It produces extreme stress to some students, but to others invokes elation. Some choose to traverse the path early while others avoid it until the cusp of graduation. It’s physical education class, or as it’s referred to at Washburn, PE 198 Lifetime Wellness. The name alone invokes thoughts of terror and humiliation for some, but for others, PE is one of the most enjoyable college experiences available. Regardless of any individual’s stance on taking the course, which is a university requirement for undergraduates, PE 198 must remain a requirement for graduation.
There is a widely held notion in some political circles that the United States has one of the best health care systems worldwide. Regardless of political affiliation the notion simply does not hold true, especially now as an intense and divided health care debate rages. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 34 percent of American adults age 20 and older were obese in 2007-08, and 68 percent were considered overweight or obese. In children ages two through 19, 17 percent were considered obese while 32 percent were considered overweight.
The CIA’s World Factbook rates the U.S. infant mortality rate 46 out of 224 countries and entities. Ahead of the U.S. in this startling statistic are the countries of Liechenstein, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, just to name a few. These data partially reflect a lack of knowledge on proper prenatal care in the U.S. Additionally, according to the World Factbook, the life expectancy rank of the U.S. is no. 50 in the world. Outpacing us in that category are international powerhouses like Bosnia and Singapore.
Cities around the country (including New York) are banning products made using trans fats. Locally, the Topeka city council recently banned smoking in most indoor areas. If you watch TV, read articles on the Internet or in print or listen to the radio, you are probably at least partially aware that there is a health care debate currently happening in congress. The issue of health care will present itself over and over again throughout our lives. Knowledge about proper health care for yourself and others cannot be underestimated. For many people, health is their foremost concern in life. Education is the key to preventing and changing some of the aforementioned monstrous numbers.
There are some changes that could be implemented to improve the PE 198 requirement here at Washburn. Among those changes are allowing the transfer of credits from other universities and creating an exemption also might be possible for student athletes.
While a contentious and heated debate rages throughout the country about the topic of health care legislation, one thing is almost universally accepted, regardless of political affiliation: we as Americans must remain educated about our health.
The Faculty Senate is set to vote on the elimination of PE 198 as a requirement on Feb.11, 2010. We at the Review hope that they keep it as requirement for the health and well being of students.