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Multiple physical education courses spark concern for student course registration plans


April 11, 2014

It is that time of year again where students are scheduling meetings with their advisors and planning out the next semester of their college career. We are sure almost every student can agree that it is stressful figuring out what classes you need and when the right time to take them will be. Not too mention you also need to actually register for the courses, which opens another whole can of tomatoes. What if by the time you get to register the classes you have in your course cart are all taken?

Eliminating courses that are, in our opinion, unnecessary, may alleviate some of the stress of getting your class schedule to work. This particularly pertains to the physical education requirements all students have to take while at UW-River Falls. While we agree that one PE course would be fine, three of them seems a little over the top.

The courses that are offered consist of things such as yoga, basketball skills, tennis, walking, bowling and several others. All of which students are capable of getting involved in being active with on their own without the help of a college course.

PE courses are generally only a half a credit and are only for half of the semester. While it is nice to have only a seven-week course, it causes issues when registering for other courses since they generally are for an entire semester. The courses are generally 50 minutes long and are usually only available in the mornings, at least from our personal experiences. That means students only have about 30 minutes of full class time for PE due to having to change into/out of athletic clothes.

Another problematic situation that these PE courses cause is sweating. Nobody wants to finish the rest of his or her day being that person who smells. With the courses generally only being offered in the morning, it conflicts with other courses that students may be enrolled in which forces them to go straight from PE to another class without having a chance to de-stink and de-sweat themselves.

We get that having a healthier lifestyle is encouraged on campus but it is also each person’s individual choice on how they want to manage their healthy lifestyle. There are options on campus such as yoga, Zumba and other active activities that are provided for students if they choose to participate.

We do feel that it is fair to have one course that is designated to physical activity, so, perhaps a PE course that students are required to could be an entire semester long and worth more than half of a credit. Or, perhaps it could be beneficial to have a weekend PE course or more evening class options. This could eliminate the problem of interfering with other courses both scheduling wise and smelling wise.

In previous years, students were able to test out of the PE courses but that option was stopped due to the concern of not having the test out option consistant among all of the PE courses offered, according to an archived Student Voice article.. The concern of students healthy and active lifestyles also came into play when the decision was made. It would be beneficial to students if the test out option were to come back and made consistent throughout the list of courses offerred so that it would not interfere with the rest of their schedules.

In short, we feel that either physical activity can be done on students’ own merit and time, the three required classes are cut back to just one or have more times available for the PE classes to be taken.