PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rutgers University has apologized after turning students away from a career fair for wearing the wrong colored clothing.
Rutgers Business School issued a formal apology in a statement on Thursday for barring students from entering a Feb. 10 job fair who wore attire that violated a new dress code, NJ.com reported.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, everyday campus chic at Rutgers runs towards sweats and jeans, but when the business school recently sponsored an event with corporate recruiters at a New Brunswick hotel, a very specific dress code was enforced at the door.
Flyers for the event showed the stringent new policy forbids men from wearing blue suits, colored shirts, bright patterned ties, brown shoes, white socks and other attire. Among other things, women were instructed not to wear lots of makeup, ballet flats, and large jewelry.
One sophomore told The Daily Targum, the student newspaper, that he was turned away for wearing suede shoes. Another sophomore said he was told his dark blue navy suit was too light.
“My suit was not grey enough,” Ryan Doyle explained.
Doyle was turned away because the suit he wore was gray, but not dark grey.
After he was denied entrance Doyle showed initiative — switching suits with a friend who wore black.
“He went in first. I went in second. We switched in the bathroom,” Doyle said.
An online student petition prompted an apology from the school.
Administrators said the dress code change was in response to students who did not dress properly in past years. Senior Associate Dean Martin Markowitz said the school did not permit blue to avoid confusion with different shades.
“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,” the school said in its apology. “We regret that the actions at last week’s career fair adversely affected some of our students and cast a shadow over the success we have achieved in helping our students secure meaningful internships and jobs.”
A note on the fliers read ‘You should differentiate yourself by your accomplishments…not by your dress.’
“I think it’s fair if they informed people in advance,” Jennifer Nelson said.
The business school said the stricter dress code was developed with input from recruiters.
Rutgers said it will help students who were turned away get in contact with recruiters.
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