McGill University has rejected two students’ request to establish women-only hours at the on-campus gym. In a news release, the school said it does not believe in segregating its services, and is committed to making sure gym patrons are respectful toward each other, regardless of gender.
Montreal CTV News (h/t Susan K) The original request was made by law students Soumia Allalou and Raymond Grafton.
Allalou said that her initiative to dedicate three weekly one-hour women-only sessions per week was inspired by her religious beliefs as a Muslim but she said that all women would benefit.
“A couple of women messaged me and expressed that they would like to see women’s hours implemented. They feel intimidated using the weights section especially. They’ve been harassed, looked at, watched,” she has previously told CTV Montreal.
Though there are already women-only hours at the swimming pool, the university said the pool is “by its nature a different environment than the gym.”
The statement goes on to explain that part of the goal of a recent renovation was to make the fitness centre “as comfortable as possible for all our clientele.”
“We encourage and will continue to encourage all our patrons to engage respectfully with one another, just as we expect all members of our community to treat each other equitably and respectfully in whatever context,” it says.
Among other ongoing measures, the school says it pledges to educate staff to make sure they “understand the needs and sensitivities of a diverse clientele.”