A Statement from the Director of Athletics

An article has circulated in the media recently raising questions about the attire policy in the University's Fitness Center. We want to assure the W&L community that our policies were instituted in 2002, when our fitness center opened, and were developed after conducting research regarding the best practices in use in collegiate fitness centers around the country. Our policies apply equally to men and women, and are in place for health and safety reasons, including, but not limited to, preventing skin infections, to agree with best practices of fitness center usage, and to preserve the long-term life of the equipment.

There has been some confusion regarding the rationale for our policy, and we apologize for the lack of clarity behind it. We have made revisions to the policy in response to the comments we have received to date, and have made information about our policies more widely available in our facilities in an effort to clarify the requirements. The FAQ document on this website provides additional background on our process and rationale.

We have also been working with Fitness Center staff to ensure they understand the policy and how to enforce it fairly.

The revised policy is available on this site, along with a statement from our University Physician about the transmission of skin infections. If you have comments about the policy, we encourage you to share them through the Fitness Center Feedback form. We will also hold a public forum for members of the W&L community who wish to ask questions and provide feedback on the policy on Thursday, May 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Outing Club Room in Elrod Commons.

- Jan Hathorn, Director of Athletics

Fitness Center Policies

  1. The following groups have access to the Fitness Center:
    • W&L University undergraduate students
    • W&L University Law students and their spouse/domestic partner
    • W&L employees and their spouse/domestic partner, and college-age and younger dependents
    • W&L alumni living in Rockbridge County and their spouse/domestic partner, and college-age and younger dependents
  2. All users under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times
  3. All users are asked to be courteous and refrain from foul language and inappropriate actions and conversations
  4. All users must wear proper fitness attire including a t-shirt, shorts/sweat pants, and closed-toe athletic shoes. Examples of inappropriate attire:
    • Sleeveless shirts with the arm holes open below the bend of the elbow
    • Shirts that expose midriff
    • Excessively small and short shorts
    • Clothing with inappropriate/offensive graphics and/or language
    • The Fitness Center Director reserves the right to determine what is or is not appropriate fitness attire. Individuals wearing inappropriate attire will be asked to leave
  5. All users must sign in at the front desk
  6. No food is permitted in the Fitness Center. Drinks must be in non-glass containers with secure screw lids
  7. You should not have to clean up after someone. No one should have to clean up after you. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Wipe down cardio and strength equipment after use
    • Return all weights, bars, stability balls, etc... to their proper place
    • Return magazines to the front desk
    • Place used towels in the towel drop by the glass entrance/exit doors
  8. Do not rest bars on benches and do not drop weights, especially the dumbbells
  9. Patrons may not bring outside personal trainers into the W&L Fitness Center to conduct personal training sessions