Undercover JUGs: dress code violations

Rules surrounding dress code are broken on an every day basis.

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Rules surrounding dress code are broken on an every day basis.


Popularly known as “Justice Under God”, the term JUG stands for “under a burden”, derived from the Latin phrase sub jugum. While JUGs are designed as a consequence to whoever breaks the rules, they are sometimes inconsistently given for a number of reasons. 

In a 2003 article from the Jesuit archives, three girls broke the dress code for a day to see if they would receive a JUG. To everyone’s surprise, none of them received a JUG and merely received some speculating comments.  

Similar to the question leading to the 2003 results, Jesuit Chronicle was curious about which rules are noticed and which ones are less enforced. 

Focusing on dress code, a Jesuit student put this question to the test, breaking the dress code for a couple of days to see whether or not she received a JUG. 

On the first day, this student wore zebra striped pajama pants. Although the pants clearly weren’t were not jeans or dress pants, every teacher who came into contact with this student either didn’t notice or allowed it to slide. 

The next day, she wore a crop top, clearly showing her stomach along with a low neckline. On this day, one teacher did stop and told her to put her jacket back on, and would’ve given her a JUG if it were not for the sake of this experiment. 

Although these results differ slightly with those of the 2003 article, a common trend among the teachers who came into contact with the students out of dress code were where they were hesitant to give out JUGs. Rather, they would either not notice the offense ignore it, or allow the student to fix their outfit.

Although many teachers do consistently give JUGs for violations, as mentioned in the experiment, some might hesitate. 

Why might that be?

English teacher Ms. Milton, who has taught at Jesuit for the last several years as well as during the 90s, admits to only giving out a couple of JUGs each year. She describes what might run through teacher’s heads regarding enforcing rules, specifically dress code. 

Milton explains how teachers might find it uncomfortable to point out a student’s dress code violation. 

“Like [students might think,] ‘were you looking at my underwear?’” Milton said.

Fr. Couture also recognized some challenges with citing dress code.

 “I feel awkward in those cases,” Fr. Couture said. “I never want students to feel uncomfortable with me.” 

Instead of giving a JUG at the first sight of a student violating the rules, Milton will often give students a chance to fix their outfit or behavior. However, if a student breaks the dress code multiple times, Milton is more inclined to give a JUG.

“Like it’s one thing to say oh no, bad shirt. But bad shirt 4 days in a row, then I might give you a JUG.” 

Furthermore, teachers are often focused on their lesson opposed to seeking out students breaking the rules. Because of this, teachers might not even notice when someone is out of dress code or violating another rule. Teachers are also very busy, and can sometimes see something JUG-worthy, but simply do not have the time to stop the student and fill out the paperwork.

When looking at dress code specifically, Jesuit’s is quite moderate compared to other Oregon Catholic high schools. 

Central Catholic’s dress code is more relaxed – giving students the responsibility to make their own choices in what they deem is respectful to wear to school. As stated in the handbook, Central “sets a high standard for success and encourage students to become critical thinkers when considering time and place for different attire.” 

On the other end of the spectrum, Blanchet Catholic school down in Salem requires students to wear a nice top paired with dress pants. 

Jesuit combines these two dress codes, allowing students to wear t-shirts and jeans while also restricting sweat and athletic pants. 

While Central’s students won’t receive any disciplinary action for wearing what they feel fit, Blanchet Catholic School’s consequences are similar to those of Jesuit’s. Blanchet issues a warning if a student breaks dress code 1-3 times, and receives a detention (after-school) for every group of two infractions.