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MC T-shirt policy revisited

November 15, 2013

Michelle Ravel / The Courier

With the Turkey Bowl coming up this Saturday, some upperclassman students may nostalgically look back at the time when “Knuck Fox” t-shirts filled the stadium. No longer able to produce shirts of this kind, some students are questioning the t-shirt policy.

In an effort to improve image and brand, Monmouth College implemented a policy regarding the use of its name or logo on t-shirts or other merchandise. This policy states that any vendors must have licenses in order to sell anything Monmouth College related. In order to get the license, the Office of Residence Life must approve any student or organization’s ideas before production begins. If these rules are broken, legal disciplinary actions can be taken under trademark laws, along with disciplinary actions from the school.

This, of course, most obviously applies to t-shirt designs, especially during this time when the Turkey Bowl is right around the corner. Many students are upset the “Knuck Fox” shirts are now forbidden. The most common defense is that the shirts are all in good fun and that Knox College has similar rivalry tactics.

Dean Moshin Masood, however, feels the policy is the step in the right direction. According to Masood, Monmouth College has come far in recent years in every aspect, especially by keeping the college’s image to the public and perspective students. Furthermore, Masood believes his students are better than profane language and hateful, negative representations of the school.

Regardless, students still wish to have the freedom to design their own clothing freely.

While many agree the college was right to overrule “Knuck Fox” shirts, some organizations other objections to the policy. For one, the regulations are vague or confusing to many. For example, there are some students and organizations that have had trouble obtaining permission for shirts they personally did not see huge problems with. One anonymous member of an organization stated their design was rejected because of the color. The design had a shirt color other than red, black, white or gray, so it was not approved along with another reason. Inappropriate designs and slogans have also been forbidden.

There are also some arguments that certain groups get preferential treatment. A few students who object to the rule think older organizations have more freedom when it comes to designs. One anonymous senior fraternity member thinks the rule is hypocritical because Greek organizations are allowed to order letters that are not MC colors or shirts through their Nationals that are not always appropriate.

An anonymous sophomore artist, who has designed quite a few shirts, said, “We preach diversity all the time. But we can’t even have diverse closets. Not everyone wants to wear red and black all the time but still want to ‘rep’ Monmouth. When it comes to design, the policy often crushes a person’s creativity, another thing preached here.”

Claire Griffith
Contributing Writer

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