YMCAs in Nevada, Nationally, Ponder Cell Phone Ban

By  | 

The national YMCA is considering banning cell phones from locker rooms - not because of the annoying rings, but because of new video technology.

Officials are concerned that phones with camera capability could be used voyeuristically to take candid photos in locker rooms or other private places and is recommending that local clubs bar the phones.

The YMCA of the Sierra has yet to adopt any cell phone rules for its clubs in Reno and Sparks, but representatives of the organization said such a move might be considered.

"I'm sure we'll bring it up in discussion," said YMCA of the Sierra spokesman David Taylor. "Give it time."

Randy Mellinger, a member of the YMCA of the Sierra's board of directors and its outgoing chairman, said he hadn't heard of the recommendation and doesn't think cell phones - with cameras or without - pose any problem.

Mellinger said he works out regularly and has never seen anybody using a cell phone.

Since the June recommendation was released, YMCAs in Wisconsin, Kansas, Illinois and Maryland have adopted new rules regarding cell phones, with most banning camera phones in locker rooms, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported on Monday.

One local YMCA patron, Twana McCutcheon, 33, said the idea sounds excessive to her. Any blanket ban on all cell phones at YMCAs would be overkill, she said.

"I couldn't deal with that," McCutcheon said. "I need my cell phone. I need to be connected to the outside world at all times."

Claudia Green said she sometimes brings a cell phone to her workouts in case her children need to reach her but leaves it set to receive messages only. Green said people talking on cell phones in the workout area annoy her.

A ban "wouldn't bother me at all," Green said. As to the possibility of people using camera phones to surreptitiously photograph people in the locker room, Green said "there are a lot of weird people out there."