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Last updated 5:37AM ET
February 26, 2021
UWA Institutes Student Dress Code
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Tank tops are out at the University of West Alabama, and there's not a whale tail in sight.

West Alabama this semester became one of the nation's first state-supported universities to enact a dress code for students. Enforcement is more by gentle encouragement than strict edict. But many of the school's 1,900 students are still steaming.

West Alabama administrators say they decided to impose the rules to improve the image of the campus. They said they also wanted to help students learn what to wear in the workplace after graduation. Administrators say more than half the school's students, drawn largely from a poor, rural region of the state, are the first in their families to attend college.

But many students are saying they don't like being told what to wear.

B.J. Johnson, a 19-year-old electrical engineering major from Foley said he thinks the rules are ''stupid'' because he says college is supposed to be about freedom and expression.

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