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Women Only Hours are Unfair
by Nicholas J. Wells
Don't get me wrong. I would firmly support a policy that upholds women's equality and helps create a more inclusionary environment for people of all faiths. But administering women-only hours in the Quandrangle Recreational Athletic Center (QRAC) does neither. Instead, the new policy creates an ineffective mandate that is unfair to Harvard's minority Quad population: It is an unreasonable policy that is unjust to men and useless to women.
Since this new policy's inception, the number of women using the facility has not increased nor has there been an apparent rise in the number of religious users. The QRAC is underutilized as it is. During women only hours there are usually only two or three women there, leaving essentially the entire facility unused. Even if there is no one on the basketball court or the anaerobic machine area, which is generally the case during women's hours, the QRAC still restricts access.
Harvard's new policy of having women-only hours is unfair to those who live in the Quad, where a fifth of Harvard's undergraduate population has access to only one nearby gym—the QRAC. Other students at Harvard have access to at least two—Hemenway and the Malkin Athletic Center—both of which are far superior to the QRAC. Yet, Harvard decided three weeks ago, in a process that was utterly lacking in transparency, to limit what little Quadlings have by mandating that men not be allowed to use the facility during a range of hours from eight to ten, Tuesday and Thursday mornings and from three to five on Monday afternoons.
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