Disgruntled employees and students desire change in our Lifetime Activities Center gym. Within the gym lays a certain rule, one that has students and employees confused and upset. The rule states “no tank tops in the gym; you must wear a short sleeved shirt.” This rule is much criticized and it’s truly unclear as to why exactly it is in place.
Why do we care? It is uncomfortable for many when they work out in sleeved shirts. It has also become a problem between employees and management as well a problem among the new students looking to use the gym.
When employees who wished to be anonymous were questioned on why the rule existed they said it’s in place for sanitary purposes. Another person said it’s to prevent sweat from getting on the rubber and other materials. Being sanitary is a logical idea but how do short sleeves prevent sweat from getting on the weights and other objects in the gym? This seems a bit ridiculous that 5 extra inches of clothing can somehow keep the weight room sanitary. The extra clothing does help a little yet it doesn’t to the point of sanitary or unsanitary. The extra clothing only covers more of your shoulders and armpits but still the sweat will seep into the material and then can find its way on to other objects. A question is immediately brought to mind; within those covered areas of the body are they the only places that can sweat?
When you workout, don’t you tend to notice sweat accumulating from multiple areas on your body and that a shirt doesn’t stop the sweat from getting on the gym equipment. In fact, at Lifetime Fitness they don’t have a tank top rule, yet they do take sanitary precautions. Lifetime Fitness has installed sanitary wipe stations in areas around the gym. They are small dispensers that allow you to pull out a wipe to clean off the equipment before and after use. The dispensers are smaller than the size of a restroom hand towel dispenser and just as useful. This is just one simple way to help prevent sanitary issues.
Many of the people outside the gym who were questioned on the subject didn’t even know of the rule and wondered why as well. If you were to ask around the Student Center concerning this rule, you would probably receive blank stares and be pointed to the Lifetime Activities Center coordinator Rick Medley.
Questioned on the matter, Rick Medley stated, “Certainly the sanitary issues make a strong case for this rule but are not the exclusive reasoning. A college board has set this rule. It is in the rules and regulation set by the institution.”
Again there is no direct reason for the rule yet sanitary reasons seem to be part of it. According to all who use the gym and have also questioned the rule, they say they have received the “sanitary” response as well. You could speculate that there is more behind this rule, but why?
The rule seems to be a lot more than sanitary reasons yet no one could get to the exact reasoning. Could it be that it is just a rule around our campus? If so then why do you see tank tops and spaghetti straps around campus? Why would the College Board create a rule stating no tanks in the gym, yet allow tank tops to be worn around campus? There are still questions to be answered, but with your help maybe we will receive those answers, and in the end a desired rule change.