Young Men's Christian Association — member discrimination
My name is Han Wei, an international student. I joined the summer program of YMCA Coney Island.
On August 22, 2019, I arrived at the gym at about 1pm. I had checked the gym's schedule before I went and knew the Murray studio would be available between 1:05pm-6:30pm (Photos of the YMCA schedule online and on paper taken later that day attached). I stayed in the studio (preparing myself) for about 10 minutes when a group of people showed up saying they were summer camp and they wanted to use the room and asked me to leave. I told them their activity was not on the online schedule and not on the physical copy attached on the door of the studio, I also showed it to them. They asked the manager to come. Without any regard to my position, the manager, Aerial Mathis insisted me to leave and go to the equipment room. First of all, why I can't even choose where to exercise given that I was a member, I followed the gym's schedule and I came first. Second of all, I explained I needed to lie down on a mop for my exercise and the other room was full of heavy equipment and people waking around all the time carrying heavy weights, it was dangerous and disturbing. I once almost got injured. Her only response was "no you weren't injured otherwise you would complain". Do I have to be actually injured to be qualified to have the freedom to choose where to do my exercise? She didn't care at all. Some other staff also came and they surrounded me. I had to leave under the pressure and asked if they could open another room for me. With great reluctance they opened another for me, Aerial said it was a "great courtesy" and I should thank her.
Another director, Justin Martinez, said if I found the Murray Studio open, I should automatically be aware that something will go on inside. It was nonsense, all gym members who go there constantly can prove that the studio is always open and that any individual can go inside to exercise, and all we have been told was to follow the schedule.
I was very upset and felt mistreated and disrespected by the gym management. It was supposed to be their job to arrange the schedules for the gym. How difficult was it to put up a schedule for the summer camp and post it online or in the studio? They were the ones too lazy to do their job but they just asked the customer to compromise for their breach of duty? And when there was a conflict among customers they just kicked out the one they felt easier to get rid of? Was it because I am a foreigner or an Asian woman all by myself? I was a member I paid my fees I should have the equal rights same as other customers. Why I can't have the freedom to choose where to do my exercise but the others have superiority than me? This isn't discrimination or what?
It's not that I can't switch place but it's the gym management's attitude that was extremely inappropriate. Even if they weren't able to set up and post a schedule for the summer camp, the management was supposed to OFFER to open up another space for either party in this situation instead of asking me to leave. I have my work and life too, I followed the gym's schedule to schedule my workout. It would be unfair and unreasonable if I had to wait outside when other people showed up any time and ask me to leave.
It's 2019 now this kind of thing still happens in this country?
I have attached the whole gym's online schedule of that day, as well as all the physical copies of schedule & notices I was able to find in and around the studio that day. None of them mentioned the summer camp activity, or that the other members shall make room for the summer camp when there's a conflict. The summer camp that day including the kids all saw this that day.
About half of the members of YMCA Coney island are Asia, will this be a good influence to them?
I have to get a response from the YMCA about this.
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