It was ridiculous for RBS to kick students out for wearing the wrong color suits

This experience should serve as a huge wake up call for Rutgers

Rutgers Business School held a Career Fair last Friday at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. Hundreds of students from the prestigious business school lined up to meet and interact with the thousands of employers that attended the career fair, in hopes of getting the opportunity to apply and network with the employees from their long awaited dream jobs.

Unfortunately, many of them were turned away at the door because they were apparently in violation of the event’s dress code. Prior to the event, the Office of Career Management at RBS mandated a dress code of either a dark gray or black professional business suits for all attendants. Students were also to ensure that the pants and jackets of said suits perfectly matched as well. To top off this long list of proper attire, students were then required to wear clean, polished dark-colored dress shoes, and ridiculously enough students were forbidden to wear patterned or white-colored socks.

Due to these policies, a number of students that showed up wearing blue shirts, dark navy suits or brown dress shoes were continuously denied admission to the Career Fair. All of the work that these students put into perfecting their resumes, dressing up for the event and taking valuable time out of their class schedules to go to the Hyatt was thrown away all because the organizers of the event were too adamant about the uniformity of their dress code. Those student’s dreams were undoubtedly shattered in front of their eyes within that very moment. And for what? A ridiculous decision on the “proper” dress code.

Many of these students who were denied entrance to this event will go on to become entrepreneurs someday. Some of the most admired entrepreneurs today do not follow the prestigious dark suit attire. Just take Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs for example, very rarely will you ever see these men – two of the world’s highest earning entrepreneurs – wearing black professional suits and freshly polished shoes.

It’s time to wake up Rutgers! We are all extremely proud to be members of your 250 year old University, but it isn’t 1766 anymore. In the 21st century, talent matters extensively more than the dress code. What employers look for in their prospective employees is knowledge and skills. It does not matter to them what color you are wearing, or how expensive your attire is, as long as you are delivering on your goals.

For some students that come from less fortunate backgrounds, buying a suit on top of paying the ridiculously expensive tuition of a university like Rutgers, is simply out of the question. Students like this need the opportunities of employment that a school-wide career fair could grant them much more than a student who’s flaunting around a newly pressed Armani suit would. Thus, this dress code only stood to deny those unfortunate students from getting an opportunity to better their life, which is indeed a horrible decision on Rutgers part.

This experience should be a wake up call for Rutgers, a university that supposedly prides itself on being a liberal community that offers equal opportunity for everyone. Well, it’s high time that this stance is put into action. Let the employers decide what they are looking for in the students. And if some of them still don’t like the navy-colored suit or brown shoes, it would be their loss on missing out on a bright new prospective.

In a recent development, Dean Lei Lei of the Rutgers Business School formally apologized to the students that were turned away from the career fair. She expressed tremendous regret for turning away these students during the career fair for simple dress code violations. She stated that these actions “cast a shadow over the success we have achieved in helping our students secure meaningful internships and jobs.” The Office of Career Management is currently contacting the students that were turned away, and is helping them reconnect with their prospective recruiters.

Additionally, the deans at RBS will also be meeting with the affected students throughout the next few weeks, and a review of the dress code is already underway and will be revised to ensure that it does not exclude students from opportunities to meet with employers in the future.

Rutgers University