Harvard Begins Women-Only Gym Hours

Controversial move to make Muslim females more comfortable
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2008 10:49 AM CST
People work out at Harvard's Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center in Cambridge, Mass. Friday, Feb. 28, 2008, where a policy has been instituted for women-only hours at the request of some Muslim women...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Harvard is trying out women-only gym hours at one of its facilities to make exercising easier for Muslim women. Six of the 70 hours a week that the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center is open will be barred to men so that Muslim women feel free to dress appropriately for working out, reports the AP. But some students complain that the new policy is sexist or unfair.

"I think that it's incorrect in a college setting to institute a policy in which half of the campus is denied a resource that's supposed to be for everyone," said one student who wrote a column in the student newspaper critical of the new hours. But others support the move. "The majority should be willing to compromise. I think that's basic courtesy," said another.