Photo by Ella Orchard-Blowen

Photo by Ella Orchard-Blowen

SGA Commuter Rep. announces interest in abolishing Women’s Power Hour due to Title IX concerns

Jacob Downey




In the closing minutes of the Student Government Association’s Oct. 30 meeting, Off-Campus Rep William Hicking announced that he was planning to meet with the Robert Frost House to challenge Women’s Power Hour, the bi-weekly women’s hour at The HUB Gym. 

In a statement following the meeting, Hicking expressed, “I have no problem with the idea of Women’s Power Hour, and I understand the reasoning behind it. However, telling men that they are not allowed to enter the weight room at any point during 6-8 on Tuesdays is an extreme measure.” Hicking justified his concerns with Title IX policies, referencing that those who attend public institutions receiving federal funding “shall not be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to any discrimination under any educational program or activity.” 

Class of ‘26 Rep Hannah Lowell said she was shocked by Hicking’s proposal. “I don’t personally use Women’s Power Hour,” she said. “But I have many female friends who do utilize this opportunity and really love it… To hear such a negative statement towards [a program] that allows women to feel safe, comfortable, and supported at the gym was very disheartening.”

Lowell criticized Hicking’s understanding of Title IX, stating that the policy defines ‘prohibition based on sex’ as sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and quid pro quo harassment. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure a Women’s Power Hour doesn’t fall into any of those categories listed.”

Student Body President Devonte Gilmore shared, “Although I may disagree, this does not invalidate the opinions of the representative who stated that this may violate Title IX. This representative has taken action on something he disagrees with, and he is of liberty to do that.” Gilmore added that he is in support of WPH and that should it be shut down as a result of Hicking’s efforts, he, Student Body Vice President Nicole Reynolds, and the rest of their E-Board are prepared to “…bring forward a resolution calling for this to be put back in place.” The efficacy of this solution is questionable, however, as it has been previously established that SGA resolutions are strictly non-binding recommendations.

WPH has existed on campus since 2017. The previously monthly “Ladies Power Hour” was an event held by various student organizations that would book out certain rooms of the gym in the same way a club could book a classroom. In Fall 2022, WPH became a weekly occurrence. According to Director of Campus Recreation and Student Life, Drew Guay, it was student interest that got the ball rolling on expanding WPH into biweekly programming.

Guay credits the success of the program to student leaders Brianna Hannigan, Kylee Mcgurn, and Julia Souci, as well as the female gym-goers powering the hour, “Some of the women who really didn’t work out much before because they were too intimidated [have now] been able to come in and say ‘you know what? I can work out at any time, I don’t need to just come to the Women’s Power Hour.’”

 Despite there still being a roughly three-to-one ratio in male to female gym-goers at The HUB, Guay shared that the Tuesday programming sees between 70-80 women utilize the space, many of whom gradually become regulars.

McGurn, who works check-in in the gym, says that while she has seen grumbling in the past, as a whole male gym-goers have been largely receptive to WPH. She added that as the program has continued, a lot of the “gym bro” types she interacts with have been supportive of making the gym a more accessible space. She additionally takes pride in the growth she has seen in the attendees of WPH, stating, “I’ve seen a lot of them grow throughout the years, and a lot of them just tell me how much they love it here, how it’s like, impacted them and their workout path and that they just know, they can just like, workout and feel good.”

PSU is not a school that has a great many amenities, a fact that is reflected in our retention numbers. Canceling initiatives that create safe spaces for students to explore themselves and make the most of their tuition dollars is wholly counterproductive to creating a better Plymouth State University. According to Guay, “…I have great students that are really taking something that they’re passionate about and excited about, and taking a program and making it something really special… that’s what we should be doing here at [PSU], giving students opportunities to really shine.”

Women’s Power Hour takes place from 6-8 every Tuesday and 5-6:30 every Sunday in the HUB Gym. More information can be found on The PAW or on PSU Campus Recreation’s Instagram: @plymstaterec.

4 thoughts on “SGA Commuter Rep. announces interest in abolishing Women’s Power Hour due to Title IX concerns

  1. This is stupid asf. Let women be comfortable when working out! That’s the only reason I go to the gym.

  2. I think women’s power hour is a great thing and shouldn’t be abolished. A lot of women, including myself, feel less confident or welcome into the gym when it usually is filled with a bunch of men who stare and or make inappropriate comments.

  3. Woman’s power hour is a time with no men. What you’re saying is it’s wrong for twice a week for 2 hours of their day they can’t go to the gym. I don’t how that is a problem or is in violation of any rules. They can go to the gym at any time or point of the day. As a women when we’re lifting weights or squatting waiting a man stare at you from the mirror is disturbing, ontop of when they approach you making weird comments. So no I don’t think it’s right to take this away from them women who get 2 times a week to workout and men can go at any time. It’s the same thing as saying regular students can’t use the athlete gym when it’s not in use. I believe that is a problem but no one would ever come to think to bring it up. Leave the women alone you look like you’re targeting the women for feeling safe. Don’t be a mans man be a person.

  4. There’s a total of 3 and a half hours a WEEK where guys can’t use the gym. So many women won’t use the gym at all because they feel uncomfortable because of how the guys make them feel. We should be able to have 3 and a half hours to feel comfortable while working out.

Comments are closed.