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Sauna Etiquette

Ever since all the public use saunas went up all over campus, they have been a huge hit with both the staff and student body. Some of them are classic rustic models, while others are ultra-modern creations of tile and glass. Some are dark and intimate, while others are brightly lit. Some are small, others are enormous. No matter what they are like, all of them are available to every student and staff member at any hour of the day or night. Nearly everyone who has wanted to use them has, but not everyone knows the proper etiquette when using them. We felt this was an area we should cover in these guides.

The first thing everyone needs to understand about these saunas is that they are not part of the gym system here on campus. They are not here to work-out in or as an active part of anyone's exercise regiment. The main gyms have their own saunas for these purposes, especially for the fast water-weight loss they are helpful with. These sport-centric saunas are not open to the general student body, being connected to the athletics department, and are not open twenty-four hours a day as the public ones are.

It's okay for athletes to rest in the public saunas afterwards—as long as they have showered first—but they should not actually do any kind of calisthenics or aerobic exercise inside them. Nobody wants to have some grunting meat-bag taking up extra space and moving around quickly inside the confined space of these saunas.

Now let's break down the standard set of Sauna Etiquette Guidelines, a form of which is posted on the door or just inside every sauna on campus.

1 - Towels: Everyone should bring their own fresh clean towels into the sauna with them. At least one per person. You don't have to wear them, but they should at least be used to sit or lie down on, keeping you from leaving pools of sweat on the seats. Guys should not wear them, since they would count as a skirt or dress, but they can have them draped over themselves while sitting if they want to cover up at all.

2 – Nude Only: Other than the towels, clothing is not allowed within the saunas. Not even carried clothing or packs with clothing in them can be brought into the saunas. You can't store your normal clothing anywhere within the sauna while using it. Do not try and use the sauna to dry wet clothing or warm up cold clothing in the winter. Any clothing found within a sauna—on or off your person—will be instantly confiscated by inspectors or staff members present.

3 – Electronics: Phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and other electronics devices should be brought into the sauna. Not only is it rude and annoying to have them inside, the heat and humidity shifts of going into and out of the sauna can cause serious damage to most of them. The school is not responsible for any such damage incurred to your items.

4 – The Door: Do not leave the door open for any length of time. If you are coming or going from the sauna, make your trip through the door quickly and close it behind you. The longer it's open the more the heat gets out and the more the environment inside becomes unstable.

5 – The Coals: Do not stoke the coals, pour water on them, or otherwise try to adjust the temperature or humidity within the sauna without discussing it with the others sharing the room at the time. Allow for the general consensus to decide if and when these kinds of adjustments to take place. Mainly the rule is there to make sure people are kind to each other and nobody simply takes control of the room.

Now that those basic guidelines are out of the way, let's get down to the real interpersonal rules of etiquette that are not clearly posted inside each and every sauna around campus, but are just as important. These are the ones that make sure everyone plays nice inside and has a good time.

Since the saunas are a place for people to sit back and relax, it is only polite to keep the loud noises to a minimum. This does not mean you can't talk and you have to sit in silence, but try to keep your voice down and don't sing, hum, clap, or otherwise make unnecessary noise. Of course, if everyone present is involved and doesn't mind, be as loud as you want. Have a group sing-along as long as everyone is in on it.

Although they are locations on campus and all the school rules are in effect within the saunas, it is considered good etiquette to hold back on the touching rules while people are resting. At least far more than you normally would. This does not mean you will get in trouble for doing it—nobody has ever gone to court for following the rules in a sauna—just that it is somewhat frowned upon as a general course of behavior within the saunas.

That does not mean that willing touching, kissing, or other invited intimacies are also frowned upon between willing parties. The saunas are there for people to relax in, and as long as those involved do not get overly active, too loud, or try to involve unwilling others, there is no problem with people being friendly together if that's how they relax. The main concern is with getting into other people's personal space unwillingly.

If you do anything that makes some kind of mess—usually with sweat, other bodily fluids, or spilled drinks—it is good etiquette to clean it up yourself before leaving or allowing it to spread into someone else's area. Spills are especially problematic because of the common use of towels. They will soak up nearly any liquid, making messes a real problem for those around you since once someone's towel soaks it up it becomes their problem as well.

If you follow these simple rules of etiquette and respect those who share the space with you, the school saunas can be a great deal of relaxation and fun for everyone. So if you haven't checked them out yet, do so.

If you have any further questions about how to act in the saunas, or anywhere else on campus for that matter, feel free to ask in the forums. We have a great student body and helpful staff here that are always willing to help.

To get help on other subjects see the Help Guide List.
Last modified on 2015/3/25 by Admin
 
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