Recreation and Wellness Center now allowing tank tops

Dylan Thacker

The Kent State Recreation and Wellness Center recently changed its dress policy this semester, now allowing both men and women to wear tank tops to the gym.

Since the facility opened in 1999, it has been standard tank tops and sleeveless shirts of all kinds have been prohibited.

“We’ve been getting pushback from students saying why do I have to wear sleeves throughout the building,” said Steven Langdon, the marketing coordinator for the Department of Recreational Services. “Some students that are used to going to other facilities are not used to that same policy.”

The rule was met with a lot of opposition from students.

“I work out at a couple different places and it’s mainly because I was never allowed to wear tank tops here,” said Brandon Frase, a senior physical education major.

Times have changed, Langdon said. What was respectable when the policy was put into place is much more conservative than the styles of today, particularly women’s athletic wear, which has become more of a sleeveless, strap-type of clothing.

“It took us a bit of time to make our final decision,” Langdon said. “We came to the conclusion that as long as we could keep everybody safe and hygienic then there wasn’t exactly a need to have that old policy.”

While tank tops and sleeveless shirts are now permitted in the rec, there are still some stipulations. Since there are members outside of students, specifically senior citizens, it’s important that the policy finds a middle ground.

“We really want to try and make sure that they feel comfortable while they’re here,” Langdon said. “There’s definitely a fine line drawn but we want to be respectful for everybody.”

Despite the change, the rec does not reflect the change on the website.

“That’s something that we’re trying to nail down our exact wording,” Langdon said. “It’s easy to show pictures and use examples of, when you’re over in this building, but how do we spell it out online.”

“I think the word is spreading quickly,” Frase said. “We’re only halfway through the semester and I’m already back in here, working out in my tank top. It’s great.”

Dylan Thacker is the recreation and fitness reporter. Contact him at [email protected].