Don’t Diss Students’ Bodies

What is UCSB thinking? In order to save less than two percent of its budget shortfall, UCSB is eliminating the Exercise & Sport Studies Department in an era where . . .

90 percent of premature death and disease in the U.S.A. is lifestyle caused.

The education to live an active and balanced lifestyle is more important than ever for our best and brightest students and future leaders.

Suicide is the number two killer of college age students. Knowledge of health, exercise, et. significantly lowers the incidence of suicide in this age group.

Health care and public health is a major issue in our country.

The minor in Exercise & Sport Studies is the most popular minor on campus. The department provides over 5,000 student class contacts per year in academic subjects such as exercise physiology, sport psychology, sport sociology, et. The department offers four minors; athletic coaching, fitness instruction, health and exercise science, and sport management.

The department offers a wide variety of activity classes from A (aerobics) to W (weight training). Without these classes the 7,000 students who take these classes yearly would not have the opportunity to learn new skills and try new sports.

In addition to serving over 12,000 student contact classes per year for UCSB students, the department provides hundreds of interns to the local community. Interns coach many local high school and junior high athletic teams. Without the Exercise and Sport Studies Department, these internships will not be available. This will negatively affect hundreds of local youth.

The ironic thing about this whole situation is that the department earns more money ins state dollars for the University than it spends-almost four times more. Then why would the department be on the chopping block? It seems the University if more concerned about being a prestigious research institution than meeting the education needs of its students. Exercise & Sport Studies classes are popular with students from all majors. Yet the administration’s attitude seems to be “Too bad, we are eliminating your option to take these classes. After all, the department only teaches some of the most popular classes on campus. It does not do research.”

In this case, it seems the University is going back to the dark ages when the body was evil and only the mind counted. What happened to the Renaissance idea of mind, body, and spirit? Are we back to the mentality of “the world is flat” and “the sun revolves around the earth”? I jest here-but not too much. It seems unbelievable that an enlightened university, which I thought UCSB to be, would cut a department that more than pays its way and provides an important educational component. Does only research count these days?-Jeanette B. Carpenter


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