| February 6, 2019

As a Government student, there are many requirements that differ from the rest of the student body at my institution. One of the big ones, is the dress code. We are required to dress “business professional” in every class appearance. Many people ask me “why are you so dressed up?” and “Don’t you hate that rule?” In a word, yes. Sometimes I would prefer to throw on jeans and a T-Shirt and go to class, but the further that I get into my Criminal Justice degree, and understand the way that the system works, the more I appreciate it.

Right now, in the news, all anyone hears about is the government shut down due to President Trump wanting to build a wall the separate the American/Mexican border. I have seen countless comments from the media, civilians, celebrities, and even other government officials that have spoken hatred towards the president. While freedom of speech is our God and Constitutionally given right, there is a great difference between speaking out against policy within your rights and being blatantly disrespectful. This is always an issue with each presidency. The entire process of our government is set up in a way that 100% of the nation’s population will never be satisfied. This is due to America being a democratic system where the people essentially get to decide by a majority vote who will be in office each term. Another thing about this system is that our American culture is constantly changing. We used to be a nation that as a majority were farmers and slave owners. Today we have shifted to a nation of business men/women, entrepreneurs, and diversity. With the fact that our culture is constantly shifting in mind, whomever is in office is also always changing. Not just appearance, but ideas, beliefs, and methodology.

With all of this being said, and my personal beliefs being absolutely no factor in this, it truly breaks my heart to see this nation be so disrespectful to our President. While I know and understand that he is not charismatic, speaks without thinking on occasion, and does many things unconventional, he is still in a place of power. The same way that I really disliked having to wake up an extra hour early every day for class to dress up, we as a nation should show respect to any government official in office. The reasoning behind the required dress code, is to implement respect. We as government students must dress nice to not only prepare ourselves for a government position after graduation, but to help us understand that we must present ourselves in a manner that is respectable to anyone we may come in contact with. To help us respect our professors, but also so that our professors respect us. As a student at this institution I am allowed to speak out against the dress code, but I would not go about it by talking badly to or about my professors. I would hold meetings with the policy makers, other students, and eventually present my thoughts to the board. All the while I would attempt to show understanding to those that agree with the dress code, but respectfully present why I disagree. Even if the dress code was not changed, I would walk away with mutual respect between my institution and I.

It is very similar with the government at any level. Even though so many of this nation disagree with certain policies or even the President himself, the only way to productively make your voice heard and get things done is to show respect. This nation is known to be the “melting pot” of different cultures, ideas, and beliefs. We must remember that if one wants to be shown respect, they must first respect others.