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Hampton bans cornrolls and dreads for degree

Mr_Socrates06Mr_Socrates06 Registered User Posts: 365 Member
edited April 2006 in Howard University
HAMPTON, Va. - Afros are OK but cornrows and flowing dreadlocks are not for business administration students at Hampton University.

The hair code is part of a strict academic and dress doctrine for combined business administration students at the private, historically black university. The program allows students to receive a bachelor's degree and a master's in business administration in five years.

In addition to the hair rules, students must maintain a B average after their sophomore year, heed a conservative dress code, complete two internships and meet regularly with business leaders. "We don't have problems with Afros," business Dean Sid Credle said Friday. "

"We don't have problems with Afros," business Dean Sid Credle said Friday. "A nicely tapered Afro - that's fine."

Credle said the dress, grooming and behavior rules are intended to prepare students for the starched business world.

"When we look at the top 75 African Americans in corporate America, we don't see any of them with extreme hairdos," he said.

With the requirements, "they'll get very comfortable wearing a suit over a five-year period. When they get into corporate America, the transition will be easier," Credle said.

Aaron Wells, a junior from Fairfax, put away his earrings when he enrolled. He's got no complaints.

"It really gives us a very good model of what we should be doing in corporate America," said Wells, who hopes to pursue a career in finance. "We need to look the part as professionals."

Credle said only one or two students per year have not complied.

Jack L. Ezzell Jr., the president of Zel Technologies, a defense contractor in Hampton, said different businesses have different standards. Distinctive dress and hairstyles "might be acceptable in, say, advertising or some other medium that's a bit more informal and creative," he said.

"But clearly, if you were targeting banking or maybe the military or someplace that's a lot more rigid, you've got to be really cautious in doing that."

At his company, standards also vary for technicians and people in marketing.

"Where I have someone who is going to potentially meet with the customer," Ezzell said, "I expect them to look more like the customer would. "I've seen dreads and earrings that look good.

"If they are exceptionally bright, I would not turn them off automatically. But I know many of my business associates would."

At Norfolk Southern Corp., hair and dress matter less than ability, spokeswoman Susan Terpay said. "When we hire new employees," she said, "we focus on their education, their skills and the unique abilities they can bring."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



I FIGURED I WOULD POST THIS HERE SINCE NO ONE READS THE HAMPTON BOARD.


I THINK THIS RULE IS RIDICULOUS. HOW WILL WE EVER DIVERSIFY THE WORKPLACE? I MEAN WHAT'S WRONG WITH DREDS? CORNROWS? I GUESS THEY LOOK TOO "GHETTO" FOR PEOPLE.
Post edited by Mr_Socrates06 on
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Replies to: Hampton bans cornrolls and dreads for degree

  • thesiren72102thesiren72102 Registered User Posts: 1,672 Senior Member
    When I read the title, I thought that the rule sounded pretty stupid,too. Now that I have read the post, I can see where Hampton is coming from, because what they are saying is true. If one wants to work on Wall Street or some prestigious firm (related to bussiness), then it would be necessary to blend in with the environment. I wish that weren't the case, but that's just the way it is.
  • Tiger PrideTiger Pride Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    I heard about this before...

    and I have mixed feelings on the subject. I can see where they're coming from, but at the same time I feel like an HBCU should seek to diminsh/challenge the rigid, conservative values of the business world.

    Question... are there any rules that limit the types of hairstyles people with "other-textured" hair can have?
  • KyraKyra Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Where is the Hampton Board?
  • KyraKyra Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Also, talk to a few business students at Howard. I have two cousins in the Business program. They wear suits twice a week. The graduates who end up on Wall Street have done several internships and do no have dreads or braids.

    Hamptons rules sound reasonable to me.
  • shaddixshaddix Registered User Posts: 2,256 Senior Member
    Though I am not going to Hampton...I still find this interesting.

    I see where they are coming form, but I disagree with their sentiments....as long as the hairstyle is neat and well kept there shouldn't be a problem. It makes it sound like cornrows and dreadlocks are automatically messy and unpresentable when that is not always the case.

    Still, I guess you must work with the system and their guidelines.

    At the same time I wonder where does one draw the line...what is presentable and what isn't...some may view natural hairstyles the way Hampton views dreads and cornrows...
  • KyraKyra Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Once you get a job, you can do whatever. But you must get it first. First impressions can make or break you. Remember...who is hiring you. Probably a member of the "majority".
  • KyraKyra Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Does anyone know where the Hampton board is?
  • shaddixshaddix Registered User Posts: 2,256 Senior Member
  • shaddixshaddix Registered User Posts: 2,256 Senior Member
    You could get the job, but what if someone decided to get a hairstyle like dreads, cornrows, sisterlocks after the first impression...someone could still fire you on the basis that your appearance is not appropriate for the company.

    To me, the article makes it sound like afros are tolerable at best...but a more eurocentric hairstyle is preferred...
  • Mr_Socrates06Mr_Socrates06 Registered User Posts: 365 Member
    At the same time I wonder where does one draw the line...what is presentable and what isn't...some may view natural hairstyles the way Hampton views dreads and cornrows...

    I think that's my biggest concern. Most people would disagree, I usually try to see people for who they are and not their external looks. Unfortunately, we live in a society where everyone feels a need to conform. I understand what they're saying, but also when are people going to stand up and try to make a change?
  • shaddixshaddix Registered User Posts: 2,256 Senior Member
    I want to be a lawyer with dreadlocks...sounds hard to do...

    I already have a natural hairstyle...dreads might possibly be in the furure...
  • KyraKyra Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    great opinions
  • KyraKyra Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    I guess I lean toward the conservative side.
  • Mr_Socrates06Mr_Socrates06 Registered User Posts: 365 Member
    Yea, here's what someone on another message board said.

    I have cornrows which i always have professionally done and i have managed one of the top law firms in chicago, and am currently an executive for a 1 billion dollar healthcare corporation so thier explanation of why braids and cornorows are not allowed has absolutely no basis and its damn well time that we stop listening to the white mans belief of of what is acceptable and start breaking the mold. National geographic found indians that were sacrificed thousands of years ago that had their hair in braids. How can they say the style is unacceptable when its one of the earliest forms of hair styles, To me this is another form of racism because cornorows, braids, that only affects black people. I dont think these hairstyles with these streaks and zebra stripes are appropriate either but since thats a predominantly white hairstyle no one cares, just a thought
  • thesiren72102thesiren72102 Registered User Posts: 1,672 Senior Member
    My cousin is a successful lawyer with dreadlocks; it just really depends on capability and skill, and if a company judges soley on looks, then why would one want to be part of that type of company?
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