STORC discusses leggings, ethics



A new student organization at UNI, the Study of Religion Club (STORC), held its first meeting on Wednesday, Step. 16 with the topic of “Religion and, uh, leggings?


The Study of Religion Club (STORC) had its first meeting  on Wednesday, Sept. 18 in Bartlett Hall. The topic of the evening? Leggings.

“Our main goal is to have a conversation with people of different perspectives. Everyone contributes in different ways,” said STORC president Jude Bleile, a fourth-year religion major. “It’s a different way of understanding the same world.”

The past few years have seen much controversy over whether or not people should be allowed to wear leggings in places such as college campuses and churches. Two articles were passed around at Wednesday’s meeting, both from the perspectives of members of the Catholic faith, one from a mother of four boys and the other by a Catholic man. The group read the articles and discussed the questions that came with each person’s opinions.

Some asserted that it was a woman’s body and, therefore, her choice to wear leggings wherever she pleased. Others agreed with the statement but questioned whether it was respectful to others to wear leggings in certain environments such as churches, schools and college campuses.

This led to a discussion of today’s societal norms, in which  leggings play a large role. Attendees noted that one sees individuals wearing leggings almost everywhere they go.

Next came the question of who gets to decide where leggings can be worn. Members of the church? The person in charge of the area you’re currently in? There was no concrete answer the group could come up with.

“While one’s clothing may offend somebody, you’re never going to be able to please everyone,” said Rachel Dillavou, a fourth-year double major in anthropology and religion.

Dillavou’s answer prompted a new discussion of morality and ethics. One member compared wearing leggings in a church to wearing shoes in someone’s house; some people are fine with it, but others respectfully ask you to take your shoes off. It can be seen as very disrespectful to go into someone’s home and go against their wishes. Dillavou raised the question of what constitutes as someone’s house. For example, if you wore leggings to the Iowa State Fair, which involves thousands of people, there would be no single person whose house you would be entering. Others responded by saying that those in charge of the area should have the jurisdiction to enforce dress code in that area.

The conversation then shifted to UNI’s policy on leggings. While there are certain rules and regulations one must follow, students are allowed to wear leggings on campus. The group inquired if there were other college campuses where this is not the case.

“Most definitely,” said Michael Graziano, assistant professor of religion and STORC’s advisor. “There are public and private colleges that have had this debate in the past and now ban leggings from their campus.”

Jayden Moore, a third-year student double majoring in real estate and finance, wore leggings and a t-shirt to the meeting.

“Do you feel powerful in those leggings?” asked Susan Alverio, the club’s secretary and a second-year student double majoring in history education and religion.

“A little bit,” Moore said. “I’m also feeling a little exposed.”

“I wanted to prove a point,” Moore said, “as it’s typically women who wear leggings and not men.”

The meeting concluded with a thank-you from Bleile and an announcement about STORC’s next meeting.

“Pints with Professors” will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31 at the Octopus on College Hill, when the group will be discussing the history of the devil. All are welcome to attend.