Bacteria prevention is in, crop tops are out at the WREC


Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

Crop tops now are banned at the Wildcat Recreation Center and for a good reason.

Even though members of the WREC are frequently cleaning the equipment, they also expect students to clean it after they’re done using it. However, this isn’t always the case and because of that, the WREC is introducing a new rule.

The goal is to stop students from wearing crop tops and revealing their torsos. Which is meant to reduce some types of bacteria or disease that are being spread.

Ashley Manley, Chico State senior and WREC employee, said even though students cleaning the equipment isn’t strictly enforced, the lack of people doing it and more torso exposure has caused concerns.

“It’s for sanitary purposes and after hearing people’s complaints and views on crop tops, we’re taking it all into consideration,” Manley said. “We’re going to have a meeting with all our staff to figure out what to do with the rule. We have done the test and we’ve been keeping up with the cleaning, so the reports aren’t bad on the bacteria which is why we’re putting the rule on hold right now.”

This rule is a great idea. If it’s become an issue to the point that the WREC must create a new policy, they have my vote. As a daily gym attendee and big germophobe, I must admit that I wouldn’t want some random bacteria anywhere on my body.

If you visit the WREC, you should know that there are disinfecting spray bottles and towels for use after a workout. If not, these supplies are not hard to miss. For the sake of your own health and everyone else’s, spray down the equipment.

Here’s why enforcing the crop top ban will be beneficial:

The rule is already in place

Although the new rule might not be in place yet, according to the WREC’s handbook, there is already a rule that touches on the exposure of torsos. Gym and staff members have just been noticing more women wearing crop tops, which have has become an issue for equipment not being cleaned after use.

“It was something we didn’t have to enforce too much because it wasn’t popular,” Manley said. “A lot of people didn’t wear crop tops until recently. Within the last three to four months we have been seeing more and more, and the big concern we have is people getting on something that hasn’t been cleaned. Sometimes you see people lay down on the track and you’re like oh we don’t really clean that.”


According to HuffPost, machine padding and yoga mats are more problematic because bacteria thrive on the soft squishy material when they get damp and warm.

“If someone is sweating and leaning on a bench and then someone else goes on after them and gets on the same bench and it wasn’t wiped down, different bacteria and different diseases can transfer through,” Manley said.

Karen Limones can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @limoneska.