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Dress Code Controversy at Rutgers B-School

February 16, 2017
 
 

The Rutgers University Business School has apologized after a number of students were turned away from its annual career fair last week due to a newly instituted dress code for the event.

The policy (at right) -- established by the Rutgers Office of Career Management, which hosts the career fair -- requires that students attending the event wear either dark gray or black professional attire.

On the webpage for the job fair, it says professional business attire is mandatory and that “students who do not adhere to our guidelines will be turned away at the door. No exceptions!”

University personnel strictly enforced the policy at the event, which was held Friday, Feb. 10, in New Brunswick, N.J. Students wearing brown, navy and lighter shades of gray were barred from entering the event, according to The Daily Targum, Rutgers’s student newspaper.

For some students, even those dressed in navy suits or wearing brown dress shoes, this meant missing out on an opportunity for networking, internships and jobs.

Lei Lei, dean of the Rutgers Business School in Newark and New Brunswick, said in a statement that the deans of the business school met Tuesday to discuss what happened. Afterward, they reached out to the students who were affected by the dress code policy and offered to connect them with recruiters from the career fair.

In the statement, Lei also said the university is reviewing the dress code with plans to revise it so something like this doesn’t happen again.

“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,” she wrote in the statement. “Our career management process is not perfect, and we look forward to working with our recruiters and students to further improve our practices, including the dress code guidelines.”

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