel uncomfortable turning their cameras on during their classes or wearing the uniform in general.

“It’s making people feel less comfortable sharing their video,” Schultz said. “A lot of people don’t want to be seen wearing their uniform or they’re not wearing their uniform and they don’t want to put it on, so they’re just going to turn off the camera even more than before.”

Since Miro has attended in-person learning before the Spring Break when free dress was permitted, as well as after the vacation when uniforms are now mandatory, she said she believes in the importance of wearing the Archer uniforms, regardless of one’s learning location.

“I think the idea to have them [students] wearing uniforms when they’re on Zoom definitely ties the two worlds together of being on Zoom and being on-campus,” Miro said. “When wanting to feel the Archer spirit again, the uniforms definitely help because they’re the Archer uniforms, they’re a staple.”