The Results are in: Black and White Gowns Win Again

Graduates+from+the+class+of+2014+wore+black+and+white+gowns.+The+contreversy+for+the+gown+color+for+the+class+of+2015+will+follow+in+RHS+tradition+of+black+and+white.+--Camilla+Torres

Graduates from the class of 2014 wore black and white gowns. The contreversy for the gown color for the class of 2015 will follow in RHS tradition of black and white. --Camilla Torres

Graduates from the class of 2014 wore black and white gowns. The contreversy for the gown color for the class of 2015 will follow in RHS tradition of black and white. --Camilla Torres
Graduates from the class of 2014 wore black and white gowns. The contreversy for the gown color for the class of 2015 will follow in RHS tradition of black and white. –Camilla Torres

After weeks of intense controversy and arguing over the appropriate attire for the Class of 2015’s graduation ceremony, the surveys and polls can be put to rest. The decision has been made for this year’s seniors to don the classic black and white gowns, a staple of Rockville graduation ceremonies for years.

Following the announcement that the traditional colors might be abandoned, many seniors disagreed over the right look. With the possibility of the color orange being incorporated into this year’s gowns, opinions flared.

On Jan. 22, school administration released the verdict to go with the traditional look. It was by no means an easy decision, and numerous variables came into play. Concerns of additional costs, unfairness among genders and unified class image all came to the forefront of the debate.

Principal Billie Jean Bensen said, “The initial idea did not come about because of a color, it came about because of some thinking about what’s right and wrong having to do with one, money.” When it came down to it, Benson decided that excessive costs for new custom gowns would be unnecessary.

“I was seeing it more from a financial, and a “it’s time to be one class and not twoa�� [standpoint],” Bensen said. Based off this ideal of a unified class, the options became all white, all black, orange, or a combination. Black with orange was another possible idea that gained support.

Many seniors supported the possibility of black and orange gowns, while others wanted the time- tested look. Ultimately, most seniors were satisfied with the final decision. Senior Erin Johnson said, “I understand why people wanted the black and orange, but I’m definitely happy with the black and white.”

Principal Bensen said, “We worked very hard with several companies to try to get that [black and orange] and ultimately, the cost would be too prohibitive. They wanted a lot of money to redesign the standard gown and put a different piece in.” Later she added, “Cost is a huge factor in deciding to go white and black this year.”

Many are still hoping for one united color for next year, and their dreams may come true. As for the single color, Bensen said, “We’re gonna keep working on that for next time around. It just became a cost issue, that was the primary piece. I absolutely support going to one gown and we’ll continue to work on that for future years, finding a solution. I believe we need orange in there somewhere.”