GW University starts female-only swim hours

At George Washington University, the Muslim Students’ Association and the University opened up “Sisters’ Splash,” a female-only hour at the pool: every week, GW plans to close the HelWell pool to men and will cover the glass door with a dark tarp, giving female Muslim students the chance to swim at their leisure. Students such as Saudi Arabian native Zainah Khan are pleased. The University also hired a female lifeguard to be on duty for each week’s event. Aliya Karim, the social chair of the MSA’s women’s group, said the organization made the effort to coordinate the swimming hour so fellow Muslims would feel comfortable in the pool. “Personally, I would only want to go when just girls are there,” Karim, who is also a [George Washington University newspaper] Hatchet photographer, said. “Religious values always define us,” Noor said. “Although I wouldn’t really mind, it would be satisfying to me religiously to swim only with girls.” Valdez Williams, the operations manager of the gym, said the University helped the MSA coordinate the weekly swim hour because GW wanted to make the girls feel comfortable. Williams said the University would try to schedule one hour each week for the female students to have private access. “The girls should be able to swim here,” Williams said. “We will not penalize them because of their religious beliefs.”