Brendan Bonner ’23
As students return to another new, albeit strange, year back on the Hill, there are a multitude of changes they must adapt to in order to make this year a success. One of the biggest and most exciting changes comes in the form of the Jo being utilized solely as a gym and fitness center. This is an exciting change from last semester when the Jo’s first level was used exclusively for student testing. This transition in itself is an exciting shift, as there is now more space than ever for students to exercise in between or after classes.
Along with these exciting changes came something important to note: a new Jo dress code. This policy was outlined in an email to students from Director of Campus Recreation Jamie Shannon on August 31. The policies are similar to those of other public recreational centers, however, it is important to note that some articles of dress are now prohibited in the new facility.
One of the key takeaways is the “Two Shoe Policy” which is a simple rule that prohibits working out in certain types of footwear. This means shoes must be dry, clean, closed toe, and have non-black soles. Some other more specific factors of this policy is what types of shoes are acceptable: no heels, Crocs, slides, boots, or cleats are allowed in workout areas, but can be brought and stored in the Day lockers found within the Rec center itself, as long as proper shoes are changed into before going to the work out areas.
Aside from footwear, the new dress code places certain limits on the styles of clothing allowed in the facility. Shannon’s 8/31 e-mail stated that “Appropriate exercise is required [at the Jo].” Shannon’s message defined “appropriate” exercise attire as “full length t-shirt or full length tank top, athletic shorts or pants, and closed toed, clean sneakers.” Shirts must cover midriffs from the front, side, and back. Tank tops are permitted if the sleeve holes are the size of one’s palm or smaller. The requirement of a “full length t-shirt or full length tank top” means that sports bras fall outside of the new dress code.
The Spire reached out to Jamie Shannon to inquire about the dress code policy along with other changes related to the Jo operating at full capacity. Shannon shed some more light on the exciting changes coming this year with the Jo opening to full capacity. When asked whether the dress code was amenable to change, Shannon responded: “In general, this policy is a fluid set of rules for educational purposes rather than policing purposes. Our goal in Campus Recreation is not only to provide fitness resources and activities but also to recognize that some students may be entering a fitness environment for the first time. It is incumbent upon our office to help everyone understand what is generally acceptable attire for their safety, for the integrity of the equipment, and to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for others.”