Around campus, we celebrate Purple Wednesday. I’ve worked on campuses where students almost always wear clothing with their institution on it. I’ve also worked on campuses where students have rarely worn their institutional logo. It is fun to see students take such pride in their institution. Now that I’m working at Cornell, staff has started a new movement, known as Purple Wednesdays. I am pretty sure folks who work in the primary administrative office will turn into dust if they walk in the door without wearing purple.
My former supervisor wore purple every day, so I had intentionally weeded most of the purple out of my wardrobe. But, now I find that when I am shopping for clothing, I rarely will consider purchasing it if it is not purple. A few of us around campus have also started to turn Fridays into Purple Shoe Friday. While we haven’t fully moved to a campus-wide movement, it has been fun to see purple shoes show up in a few different places. The winter months have also adjusted the way we wear shoes. Boots have quickly become more fashionable in lieu of snow and slush.
It’s fun to see the ways that staff and students take pride just through a simple clothing choice. The shame that comes in not wearing purple, the strategies and tactics we use to make sure we’re always wearing purple on Wednesday. Purple has become a theme in our lives, rather than something secondary to our campus culture.
With a new year, new president, new academic calendar, new building renovations, and other components of new, it’s fun to be part of a transformational campus culture. What is seemingly a way to create enthusiasm across campus is also a way to change the way we interact, engage with, and work together.
Have you found a pair of great purple shoes? I’ve got a pair from Lands End I bought a few years ago and a pair of double-tongue Converse. Do you have purple shoes? Are there wardrobe trends at your campus or place of employment?