Dear In The Headlights: A modest proposal

By Jimmy Phillips

When you sign onto the Olivet ship, you agree to abstain – from sex, alcohol, and drugs. You also agree to hold yourself to a certain level of physical modesty, at least until the clocks strikes half past four.

There is one difference, however, between these two different clauses of the same contract. One is in effect all year long – every last one of the 365, sometimes 366, days. The other, we are free to neglect like a leaky faucet for at least a fourth of the calendar year.

I am here to urge the powers that be to enact a modesty clause that would cover the student body even during the summer.  If Student Development were to put the same weight to a violation of the dress code as they did drugs or alcohol, then we would see less skin on this campus and would better maintain our moral North, even when school is not in session.

Allow me to explain why I find this to be of the utmost importance.

As an ambassador of Christ, you can avoid the bottle and snort nothing but fresh air. But if you dress like you want more than your mother’s love, you will have a difficult time evangelizing.

Men, your calf muscles have been known to turn women on. If this happens, they will be more drawn to the strength of your legs than the saving power of the cross. Wear pants.

Women, the eyes of men are flesh magnets. Help guard their hearts by wearing a turtleneck and a floor-length skirt.

This year, I had reasons for arriving on campus early, before the dress code had to be followed. While I love and appreciate those who serve as student leaders, I saw them wearing garments – if they can be called such – for which they write students up when the dress code is in effect. The hypocrisy is nearly as revolting as the lack of fabric. If you claim to be a leader, then lead.

Lead by example, because if you do not, you are failing the students of this campus who look to you for guidance.

Here is my proposal: The University should issue habits to all female students and scapula to the boys. We could all be extras for “Sister Act.” If you are caught wearing anything other than this uniform prior to the proper time, you’re busted.

This would extend to all areas of your life. As things are, you can be punished for having a picture of you and an amber bottle on Facebook. I say the same consequences ought to apply if your hemline is too short or your tank top insubstantial.

It is about time we take our calling seriously and live our entire lives as though Jesus were standing at our door. Abstinence and modesty are two sides of the same coin, and neither should be neglected.

Please, clothe yourselves.


  1. I hope to God this is satire.

    What is this Shari’ah law? I didn’t know we were all planning on going back to Orthodox Judaism. Guess I should start growing out my beard…

    When a university feels the need to regulate every area of its students lives, especially a Christian university, it gives the wrong impression about what Christianity is. Christianity is not a set of rules to follow but an inner conviction. If the inner conviction is not there, no amount of pushing or prodding by an institution will change that.

    While we are at it, why don’t we restrict coffee and soda intake as well? It has been shown that caffeine has adverse effects on the body and mind, and we all know “our body is a temple to the Lord.” While we are at it, all consumers of fast food should be fined and/or suspended, because fatty, salty food is more addictive than heroin and causes more death than alcohol poisoning and drug overdosage every year. The Red Room and Common Grounds and Higher Grounds should all be closed down as they are providers of sinful substances.

    Or we could instead focus on becoming a body of Christ followers who love one another and ourselves enough to abide by certain virtuous behaviors without the prodding of punishment. The philosopher John Stuart Mill once said that action undertaken by threat of punishment is not moral action. I think that applies in this situation.

    Please oh please say it was satire. Then maybe I can just laugh instead of being so vastly concerned.

    1. This piece was satire. Olivet does not “feel the need to regulate every area of its students’ lives.” The author was writing to emphasize his frustrations (in a sarcastic fashion) regarding his opinion toward some students’ treatment of the dress code. The views expressed in the Opinion section of the GlimmerGlass are those of each writer and are not necessarily held by the faculty, administration or student body of Olivet Nazarene University.

      1. The world needs a lesson in how to recognize satire. I thought the title gave it away.

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