RFWC dress code too strict for college students

Bradie Gray

Whether we’ve spent long, sweaty hours  in preparation of Spring Break, or we’ve only stepped foot in there to complete the dreaded gym credit, we’ve all been to the Recreation, Fitness, and Wellness Center (RFWC) on campus.

While it is arguably one of the best fitness centers in town, it does have a few strict policies.

One of said policies that caught my eye is the dress code.

Participants are expected to wear appropriate clothing to the RFWC.

Participants must wear shirts that cover the chest, back and abdominal areas. Sleeveless shirts and tanks are acceptable, but they cannot be more than an inch below the underarm.

Appropriate athletic footwear is also required in all activity areas. Shoes that leave black marks on wood floors are prohibited. No flip flops or sandals are allowed in the fitness area.

Anyone dressed inappropriately will be asked to change clothes or leave.

While I agree with some of the dress code, such as forbidding shoes that will damage the floor, I do find the rule about shirts a little strict.

You can walk into any gym in Evansville and see girls wearing sports bras and guys wearing shirts with the sleeves cut off, revealing much more skin than just one inch below the underarm. Most adults won’t, or shouldn’t, be fazed by such attire.

My problem is not so much with the dress code as much as it is for the reasoning behind it.

While the reasons for the rules are not directly stated in the policy, I am almost certain they regard such attire would as being a “distraction” to other students.

As college students, we are exposed to a variety of things that are much worse than a female’s midriff or a male’s underarm, or vice versa.

Most of said things can be seen just by opening our Instagram or Twitter apps on our phones. As college students, we should be given more credit for our maturity.

We should be able – no, we should be expected – to go to the gym without being distracted by another student’s attire.

We should also be able to wear gym attire without worrying about distracting others or getting kicked out.

We are given a huge amount of responsibilities the moment we step into our first college class.

We are expected to go to all classes, be on time, turn in assignments the day they are due, feed, clothe and motivate ourselves along with every other aspect that goes into working toward a degree.

With these responsibilities comes maturity. We should all be mature enough to work out in the same vicinity as a bare midriff or exposed underarm without being distracted, uncomfortable or compelled to say or do something inappropriate.

We should all be expected to possess that maturity.

If the RFWC is worried about distractions, what clothing will they ban next?

Will it be bright colors, yoga pants or spandex? If the rest of campus is not under a strict dress code, then the RFWC should not be either.