A resolution recently passed in an attempt to settle the East Gym dress code debate.

Mackenzie Cooper, a freshman majoring in philosophy, politics and law and Batia Rabin, an undeclared freshman, are the authors of the resolution, which aims to create a more supportive environment for on-campus gym attendees. According to the document, while there is no dress code enforced campus-wide by the University and no mention of the dress code in the student code of conduct, the East Gym mandates that all attendees wear “modest” clothing. The resolution comes after students protested against the policy this semester.

Laura Cichostepski, assistant director of marketing for campus recreational services, shared in a statement that the dress code was put in place to protect students from exposure to “viruses and skin infections” through equipment.

“Best practices in mitigating these risks include both regular and consistent equipment cleaning, as well as implementing barriers between an individual’s skin and equipment,” Cichostepski said. “In addition to limiting the risk of skin infections, the policy also helps protect the equipment from degradation by sweat and body oils. Once the upholstery has been damaged, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria. This is also why we do not allow jeans, zippers, rivets or hard materials on clothing that can damage the equipment.”

Cooper and Rabin’s resolution also claims that while dress code is mandatory to follow, other sanitary practices, such as wiping down the equipment after each use, are only suggested policies.

Rabin explained that she and Cooper got the idea for the resolution after hearing about the protests that occurred at the East Gym.

“We decided that this was a cause we could get behind and we wanted to do something about it,” Rabin wrote in an email. “We felt it was unfair that people were dress coded and handed shirts to wear or kicked out and also it seemed like a practice that was humiliating for the person it happened to.”

If a student was to wear clothes that do not comply with the dress code, East Gym staff will provide a shirt to wear, according to the resolution. Jenna Leonardi, president of the BU Girl Gains club and a junior majoring in biomedical engineering, said this process, known as being “dress-coded”, could be embarrassing for students.

Leonardi added that the process of “dress-coding” a student discourages them from attending the gym again in the future, as students may feel awkward about being warned by staff members. A Change.org petition to reform the dress code has also gained some backing, with over 150 signatures at the time of the creation of the proposal.

Cooper wrote in an email that she hopes the resolution will bring change.

“I hope that our efforts with this piece of legislation help create a better environment at the East Gym without compromising the safety and the health of Binghamton students,” Cooper wrote. “It is obvious that this is an issue that has been bothersome for many, and our goal is to ease that tension with a compromise that pleases both sides of the coin here—and I am confident that we can do so.”