Follow Up: Rec Center Dress Code Continues to Frustrate Students

The dress code at the Baldwin Wallace Rec Center, which restricts midriff revealing shirts, continues to frustrate students.  

According to Rec Center staff, the dress code is in place to help prevent the spread of diseases such as MRSA and ringworm.  

There are no restrictions on clothing items such as tank tops or shorts, despite these items exposing a significant amount of bare skin on patrons that wear them.  

According to Emilia Lombardi, chair and associate professor in BW’s public health and prevention science department, these fungi are likely to infect any location on the body, including exposed legs and arms.  

“In regards to midriff versus bare arms and bare legs,” said Lombardi. “There is no difference, and the bacteria do not care.”  

Lombardi said that a strict dress code would only be necessary if there was a high rate of infection and spread such as an outbreak of the diseases.  

During these periods, the facility should enforce long sleeves and pants.  

“If we haven’t seen that rate because of bare arms or bare legs,” said Lombardi. “I don’t see how bare midriff would change anything.”  

Lombardi recommends immediately changing out of sweaty workout clothes after visiting the gym, showering after exercising, and practicing basic hygiene.  

As The Exponent reported in February, several women at BW have spoken out about their experiences at the Rec Center. Employees have been asking patrons wearing cropped tees to change their attire.  

“Most of the stories I have seen involve the dress code against bare midriff being targeted specifically against young women,” said Lombardi. “And mostly used to policy young women and not necessarily for anything of actual use.”