Rec Center Policy Bans Camera Use to Protect Patrons

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It’s not uncommon for individuals to snap a selfie on the gym floor, especially in our social media-dominated age. People eager to show off their #gainz however, would do well to remember that not everybody is comfortable appearing on camera during a workout, and to be sensitive to rules surrounding photography and video at their fitness facilities.

The University of Alabama has restricted the taking of photos and videos at its Student Recreation Center for some time, but is pushing its policy to patrons so they have it top of mind as they’re using the facility, according to The Crimson White.

Coordinator of facility operations Scott Sharp told the student newspaper that the policy is all about ensuring a safe experience for everyone using the facility.

“It’s to protect our patrons,” Sharp said. “We don’t know what you’re going to do [or] what anybody’s going to do with that picture [or] what websites they’re going to be placed on and the maliciousness behind it.”

Social media can be a great tool for motivation when it comes to fitness, but as with everything, it can sometimes be used to mock others in a way that can be hurtful.

“We’ve had incidents where people have been video recorded in our group exercise classes, and maybe they’re trying to better themselves and be better, and that content isn’t being displayed in that manner,” Sharp explained.

While sometimes people choose to take video of themselves while exercising for the purposes of monitoring and correcting form, the policy is intended to protect people who haven’t consented to appearing on anybody’s camera.

The policy is a source of frustration for some students, including Austin Goodwin, who told The Crimson White that he pays for an off-campus gym membership in part because they don’t have policies restricting device use.

Others, however, understand the policy’s intent and put aside their frustrations.

“You definitely shouldn’t record other people at the gym,” student Sydney Shopp said. “If you’re recording yourself, that’s one thing, but you shouldn’t record someone to make fun of them because they are at the gym for a reason.”

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