Is it OK to be barefoot on campus?
April 15, 2009
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The Daily Forty-Niner says:
While many businesses have “No shirt, No shoes, No service” policies, clothing requirements at CSULB aren’t so clear-cut.
Along with other campus officials, Robert Quirk, the director of Facilities Management for CSULB, said that he knows of no specific campus-wide dress policy regarding students attending classes.
“I don’t think it’s been regulated to policy,” Quirk said.
Quirk said campus dress code is a matter of social norms, except in certain cases where professors and departments require their students to come to class shoe-clad in order to avoid safety hazards.
Barbara Sasser, the Risk Manager for CSULB, confirmed this.
“There is no general requirement for the required attire in a classroom setting,” she said. “The exception to this are laboratory settings, which would include fine arts studios.”
One campus-goer who gladly comes to CSULB shoeless is “Barefoot” Ken Bob Saxton, who is an electronics technician for the College of Engineering. He has been working barefoot on campus since 1997.
“At first, I knew it was no problem, as I worked pretty much alone in my own workshop,” Saxton said in an e-mail. “Then, one day, when the Dean of Engineering called me up to work on his computer, I thought to myself, ‘Why put my shoes on?'”
Saxton said that, although the dean gave his feet a double-take, the dean had no problem with his bare feet.
“The administrative assistant even gave me a thumbs up,” Saxton said.
He said he did wear sandals in the ceramics class labs as a student in the 1980s, where students were required to wear shoes.
Saxton said that when he goes off campus on business duties wearing shoes, “folks who know me, and see me with footwear, invariably ask, ‘Why are you wearing shoes?'”
Saxton says you can learn about the Society for Barefoot Living at www.barefooters.org.