Written by: Genesis Ventura
Recently, I finished playing volleyball with my friends in the Iles P.E. Center and was heading to the Hulsey Fitness Center to workout when I was stopped by the desk receptionist. She told me that I couldn’t workout with the top I was wearing because it showed my shoulders, and she proceeded to hand me a T-shirt.
Why is the Hulsey Wellness Center dress code inconsistent? The dress code in the Fitness Center requires that shirts reach the top of the pants/shorts and fully cover the torso and shoulders, and it requires that athletic pants and shorts are long enough to cover the gluteal fold. Students also must have athletic shoes with non-marking soles that have closed toes and closed heels. But the dress code in the Iles P.E. Center is different.
Darin Bissell, facilities manager for the School of P.E. Health and Wellness, explained the reason for having the dress code.
“On the fitness floor, we have that dress code because it’s a modesty issue,” Bissell said. “We want members to be comfortable here when they’re working out; that’s the main reason.”
Students also have memberships at Hulsey, so why hasn’t Hulsey accommodated for students as well?
Southern is an Adventist institution. We understand that modesty is very important in Adventism. As a student, I understand that, and I respect those boundaries. But I don’t understand why there can’t be a balance that would satisfy both paying students and paying local members. As a student I don’t want to feel like I am not treated as a paying customer and that I must dress a certain way to please a certain type of customer.
Sophomore biology major Atzy Lopez-Avila stated her opinion on the issue.
“We should be able to wear what is comfortable for us, so we can get the most out of our workout,” Lopez-Avila said. “So, if I feel comfortable in a long sleeve crop top, nothing is revealing, so I don’t understand why it’s a big deal.”
Debating and discussing this topic would make students feel heard and understood because we are also paying customers. Treating students reasonably shows the respect that staff and administration have for them and their opinions.
We are not asking for a drastic change but for reconsideration for the dress code so that there is consistency between the Fitness Center and Iles P.E Center dress codes.