The $40 towel fee is no more. The policy, which required students to pay $40 per year for a locker rental in order to borrow a towel while working out at the Veale Center, has faced backlash from students since its institution in July.
“This is a service for students,” said Jacob Ma, vice president of student life for the Undergraduate Student Government, who spearheaded the effort to remove the charge for towels.
Ma expressed student concerns on the policy to Amy Backus, director of athletics and chair of physical education, and Lou Stark, vice president of Student Affairs.
“I very much respect them for how receptive they were to our feedback,” said Ma. Through a collaborative effort, the three were able to reach an agreement to have the charge removed. However, there were still concerns with Veale’s towels.
According to Ma, one of the reasons that the department of physical education and athletics decided to start charging for towels was because students wanted better towels.
“Going forward, we’re going to be discussing more about how to provide a better quality towel while still maintaining this free service for students,” said Ma.
The department is also looking into how to increase sustainability in the towel system, where, currently, towels are washed on a daily basis, wasting a lot of water.
Students who have already paid the $40 fee can request a refund through the athletics department. Students still have to pay for a locker rental.