The Otto Recreation Center hosted the first “Women’s only open swim” of the semester. Women all across campus were invited to come to the Highland Pool for a few hours, where they were free to swim, chat and encourage each other in a safe environment.
I sat down with Deqo Ali, a member of the Student Government and the organizer of the event, said she enjoyed open swim.
“I like swimming, even though I’m not very good at it. And I’ve met so many people here, especially girls, that voiced that they would love to swim, especially when it’s really hot out,” she said. “But it always comes down to the same thing, we don’t really feel comfortable with guys coming there or just having that open space.”
The open swim was relatively private, by having the main door to the pool locked as well as having female lifeguards on duty, it created a very welcoming environment for not only women, but those who may struggle with body confidence or by being around large crowds. Floaties and pool noodles were also provided for attendees, all in all, comfort and safety were high priorities for this event.
“We’re always in that survival mode. We always have that anxiety, and just having a space where you can kinda let go and just enjoy,” Ali said. “Where it’s not just a mental thing but also your body’s doing exercise, and you’re just having that sensory feeling. You know you’re the only one there, you’re with women that support you, I think it’s just very helpful. Mentally, physically, emotionally as well.”
If you’re interested in attending an event like this in the future, it’s highly likely that there will be another open swim in the spring semester. You can also visit the MSU’s Women’s Center located in CSU 218 for more information on events or to find a women’s only space.
Write to Ellie Meschke at firstname.lastname@example.org
Header Photo: The Campus Rec Center invited women to attend women’s only open swim Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. at the Highland pool to provide a safe, fun afternoon. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)