Oral Roberts University is pulling out the big guns (or big gadgets) in its battle against the “Freshman 15.” The quirk? It’s a battle that ORU has determined to be mandatory for its new flock of students.
The Oklahoman educational institution has decreed that incoming students shall wear Fitbits in a bid to monitor the exercise levels of its freshmen. The data collected goes to the school and could impact the grades of students outfitted with the monitoring devices. It’s a bit of a mutation of previous physical education elements of ORU life where students would do things like log their aerobic activity in a fitness journal.
Depending on your viewpoint, this gameplan is either a sly way to keep students active in a country with no shortage of obesity issues, or the scheme is a total invasion of privacy with elements of body/health-shaming and a Big Brother aftertaste. It’s probably fair to say that even the suggestion of this sort of plan at other college campuses would lead to a serious brouhaha.
Details on how much activity students will be required to exert have been in relatively short supply, but ORU President William M. Wilson is confident this approach will be a natural fit for the school.
“ORU offers one of the most unique educational approaches in the world by focusing on the Whole Person – mind, body and spirit… The marriage of new technology with our physical fitness requirements is something that sets ORU apart. In fact, when we began this innovative program in the fall of 2015, we were the first university in the world to offer this unique approach to a fitness program.”
New students will be expected to become good buds with their Fitbits, but the program is also open to the entire student body. This initiative is being touted as the first one of its kind for a post-secondary institution and not something pulled from a low stakes sci-fi show.
Are you cool with this idea from Oral Roberts or does it freak you out? Give us your take in the comments and please know that we monitor your fitness level as you type and it could impact your overall comment grade.
(Via NBC News)