The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Just do it?

Many+students+taking+fitness+use+the+gym+equipment+in+Richardson+Building+as+part+of+their+curriculum.
Many students taking fitness use the gym equipment in Richardson Building as part of their curriculum.

A HISTORY OF THE PHYSICAL EDUCATION GRADUATION REQUIREMENT AND CURRENT FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS’ OPINIONS ON IT—

Currently, Wofford requires all students to complete two credit hours of physical education in order to graduate. To meet the requirement, the college offers a variety of courses such as tennis, racquetball, fitness and team sports, as well as softball and kayaking classes offered in the spring. Recently yoga and dance were added to the repertoire and both were met with overwhelming support and interest by the student body.

Physical education has been a required aspect of the college’s curriculum since 1943 when all students were expected to complete six credit hours. Back then the college even had a department devoted to completing the desired goal of promoting health, growth and development of the body. In the inaugural year of the program, courses such as baseball, golf, shadow boxing and even tug of war were counted as classes. The department even offered personal and advanced hygiene courses and encouraged students to take ROTC/military science courses by allowing them to fulfill the requirement. This six-hour requirement stayed in effect until the curriculum reform of the late 1960s, where in 1972 the two-hour requirement that is currently used today was established. By that point, the courses offered more closely reflect the ones currently offered now: wellness, fitness, tennis, racquetball, dance and team sports.

Although students were credited with saying they enjoyed and approved of the program in its early days, the physical education requirement has been met with varied opinions on its credibility by students of today.

Story continues below advertisement

Brendan Paschal, who is currently enrolled in tennis, agrees with the requirement.“It is a necessary course, because we as students do not live the healthiest lifestyle, and let me say the freshman 15 is real,” he says. “Having to take a P.E. allows me to run around and move and just let off some stress. When I have P.E. I know I can just relax and have fun and not worry about anything.”

Similarly, Grace Edwards is in a racquetball class where she says she experiences a laid back atmosphere where she can learn the game but also have fun. “It is important for people to stay active and [the requirement] is good because it helps to relieve stress,” says Edwards. “It’s like being in class without really having to use your brain. It’s not thinking so much as it is doing. It’s also a pretty nice grade that can boost your GPA so long as you participate.”

For Ariana Bien though, the physical education class poses a sort of obstacle to her academics.

“Sometimes you just want to focus on your academic classes and not take time out of your day to go get sweaty,” says Bien.

Overall though, she can see the merits of the requirement saying. She feels that physical education classes are helpful for non-athletes “For us normal folks it’s a good way to keep off the freshman 15,” she says.

She also believes that it has provided her with other opportunities such as meeting more people and expanding horizons. Many student athletes, however, have shown disapproval of  the requirement.

— Kelsey Aylor

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal