Education

Stanford Takes Down Page Advertising Women-Only Gym Hours

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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Stanford University took down Thursday a web page advertising women-only gym hours.

The California school took down a page advertising women-only gym hours after a Wednesday report by The Daily Caller News Foundation. It is unclear whether the move indicates the end of the hours, which the Stanford Recreation and Wellness’ inclusivity committee started.

The page’s removal occurred after American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholar and University of Michigan-Flint professor Mark Perry critiqued the program — which allocated women-only gym hours Monday through Wednesday for two hours a day — for violating both Title IX, as well as Stanford’s own non-discrimination policy.

“[It’s a] safe space to make [women] feel more comfortable, so that there’s no guys ‘macho-ing’ around,” said Irina Vitman, a Stanford personal trainer, to The Stanford Daily. “It’s a little less intimidating to use the free weights.”

Stanford started the initiative after hearing from female students who complained about discomfort in large gym environments. The center’s windows reportedly had blackout shades, as well as glass doors with barriers to ensure privacy. The Stanford Daily article detailing the initiative remains online.

“Everything was being used and all the testosterone in the air was super suffocating — the kind of culture you find in the gym, it feels very aggressive and not very welcoming,” said Camille Townshend, a Stanford student, telling of her first experience lifting weights, which was not during the women-only hours.

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TheDCNF reached out to Stanford to inquire what has become of the initiative, but received no comment in time for press.

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