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Ohio State ups its gym dress code enforcement

While many students are now aware of Ohio State’s gym dress codes, the policy is nothing new. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Recreation centers across campus are more clearly enforcing Ohio State’s Office of Student Life Recreational Sports dress code policy, with signs appearing in facilities across campus.

Though the policy is being enforced and noticed more often now, it is not new.

The apparel guidelines, for men and women, remind people to refrain from wearing extreme cut-offs, sheer or see-through tops, stringers and crop tops and sports bras instead of shirts to the gym. The policy seeks to create a “welcome and inclusive environment” as well as promote health and maintain equipment, according to the signs.

Lizzie Wilson, a first-year in environmental science, goes to the gym four or five times each week and said she has never seen the dress code enforced, but believes having a dress code is not an issue.

“I feel like a lot of guys wear low-hanging muscle shirts. I think it’s fine,” she said, adding she’s “never seen someone in a straight-up sports bra,” either.

Grant Fisher, a fourth-year in agribusinesses and applied economics, said he has seen people violating the dress code, but never egregiously.

He said he works out at the RPAC about five times each week, but has never seen someone get in trouble for their clothing.

Dave Isaacs, a spokesman for the Office of Student Life, said the policy was instituted when the RPAC opened in 2005.

Isaacs said because of changing workout fashion, some students wore clothes that were deemed “over the line” in Autumn Semester. Thus, guidelines were hung up in all gyms after winter break.

He said various medical and health organizations such as the Center for Disease Control DC and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend
against attire that allows bare skin to contact equipment because the contact can lead to bacterial infections such as Staph and MRSA to be more easily transmitted.

There’s also a safety element, Isaacs said, because “loose clothes get caught” in machines, which could result in injury.

The Rec Sports Committee, along with other student organizations, is undertaking a review of the guidelines to decide whether they need to be updated. As of now, the guidelines will still be enforced, Isaacs said.

If a member violates the guidelines, T-shirts are available to wear. If those who violate the dress code don’t comply, they are told to leave the recreation center, and a hold might be placed on their BuckID.

17 comments

  1. I worked a couple years in the workout rooms at Larkins. The vast majority of students did what they were there to do, and never caused a problem. A couple, though, abused the privilege of having excellent facilities: excessively clanging free weights, leaving machines sweaty, wearing whatever they wanted. We dealt with it as it became a problem. Enforcement wasn’t done because everybody was causing a problem…just some people who don’t want to listen.

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