Modesty: Where do we draw the line?

By Gabriela Ciurcu, Staff Writer

In a world where the fashion industry screams loud, where do we draw the line of modesty? The discussion of this topic can be considered unpleasant but inevitable, especially with the current fashion standards. 

The Master’s University promotes and upholds the biblical principle of modesty. As expressed in the student handbook under the appearance and dress code rubric, the university defines modesty as “a way of showing honor and respect for one’s body.” Specifically, the dress code extols students to cover “areas that are meant to be kept private, promoting godly character over external adornment, cultivating humility rather than seeking unnecessary attention, and loving one’s neighbor by avoiding becoming an undue source of temptation.”

The spring semester brought new dress code policies that reinforced the student’s conduct for dressing. Under these new policies, repeat dress code offenders are subject to fines of $20, meetings with RDs and possible changes in their student status.

By and large, student response to the changes has been favorable. Student Lindsey Smart expressed that, “Some of the rules can be difficult, but they are definitely durable. We committed to following them, and I think we should make every effort to do that. I don’t think what we are asked to do is unreasonable, even though it might not fit everybody’s preferences.” 

Another student, Miriam White, also expressed that, “I don’t think it is hard to follow the rules when we understand the meaning behind it and the purpose for it, but if we do have a wrong attitude about it, it can be hard.” 

The standards of modesty that Master’s upholds can keep the students accountable. TMU dean of women and director of student care, Brianna Harris, explains, “It is not about being able to agree with our standards of modesty but being willing to submit to them as a way to glorify the Lord.” 

Behind an inappropriate outfit, there are many reasons and motivations. Harris suggested that there can be an issue of attention or pride. She believes that there is a lack of teaching and understanding of the dress code. Today’s culture also plays a big role in the way people dress. 

“We are in the world and culture. We go along with trends and things that are popular when it comes to clothing. It is easy to fall into what everyone is wearing and is cool for the time being,” Harris said. 

There is a difference between being immodest and looking fashionable, and the reasons can be attributed to that. 

 “As believers, we are trying to make sure that every category in our lives comes under the Lordship of Christ,” said TMU’s dean of men, Brett Zamroz. 

Walking alongside the students with patience is something that the resident life is trying to accomplish as they encourage them to think beyond their outfits. 

Gabriela Ciurcu can be reached at ciurcumg@masters.edu 

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