Three Cal Poly seniors have started a petition to have dedicated hours at the university Recreation Center, commonly known as the Rec, for women and nonbinary people only.
The creators of the petition wrote that this is their way of creating a safe environment for women and nonbinary folks to work out without fear of sexualization.
Some students, like business administration senior Sierra Hudson, like the idea of the dedicated space. “I completely agree that we need more female and nonbinary specific spaces. It’s a great way to feel more at ease working out without being stared at,” Hudson said.
At the same time though, Hudson said she worries about which hours will be chosen and how that will affect gym routines. “I think blocking off the whole Rec for certain hours might not be the right way to go about it,” Hudson said. “I think creating women’s-only spots in the gym might be a better way to allow everyone their own space without kicking out all guys.”
While most of the commentary surrounding this petition has been from female and nonbinary students, there have been many signatures from male students as well.
Entrepreneurship senior Carson Richardson said he sees the merit in this idea and that blocking off a section of the gym might be a better method than allotting hours. “I personally have never felt sexualized at the gym, but I know from my friends that girls definitely do,” Richardson said. “I think that blocking off a section of the gym like classes do would be a better way to go about that.”
This petition has received more than 300 signatures as of November 9, with the initial goal being 500 signatures. Cal Poly has yet to indicate whether it is considering implementing these hours or not.