Colorado College’s New Dress Code Has Links to Disease Prevention

By GABY JADOTTE

The Adam F. Press Fitness Center, known as Colorado College’s “gym” around campus, is the place for students, staff, and faculty to get involved in intramurals, student led fitness classes, and quick games of pickup basketball, as well to use gym equipment. Almost all CC students come through the gym at least once during their CC career, so when the Fitness Center updates their dress code policy, it affects a large portion of campus and garners attention.
Last week, the Fitness Center released an updated version of the dress code policy — to which everyone using the facility must adhere. The new policy dictates that “attire that exposes the lower or mid-back, abdominal area, ribcage, or buttocks is not considered appropriate.” Appropriateness of clothing will be determined by the Fitness Center staff, which is typically comprised of current CC students.
According to Fitness Center staff, the new dress code has been implemented to prevent the spread of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA. MRSA is a staph bacterium resistant to common antibiotics, according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. About 2 in every 100 people carry MRSA on their bodies with no symptoms of infection. Because of its antibiotic resistance, MRSA is a concern on many college campuses, especially in common spaces such as the gym where there is a great deal of intentional and unintentional contact between people during workouts and games.
The CDC has stated that one of the best ways to prevent the spread of MRSA at the gym is to ensure there is a barrier, such as an article of clothing, between a shared space or piece of equipment and the person using the equipment. Another way to curb MRSA is to wear protective clothing or gear that would prevent cuts or abrasions. The CDC’s suggestions to prevent MRSA highlight the importance of wearing the appropriate clothing to keep yourself and others safe from infection when using shared pieces of gym equipment.
The Fitness Center coordinated it’s dress code policy with the CDC’s recommendations to ensure the health of students, staff, faculty, and community members.

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