Baylor’s Student Senate tackled the topic of tank-tops during their Oct. 8 meeting. They passed a bill that could potentially let sleeve-less shirts be allowed in the campus weight room.
Currently, the McLane Student Life Center’s policy states that full length T-shirts with sleeves are required in the weights and fitness area of the gym.
Student senate members Chase Hardy, Dane Risinger and Ryder McCool authored a bill that would free the upper-arms of weight room goers. The bill passed with a vote of 36 for and 12 against.
Hardy said this rule is outdated and that other areas in the SLC allow tank-tops. He also said that SLC staff he contacted told him the reason behind the rule was sanitation, which he said doesn’t make any sense.
“Every major national gym chain allows for the absence of sleeves,” Hardy said.
Pros and cons were presented from senate members. Some of the cons stated that the armpit is a breeding ground for microbes, that other people in the gym would be offended if a sweaty shoulder brushed against them, that the gym would smell worse with more sweat and that perhaps the rule should remain in place to guard the hearts of Baylor boys from the attractive women in tank-tops.
Those in favor of the bill argued that the bill would encourage students to go to the SLC more, that professional weight lifters wear tank tops, that students are told to bring their own towels to work out and wipe off equipment and that the equipment is cleaned routinely by staff anyway.
“I don’t know why this is such an argument about sweat,” Risinger said.
Tyler Smith, a member of the fitness staff at the SLC, said different employees are assigned different pieces of equipment to clean during their shifts.
“Throughout the day, every piece of equipment is going to be cleaned three or four times,” Smith said.
Senate members asked Hardy if there would be a new sanitation policy if tank-tops are allowed.
“Their policy right now is to keep those machines clean, they want all sweat off,” Hardy said. “Whether it’s a little bit or a lot they work to get it off.”
Hardy said any changes to that system would be up to campus recreation staff.
“We’re still going to have to clean that same amount…but [tank-tops are] going to increase the amount of sweat on the equipment,” Smith said. “For patrons’ sake, it may make the equipment not as sanitary.”
During the senate meeting, Hardy also said that changing into a T-shirt is an inconvenience for students. He said he spoke to students and they are unhappy with the policy prohibiting tank-tops.
However, Smith said asking students to change or leave is usually not an issue.
“They know the rules so they realize they broke it,” Smith said. “If I tell them it’s a rule they’re usually pretty non-confrontational about it and will just go along with it because they know we have to enforce it.”
With the passing of the senate’s bill, it will be presented to Kim Scott, director for campus recreation, Dr. Kevin Jackson, vice president for student life, and Matt Burchett, director of student activities. A change in policy may or may not be made.