Lincoln University has decided against requiring obese students to complete a fitness test before graduation.
Obese seniors at Lincoln University will no longer be required to pass a fitness course in order to graduate, reports BlackVoices. The decision, announced last month, drew criticism from current students as being unfair, and the University community voted last Friday to undo the measure.
"After much discussion, we are no longer requiring students to pass the fitness test in order to graduate,” James L. DeBoy, chairman of the school’s department of health, physical education and recreation told BV. "People were asking, ‘How can you, as an HBCU, discriminate against anyone? You are testing students and singling them out.’ Stigmatization can have a harming effect.”
The school still wants to do its part to help students lead healthier lives, but the requirements seem to now be based on relationships between students and faculty, rather than hard and fast rules.
"Let’s be clear: If recommendations are not honored by students, we will be upset,” James warned. "We will come back with a different recommendation. Helping students monitor their health is really important to us.”
Lincoln also came under fire for exclusively using the body mass index (BMI) to measure a student’s need for the fitness course. Only using BMI can be misleading because it does not take muscle mass into account. Now, James’ department will also look at other factors, including blood pressure, joint range and aerobic ability.
– Whitney Teal