A minor controversy erupted in 2005 when some members of Northwestern University's national champion women's lacrosse team visited the White House wearing flip-flops. The team responded to critics by auctioning off their flip-flops on eBay, raising $1,653 USD for young cancer patient, Jaclyn Murphy of Hopewell Junction, New York, who was befriended by the team. There is still a debate over whether this signaled a fundamental change in American culture — many youth feel that flip-flops are dressier and can be worn in a variety of social contexts, while older generations feel that wearing them at formal occasions signifies laziness and comfort over style. In 2011, while vacationing in his native Hawaii, Barack Obama became the first President of the United States to be photographed wearing a pair of flip-flops. The Dalai Lama of Tibet is also a frequent wearer of flip-flops and has met with several U. S. presidents, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, while wearing the sandals.
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