Student input helped create new PE uniforms

Eighth grade students talk as a team, wearing a combination of new and old PE uniforms. Some students still have the old uniforms, while new students and some returning students who requested them, wear the new one (photo by Willa Blair).

As of this school year, ASL has put a new PE uniform in place for the middle school students and staff. This new uniform will be given out to the new students every year and will also be given to returning students who order a new one. 

Due to the desire to make a more positive impact on the environment, these new uniforms will not be given out to returning students unless they order one, as there is no reason for students to waste perfectly good uniforms that still fit and are not ripped.

The new PE uniforms were put in place as a result of students’ opinions. Last year, the student council sent out a survey to the student body in order to understand the main improvements that need to be made throughout the school; the most complaints that the student council received were about the previous PE uniforms. 

The three members of the student council who decided to take action were current ninth grader Rachel Brooks, current seventh grader Tyler Ketchum, and current sixth grader Grace Cochran, with help from middle school PE teacher Mr. Patrick Severijns. 

Brooks said, “I decided to change the Middle School PE uniforms because of feedback from a lot of students in my grade and the ones below. Kids were complaining about their appearance, the material, and the length of the shorts. Therefore, these are all improvements the student council and I hoped to achieve with the design and fit of the new PE uniforms.” 

Some of the other complaints that were made about the previous PE uniforms were that they were too hot and unfashionable. 

“I like the new style better… I do not like the old uniforms, and many people agree with me about that,” seventh grader Kaila Brooks said. “The shorts are way too large and baggy, and the shirt is made out of an uncomfortable material.”

A different opinion from seventh grader Vittoria Di Meo is, “I do not see the point in creating the new uniform; I do not think that there was anything wrong with the old uniforms.” 

The process that occurred last year of producing the new PE uniforms was very lengthy. Mr. Severijns, Brooks, Ketchum, and Cochran started exploring the idea of new uniforms at the beginning of last year, and the survey complaints about the previous uniform prompted them to speed this process up. The final decision was to create the uniforms with a company named Samurai.

“In collaboration with a small committee of student council members, we collectively designed the uniform. On a computer, we designed the shape and aesthetics of the new uniform,” Ketchum said. “We met with the company, Samurai, to choose a fabric we thought best addressed the student body’s complaints.” 

On Samurai’s website, there is an online tool that allows you to create your own PE uniform. Three original designs were made by Brooks, and then a few members from each grade voted on which one was best. Following this, a survey was sent to all the Middle School students to decide on which cut they liked best for the sleeves and neckline. This input was factored into the final decision. 

Mr. Severijns said, “Every time we do our best to create a uniform better than the last one and try to use the students’ feedback via the student council as much as possible.” 

Mr. Severijns and the student council changed the sizes, color, style, and the material of the uniform. It now comes in more sizes: the old uniform used to only have extra small, small, medium, and large, but the new uniform now has eight sizes. 

To add to this, the material of the new PE kit breathes better and is more comfortable. Therefore, the new uniform visually appears more loose compared to the previous PE kit. The new uniform also has more color, a different shade of orange, and a small orange eagle shown at the back. 

 “I like the new uniform design better and also think it shows more of ASL’s colors than the old uniform did,” seventh grader Sara Kim said.

However, some students have mixed opinions with this color combination change. For example, seventh grader Kaya Harrell said, “I like the color combination of the old PE uniform better since I think that there is too much orange in the new one, which is overwhelming.” 

Overall, out of the students and staff interviewed, seventy percent preferred the new uniform. This is mainly because of the more comfortable material and better fashion.

About Sophia Bassi ('24)

Staff Writer 2017-2018

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