Harvard’s Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center (QRAC) and elementary school slumber parties now share something in common—no boys allowed. As of
Harvard’s Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center (QRAC) and elementary school slumber parties now share something in common—no boys allowed. As of Jan. 28, only women can enter the Quad’s primary athletic facility on Mondays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
“It’s an experimental situation we’re trying out,” says Jeremy L. Gibson, associate director of athletics. “We tried to target times that were less utilized by others in a facility that has less use than others,”
This new policy of women-only hours particularly benefits Muslim women, allowing them to exercise in a more comfortable environment.
Ola Aljawhary ’09, chair of the Harvard Islamic Society’s Islamic Knowledge Committee says, “The idea has been floating around for a while and now it actually materialized, so it’s really exciting.” Aljawhary worked in conjunction with both the Athletic Department and the Women’s Center to coordinate the effort for this policy.
While no women seem to be complaining about the change, some students in possession of a Y chromosome are less than thrilled. One bro looking to buff up, D. Adam J. Moss ‘10, was turned away from the gym, much to his chagrin.
“I wasn’t given a reason why, so I felt like I was being unnecessarily excluded. They’re commandeering a community space.”
Negative feelings towards this policy are aggravated by the fact that the two-hour slots occur during what many students—contrary to Gibson’s claim—consider to be prime gym time. Quadlings looking to lift before morning classes or before dinner are faced with two options: foregoing their workout or trekking to Hemenway or the MAC.
So far, the attendance at women-only hours has been underwhelming. But Aljawhary feels confident that, as word spreads, more sneaker-clad women will turn up to sweat in single-sex solidarity.