Student thrown out of College of Charleston gym hopes dress code becomes more visible

Sarah Villafañe says she was asked to leave the George Street Fitness Center for wearing the outfit in the photo above.

A College of Charleston student recently thrown out of campus gym because of her crop top says she will never go back. She also argues if she would have been aware of the dress code or at least been informed of the health concerns when asked to put on a t-shirt, there would have been no complaints.

University officials sent a statement and a copy of the gym dress code to ABC News 4 Thursday after a post to Facebook made by Sarah Villafañe began to build momentum. We visited the gym and saw the dress code included in a set of rules on a bulletin board. CofC spokesman Mike Robertson also shared the reason clothing like crop tops aren't allowed is because of sanitary reasons.

"These rules are applied to both males and females," Robertson said.

Sarah Villafañe argues she wasn't told that and has seen people wear far less to the gym.

"All they said was that I needed more coverage," she said. "I didn't know it was a rule or for why."

Villafañe admitted she was a little frustrated Friday after learning about the set of rules on a bulletin board at the George Street Fitness Center. She hopes if nothing else comes out of this that the rules are made more visible, are communicated in more ways and those enforcing the rules handle things differently.

"It's on a bulletin board with quotes and things like, 'You can't spell legendary without leg day,'" she said. "...It would have been fine if they had said that (it was about sanitary concerns)."

Villafañe said the whole situation reminded her of getting "dress coded" in middle school.

She said it doesn't help that she has seen others in the George Street Fitness Center wearing similar tops. She hopes that the rule will now be consistently enforced and maybe enforced a little bit differently.

"You can't just pick on people and communicate the rule that way. The gym is already an intimidating place," she said.

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