Students speak out against FitSpace dress code
East Gym FitSpace began enforcing their dress code, including no crop tops or cropped shorts.
In light of East Gym FitSpace beginning to enforce its dress code, many students on campus have decided to object.
Binghamton University has had a dress code in place since 2013, but began enforcing it on visitors to East Gym a few weeks ago, several students noted. The dress code prohibits students from wearing clothing that could expose a large part of the body, including ringers, sports bras, crop tops and short shorts. Students also cannot wear clothing that has a zipper or rivets, as well as clothing made from hard materials, such as jeans.
According to Clyde Robinson, director of campus recreation services (CRS), the dress code has been in place since at least 2013 and was issued to help reduce the spread of bacteria, disease and bodily fluids.
“The dress code has been put in place to help reduce the potential exposure of our customers to viruses and skin infections that can be transmitted through contact with equipment,” Robinson wrote in an email. “Best practices for mitigating these risks include placing barriers between an individual’s skin and equipment. In addition to limiting the risk of skin infections, the policy also helps protect equipment from degradation by sweat and body oils. Once the upholstery has been damaged, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Many students have reacted negatively to the recent enforcement. One such student is Jenna Leonardi, a member of the Girl Gains Lifting Club and a junior biomedical engineering student, said she believes the dress code is only being enforced now as a method of controlling students.
“It’s the same as last year,” Leonardi said. “They’re just trying to enforce stupid rules and they say it’s for health precautions, but it’s actually just a way to control students. If they really cared about health precautions, they would have enforced the mask mandate when it was in place, and they just didn’t. They target students in general, so they can’t wear anything comfortable. If you go to a private gym, a dress code is understandable, but for a public gym which is the only option for many students, it’s unfair.
Fellow Girl Gains Lifting Club member Jaceka Aziz, a freshman chemistry student, suggested that gyms shouldn’t restrict students from wearing clothes they wear for comfort on campus.
“I really don’t think this gym should be allowed to have a dress code, especially with the amount we have to pay,” Aziz said. “I pay to go to a gym where I can’t even be comfortable. I think the reasoning, the skin-to-skin contact, is crap because we’re adults and we know how not to be on top of each other. Now if you show an inch of your stomach they throw you in a green vest and you look like you’re in jail.
According to Robinson, CRS follows the same dress code used in many other schools across the country, in terms of clothing allowed in the gymnasium.
“We are an active member of our national college recreation organization, [the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association], NIRSA,” Robinson wrote. “Last spring and summer, we consulted with a number of colleagues in the region regarding the dress code policies in place at other universities. Our dress code policy is the same or very similar to that of facilities across the country, with the same goal: to maintain the health and safety of guests. Currently, any student who comes to the fitness center and does not wear approved attire has been offered a free t-shirt or bib to wear instead of being fired. We try to be as accommodating as possible. »
Either way, several students want to see the application terminated.
To solve the problem, Aziz expressed the wish that the dress code be abolished or that the gymnasium be enlarged so that the students are less likely to come into close contact.
“If they’re really trying to enforce this dress code because of ‘skin-to-skin contact,’ then expand your gym,” Aziz said. “The people who are usually on top of each other are the ones on the weightlifting side because the cardio side takes up more than half of the gym and it’s usually empty. People have certain routines they have to do and with the limited equipment , we have to wait longer in the space. Instead of focusing on what we wear, they have to focus on improving their gym, which we pay for.”