Physical Education will be a ‘smaller department’
By: Stephen Buechter
The College Academic Council’s (CAC) campus representatives voted to remove the physical education credits from STLCC’s graduation requirements.
“It is up to the members of CAC at the district level to essentially vote their conscience, and they are not required to vote as the campus voted,” said Margaret Hvatum, Meramec Campus’ CAC representative and professor of information systems.
“So at CAC, there was a motion made, seconded, and approved to have a secret ballot, so we voted by secret ballot.” Hvatum said that while it is still required for most individual degree programs, the programs may decide whether or not to include physical education credits in their requirements when they are revised.
However the trend in the state of Missouri is to have 60 credit hour programs so physical education is likely to be one of the first credits dropped from program requirements to meet that benchmark.
Hvatum said she was against the measure to remove physical education from STLCC’s graduation requirements.
“I felt that it was important to continue to have [physical education] as part of the graduation requirement,” Hvatum said.
“I think that as Americans get more and more unhealthy our life expectancy is going down and that’s not the right thing at all, and part of an education should be learning how to be fit and be active, find a sport that you’ll be able to do lifelong to maintain that fitness that you need, basically, to live.” Hvatum brought a marathon completion medal to the interview.
“I brought this to show that I’m serious about this,” Hvatum said.
Sophomore Shamiah Oliver, a student who has taken physical education at Meramec, shared similar thoughts on the matter.
“I knew [about the removal of physical education from graduation requirements] and I’m kind of upset about that,” Oliver said.
“I feel like it’s necessary and it should be required.” Oliver said if the Physical Education Department has less funds and offers fewer classes that future students who want to take physical education won’t have the same resources as she did.
“I took an online course last semester and the teacher gave some insight and information on things I never knew, simple tactics to help with certain things that I actually use, and they were very helpful,” Oliver said.
“I feel that everyone else should have access to those things too.” Hvatum said that the Physical Education Department will be a “smaller department.” “Physical education will be required for some disciplines, but probably not for most of them,” Hvatum said.
“The problem is that if it’s not required for graduation, then PE classes will not be eligible for financial aid, and students who are in financial aid classes can’t take PE even if they want to.” Amir Didovic, a freshman at Meramec, said that he did not support the removal of physical education from graduation requirements.
“I guess it depends,” Didovic said.
“If it means there’s less money for the campus… I’m not for the removal of PE credits, because I don’t think it’s really a big deal if we’re staying here just a little longer and spending a little more money for more education.”