Keep the T-shirt policy at the rec

by Brittany Edwards - Graduate student

I would like to respond to the Nov. 18 Minnesota Daily article “Students want right to bare arms at rec” and the Nov. 20 editorial “Patrons’ right from bare arms.”

I reviewed the dress code policy at the Recreation and Wellness Center and the rec’s rationale for having it. My understanding is that the URW Advisory Board adopted the policy before the original rec center opened in 1993 and it has since stood the test of time. The policy supports the University of Minnesota’s desire to create a non-discriminatory, welcoming and inclusive environment not only at the rec but throughout the University community.

I know the rec has tens of thousands of undergraduate and graduate students and several thousand faculty and staff who use exercise facilities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This community is large and very diverse, consisting of people from around the world with different cultures, customs and values — not to mention campus visitors.

The T-shirt policy is reasonable and helps create a welcoming and inclusive environment. This isn’t a private health club that targets a select clientele. Students pay mandatory fees, and faculty and staff pay membership fees to support exercise facilities and programs. They should all feel comfortable in this environment. The dress code policy is not a hardship on anyone, and I hope the URW Advisory Board does the reasonable thing and continues to support it.