Starting Sept. 10, women and trans people will get their own gym time at George Brown College.
By Preeteesh Peetabh Singh
Starting Sept.10, women and trans people will get their own gym time at St. James and Casa Loma campuses of George Brown College (GBC).
Chirysh Dupie, the Centre for Women and Trans People Rep. at the Student Association (SA), put the idea forward. With help of the GBC Athletics department and Halley Requena-Silva, the SA’s director of Student Life and Campus Relations, they brought the plan into action.
“I had the idea. I just put it up there just to see what other people thought about it. When I got their support it made me feel that I was doing the right thing, more than just something that had no purpose or no need for,” said Dupie.
The times currently set for women and transgender people at the gym are 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and noon to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
“I originally wanted more hours, even like an afternoon or evening time slot to make it even more accessible,” said Dupie. “In the mornings, women already have a lot of hustle and bustle like taking care of children or getting to day care. For them even getting to school early in the morning is hard. They might like to work out at the gym after school or even during lunch hours.”
Wendy Roberts, GBC’s athletics member service specialist, said that it will be a trial phase in the beginning. “We are devoted to the time allotted currently. Based on feedback, if we have students requesting for some more time, that could happen in the future.”
Roberts also said that the staff and trainers present at the gym during the allotted times will be women.
“If students have any questions, they might feel comfortable and safe approaching someone who identifies themselves as a woman,” said Dupie. “Even while using the machines they may feel more comfortable having a woman show them the different ways to use it more than looking up to a man and asking them.”
“I am excited. People who I have mentioned it to seem enthused and they want to take advantage of it. We have nice facilities but people don’t use them because they don’t feel comfortable,” said Dupie. “My aim is to create a safe place to walk around in school. We pay to be here, everyone should be able to use the services available.”