Campus News

Why the campus Rec has a dress code

The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center has a dress code policy to prevent the spread of a bacteria. | Sydney Rose/The Cougar

If students want a chance to work out, dabble in a sport or just grab some Smoothie King, the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is the place to go.  They just have to make sure that they follow the dress code set in place.

The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center has always had a dress code policy, according to their Associate Director of Facilities and Operations Rachel O’Mara, and it’s there to prevent the spread of bacteria. 

“(The dress code policy) was reviewed and revised in Fall 2017,” O’Mara said. “The revision was to help us find ways to prevent the potential spread of infectious disease such as MRSA and to make the policy more clearly objective and enforceable by our student staff.”

MRSA is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that is spread through contact of skin or an object with the bacteria already on it.

About 2 percent of the population can carry this disease with them and gym equipment can transfer MRSA to others.

O’Mara said that the apparel policy requires an individual’s front and back to be fully covered to minimize skin-to-machine contact, which helps prevent spreading MRSA. 

“The students’ health is our top priority,” O’Mara said. “Reducing the skin-to-machine contact reduces the risk of spreading infectious diseases such as MRSA.”

The dress code policies that the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center follows goes under three categories: footwear, shirts and bottoms.

O’Mara said that footwear requires students to wear closed-toe, non-marking, rubber-soled shoes along with no high heels, cleats or sandals.

Shirts have to fully cover the chest and torso, and clothing that exposes the skin below the pectoral line is not permitted. Bottoms apply to not wearing jeans or khakis in the weight room at the rec.

The dress code can sometimes affect whether or not a student chooses to work out at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

Pre-business freshman Darren Nguyen said he tries to go to the rec at least three times a week.

“Dress code kind of makes me want to go less, because it’s inconvenient if I’m not wearing the right attire. I just won’t go,” Nguyen said. “I’ll go work out off campus at my other gym.”

Nguyen said that since the fee for the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is mandatory, students should be able to wear what they want and that the policies are too strict. He said if students don’t have the right attire, they have to go buy it, which is just another expense to add on.

The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center consulted the topic with the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association, Women and Gender Resources Office, Student Government Association and got approval by the Campus Recreation Advisory Board. 

“We found through our benchmarking of other universities across the nation that our dress code is in alignment with the majority,” O’Mara said.

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