A proposal by two McGill law faculty students to have women-only hours at the downtown campus gym is causing an uproar at the Montreal university.

Soumia Allalou, a second-year McGill law student, started the proposal for women-only gym hours along with fellow student Raymond Grafton. (Photo used with permission from Soumia Allalou)

When student Soumia Allalou, 23, decided to get back into shape, she contacted the university’s gym and asked when women-only hours were. She was surprised to find that there was no such thing.

“Personally I prefer to work out in a women-only environment. I just kind of assumed they would have women-only hours. I asked them if there was a project for that in the works and they said that they didn’t think so,” said Allalou, who wears a hair covering and cites religious reasons for her preference. She took to Facebook to voice her concerns.

“I feel like there are many women who have a variety of reasons for preferring to work out in a women-only environment. Whether it’s how comfortable they are, whether they have had bad experiences at the gym in the past, whether they have less access to the machines. A lot of women tell me they feel intimidated in the weights section,” said Allalou.