Saturday, November 21, 2009


Lincoln University created a new policy that students who have BMIs greater than 30 have to take a physical education class to graduate (Sharifa Riley, BMI Causes Uproar) . Apparently, some students and professors are upset about this as they are claiming that it will delay their graduation, or that it is discriminatory against fat people (obese for those that like to be politically correct) (Riley).

I believe the intentions of this policy are good. Will it make the students late to graduate? No, they can just use it to replace an elective. It is also easier than other electives; there is not a lot of thinking involved in gym class.

Is it discriminatory? Yes, it classifies people into groups based on the BMI. Personally, I don't see a problem in this particular case of discrimination. The rule is designed to help the people that it supposedly "discriminates against". However, the people who are complaining about discrimination are probably just scared to give an inch due to the fear that the rule makers might take a mile. I can just imagine the arguments. "If we allow this rule, what's next? Soon, they'll be making homosexuals take AIDS awareness courses before they can graduate!"

They could just amend the rule so that everyone needs to take a gym class unless they participate in athletics; however, this amendment would appear to be an injustice to those students that don't need to learn about fitness.

In the end, I respect the effort to increase the health of students at Lincoln University. Hopefully, the attention that this story gathers will help more people realize the importance of leading balanced lives.


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