Right now in America, many people are coming together to try and lift President Trump’s immigration ban. Little do Baylor students know, there is also a ban in much need of repealing that currently resides over the student body: Specifically, the “Sleeves required when working out” ban.
Perhaps it was your first time going to the Student Life Center (or SLC, as it’s affectionately called) freshman year, when you tried to walk into the gym with a tank top and immediately got turned back because SLC policy states that you need sleeves to work out. Ask any of the SLC employees why this ban is in place, and they will most likely tell you it is there for sanitary reasons. The thought process here is that people without sleeves will sweat more than people with sleeves and leave the gym equipment dirty.
The problem with this logic is that if you sweat a lot while working out, you will inevitably get sweat on the machines you use, regardless of what type of shirt you are wearing. Sleeves are not antibacterial, waterproof pieces of cloth that soak up every drop of liquid they touch. This means that regardless of clothing, sweat will still get on gym equipment and make it dirty. In reality, all gyms are dirty and all gym equipment probably has someone else’s bacteria on it when you use it. Although, if you are that paranoid about bacteria, you should probably skip the campus bathrooms, doorknobs and desks that we all touch on a regular basis as well. At least the gym equipment gets cleaned twice a day.
OK, so maybe you do believe that the extra cloth does help control bacteria on gym equipment. Then why are students allowed to wear tank tops in other parts of the SLC such as the basketball courts, upstairs cardio machines, racquetball courts and track? What is the difference between someone sitting down on the SLC bleachers wearing a tank top after sweating through a basketball game and someone using a machine while working out? The basketball court bleachers are carpeted and NOT cleaned with disinfectant spray twice a day like the gym equipment in the SLC This alone shows the flaw in the SLC policy’s logic. If SLC management was really worried about students producing bacteria from wearing tank tops, then they should ban them from the entire gym. (Please do not implement this idea SLC Management)
The only other logical argument against tank tops would be from a modesty standpoint. You might argue that If tank tops are allowed, then girls will come in wearing only sports bras and guys will wear cutoff shirts with the entire side of their bodies showing. The simple solution to that problem would be to require certain types of clothing. Only allow T-shirts and tank tops, nothing else. However, if you are worried about modesty, then yoga pants and tight-fitting muscle shirts should not be allowed — just saying.
In the end, not allowing tank tops in the gym is not the end of the world. However, when every other major gym in the U.S. allows it, and there is no logical reasoning from a modesty or health standpoint, it is time to lift the tank top ban while working out in the SLC. In a time when other bans are front page news, perhaps this one should start getting some attention as well.