There has been debate over a recent decision to change the tradition of wearing white and blue gowns to all blue gowns at graduation this June for the Senior Class of 2018, specifically amongst girls.
This recent news has made many students upset, has caused the Class of 2018 officers and advisors to write a letter explaining the decisions made. The letter clearly states that the reasoning for the change in gown color is to show class unity being that this will be the last time they would all be together. Secondly, white is not necessarily one of our school colors. Even though most sports teams have a white jersey, official school colors have always been blue and gold. The graduating class should represent the school by wearing blue and gold. In addition, advisors and officers wish to continue the trend that has begun in most of Bucks County. With increasing awareness of gender equality, this trend is aimed at creating one unified student body regardless of gender identity. Lastly, wearing all blue gowns will return to New Hope tradition. The advisors claim “with many new changes in our high school this is one thing that we can hold onto.” This brought up controversy among the Class of 2018.
Though this letter presented many valid points, the main part at which the students focused on was the closing paragraph where officers and advisors exclaimed “If [students] have any further opinions that [they] would like to express, [advisors] would love to hear them. [They] are more than willing to put them into consideration”. Students of the senior class definitely took advantage of their offer.
Some students even went as far as getting together and creating a letter to the administration explaining their reasoning and expressing their disappointment. Although only two known people did this, other students who were passionate about this color switch were voicing their opinions through social media, like Instagram and Snapchat. This tactic was not knowingly seen by any administration, but it circulated through the grade quickly.
In a similar fashion to the letter that officers and advisors had created, this student letter gave explicit points for why they feel the recent tradition, for at least a decade, should remain the same. The letter stated that during graduation pictures taken in the summer, girls were dressed in white gowns. Students have already paid for these pictures and sent them out to relatives. Secondly, some students have an older sibling’s gown that they had been planning on using and now have to spend money to get a new one. In addition, the students explained that gowns are not gender specific so that students are allowed to choose whichever color they feel appropriate. While traditionally boys have not chosen to wear white, they still have the option to. Lastly, many girls have expressed their concerns decorating a blue cap. Blue clashes with many college colors, and white would allow for a blank canvas.
In conclusion to this letter, the senior class was granted a class vote on the issue. They finally were able to do so on Canvas on Jan. 17. Results from this vote were revealed on Jan. 24. After the Class of 2018 waited anxiously to determine what color they will wear on June 14, it was announced that students will have the option to dress in white or blue caps and gowns.