A student wearing a sports bra while working out is the most recent subject of increased policy enforcement in the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC).
Employees at the ARC gym have reportedly been asking students who are exercising to change their clothing in order to comply with guidelines in the athletics and recreation policy.
The policy itself has been around for several years, but the degree to which the rules have been enforced has been the subject of online debate—sparked by a post made by a student on Facebook which garnered nearly 1,000 likes.
Marina Galentovskaia, a Masters in International Business student and the author of the post, was recently asked to leave the gym after an ARC employee deemed her outfit unsuitable to the standards of the policy.
“I was wearing a pair of high waisted tights and a sports bra, which was showing about one inch of my midriff.”
Galentovskaia said an employee approached her during her workout and described her workout attire as “indecent.”
Galentovskaia said the situation was discouraging, adding she felt singled out among the other gym-goers. The experience made her feel extremely uncomfortable and self-conscious.
“I found that by her approaching me in front of everyone and highlighting the issues with my clothing made me feel like something was wrong with me. I was second guessing myself and I felt like my confidence was torn.”
Galentovskaia hasn’t been the only student to face enforcement of the policy this week. She said many other woman reached out to her and explained similar situations had happened to them.
Some of the women who had reached out to Galentovskaia said they had to leave the gym due to how uncomfortable the situation made them feel.
“I feel like everyone goes to the gym to gain self-confidence and feel comfortable [with] themselves,” she said. “Having to be told that the clothes that make someone feel confident aren’t suitable contradicts everything that a fitness facility is about.”
“People workout to feel confident, they take pride in their work and accomplishments,” she added.
Galentovskaia said she believed the issue isn’t a result of employee misconduct., adding it’s about the policy and the management system.
“There’s no easy way to tell a girl that what she feels confident in is not permitted … I don’t think it’s the employees fault. There is something going on in the higher up management process.”
Galentovskaia said every student deserves to feel confident and have a free choice of clothing.
“This is an issue which can easily be swept under the rug if we don’t take a stand.”
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