South Dakota State University's Student-Run Independent Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Student-Run Independent Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Student-Run Independent Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

The Wellness Center didn’t adequately convey the reasoning behind the newly implemented dress code


The Wellness Center’s new dress code policy is plastered in and around the facility, but that doesn’t do much good for gym-goers who are turned away at the check-in desk because they were unaware of the new regulations.

Posters throughout the Wellness Center are highly informative, and clearly outline what type of clothing is deemed acceptable. 

The problem is that this information is most prominently displayed at the front desk, so people have no idea that they’re in violation of the dress code until they’re told they need to change before working out.

The dress code is meant to minimize the amount of skin-to-skin and skin-to-equipment contact and mitigate the spread of diseases and illnesses.

We, at the Collegian, feel the new dress code policy has good intentions: to prioritize the safety, wellness and good hygiene of everyone who uses the Wellness Center facilities.

However, we also acknowledge the Wellness Center staff failed to adequately inform gym-users of the change in dress code regulations, causing confusion and backlash from the student population.

Requiring that males avoid wearing cut-offs and femal

es avoid wearing crop-tops is an effective way to help ensure the well-being of all gym patrons. However, the safety-first mindset that drove the implementation of the policy was not clearly communicated with the student body, and has spurred a negative reaction from people who interpret it as being geared more toward modesty and less toward safety.

We’re left wondering where they draw the line. How much exposed skin is too much exposed skin? And if the Wellness Center is worried about skin to equipment contact, why haven’t they required long sleeves and turtlenecks?

Females in particular feel the policy is intended to control what they wear to the gym, and in a society where women are consistently taught not to let our clothes be “too distracting,” the theory isn’t a stretch.

The policy poster seems primarily targeted towards women, as it highlights far more restrictions to women’s clothing than it does to men’s.

Had there been an email highlighting the reasoning behind the policy and explaining its intentions, there may not have been such a negative

reaction to it. But the Wellness Center’s failure to educate people about its new rules left everyone to make their own assumptions about the policy’s purpose.

The dress code was a smart move on the Wellness Center’s part. It will protect them in case anybody does, but the failure to giveadequate explanation to students, staff and community members who frequent the Wellness Center has painted the policy in a negative light.

Students are being turned away before they ever get a chance to start their workout because they weren’t made aware that the clothing they were permitted to wear last year, was now in violation of a dress code policy they didn’t know existed.

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    LaurenJan 22, 2019 at 7:56 am

    It’s Shari Landmark. It doesn’t have to make sense 🙄