Officials from the Student Recreational Center announced via a Facebook post Tuesday that a stricter health policy would be enforced to reduce the spread of diseases and infections.
The announcement sparked some controversy, as several students complained on social media that they would not be able to work out in shorter athletic shorts, sports bras, tank tops or other clothes that expose certain parts of skin.
The initial post had an illustration with red X’s through such clothing items.
The post was later deleted and replaced with an illustration clarifying that such clothing items would be permitted as long as the wearers brought a towel to use as a barrier between their sweaty bodies and the machines.
The change does seem to be somewhat random— students were perfectly safe using the spray and paper towels provided by the Rec to wipe down the machines before, but suddenly, that’s not good enough.
However, the policy should be followed and respected, because the reasons behind it are in everyone’s best interest.
Certain fungi such as ringworm and athlete’s foot thrive in a warm, moist gym environment, while more serious bacteria and viruses have been known to prey on unsuspecting gym goers as well.
With the new policy, everyone will still be able to see you flex all of your best assets, and in the meanwhile, people can keep their grotesque skin conditions to themselves.
The Rec officials should have been clearer from the start instead of implying that they would start some sort of perspiration fashion police, especially since many gym instructors wear the same clothes that would have been prohibited.
Nevertheless, people should not complain about more sanitation in public facilities.
Despite having to throw an extra towel into the laundry every week (or several, depending on your level of ambition), reducing the chances of catching skin conditions that require awkward doctor visits, copious amounts of medicinal lotions and sketchy explanations to significant others is worth the trade-off.
As long as the Rec workers are consistent in their enforcement, taking the initiative to implement a policy that should have been in effect in the first place is a step in the right direction.
Though walking all the way to the Rec and getting turned away because of fashion choices would certainly be frustrating, it still beats the internal battle of will power to not scratch that nasty rash during a lecture.