Friday, March 07, 2008

Harvard Tests Out Women-Only Gym Hours

In response to a request from several Muslim women students, Harvard is testing out having "women-only" hours at one of its campus gyms, the AP reports. The women making the request, with support from the campus women's center, sought the women-only hours (six hours a week, at the least used gym on campus) due to Islamic dress codes that encourage a level of modesty in dress while around men; the dress code would make it difficult or impossible to exercise at the gym in a co-ed environment.

Apparently the decision has caused some controversy on the Harvard campus, where some students support the effort to accommodate the various religious needs of students, while others say that the campus environment should be about increasing access of space to everyone, not shutting men out of the gym for certain hours in the week. Harvard plans to evaluate its trial policy on gym hours at the end of the semester.