In an effort to eliminate educational distraction, MSU imposed a ban on student hat wear. While the administration passed the decision under supposedly good intentions, the hat ban has exhibited jarring repercussions.
Created as a form of protection against the outside elements, hats have grown to fill a much greater role within modern society. This role is particularly important within the larger social sphere of MSU, separating the Bridger bros from the fishing fanatics, the anime artists from the wider creative crowd. In other words, MSU students rely on hats to mark their place within the campus population.
“I couldn’t even recognize my buddy,” said MSU sophomore and Pro-Hat enthusiast Ben Dover in reaction to the disruptive ban.
Dover’s words offer a deep insight into the oppositional student movement that has swept the Bobcat campus. The Pro-Hatters represent a large sector of students bent on exposing the true consequences of a policy thinly veiled under the false assumption of educational enrichment. Rather than “pause distraction and promote equality,” as claimed by MSU President, Waded Cruzado, the ban strips students of expression and provokes confusion. The unnecessary stress has turned classrooms into anxiety cells.
The ban has not only affected the students on a personal level — stifling expression and triggering classroom shivers — but has also impeded long-established learning processes.
“My class centers on group work,” said MSU physics professor Sharon Cox. Ph.D. “With the current ban on hats, countless time is wasted because of the impaired recognition. Students have to first find their group members. This process is often followed by reintroductions. The hats represent such a loss of identity.”
This loss points to large scale identity theft. Not in the sense of lost credit cards or stolen social security numbers, but in the true sense of identities stolen. How can students be expected to recognize their friends amongst the ban when they can no longer recognize themselves?
Strangely enough, the outraged Pro-Hat Movement has witnessed slim participation on behalf of female students.
“You know, I’m not really sure,” said Barry McCockner, one of the founders of the Movement, when asked about the lack of female involvement. “I mean, I think of it as a band of brothers type thing. We lose our hats, that’s our uniform, that’s what separates us from the other dudes.”
Despite the discrepancy, the larger issue remains our greatest battle. While MSU administrators may exclaim hats off to the ban, let’s reinvent the term and cry hats on to justice.