By Camille Day | Contributor
Baylor’s campus is known for its superb Student Life Center building that allows students to access a rock climbing, an indoor track, basketball courts, racquetball room and fitness center.
In addition to this state-of-the-art fitness center, Baylor is known for another, less exciting thing: Sleeves are required when students work out.
According to Baylor’s McLane Student Life Center Building Usage Manual, “full length shirts with sleeves and protective footwear are required in weights/fitness area & at the Rock and bouldering area.”
The exact reason for these restrictions are not entirely known. Some argue that sleeves are required for sanitary reasons; however, this line of thinking does not make sense. An additional piece of clothing on a shirt will not prevent a person from sweating any less. In fact, it may cause them to sweat more. Also, the gym offers wipes and rags to maintain cleanliness of the machines.
Any possible germs or infections could be avoided as long as disinfectant wipes are provided. There is a simple solution to any type of cleanliness problem the employees and gym goers may have.
“Let’s make tank tops great again,” written by Thomas Mott for the Baylor Lariat in 2017 makes an important note that sleeves are not antibacterial, waterproof pieces of cloth that soak up every drop of liquid.
“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,” Mott writes.
Even SLC employees question this requirement when there are easy solutions to the issue at hand. A former SLC employee and Baylor student, Lexi Allmond, stated her view on this restriction.
“If we are provided sanitized napkins to wipe down our machines after using them, I will never understand why sleeves are still required,” Allmond said.
Another possible reason for these restrictions is maintaining modesty. There are several points that could be made in argument against this reasoning. If the tank tops were considered immodest, why aren’t some very small shorts considered immodest? Along with shorts, skin-clinging leggings can also be considered immodest.
Gyms all across the United States allow their users to wear any type of clothing including a single sports bra and leggings. What is the difference between Baylor’s gym and these gyms?
Another major question is that why can users wear a tank top in any other part of the gym? This counts out the modesty reasoning because Baylor wouldn’t allow only the users in the fitness center to not wear tank tops.
Personally, when I work out, I despise wearing a full sleeve. I prefer air-flow on my arms and many users agree with this.
Baylor should certainly reconsider this rule because gym goers should be allowed to wear whatever garment makes them feel comfortable and confident during a workout. This change may actually increase the number of visits by students at the Student Life Center.
Sophomore marketing major