Editorial: Being well-rounded is for squares: Rethink HPs

RequiredExerciseComicRequired Human Performance classes are Baylor’s way of encouraging students to work out more, and it works.

For a very small percentage of students.

There is no one-size-fits all solutions for the way students choose majors or learn material, so why assume their is for the physical stuff? A set number of required Human Performance classes is not going to work well for most Baylor students.

Baylor should revisit its human performance requirements for undergraduates. The required human performance classes are nice for some students, but severely limit students’ course loads by preventing them from taking other, more relevant classes.

Furthermore, there are few ways for students to get around these requirements.

Students are required to take between two and four classes of human performances or health education, and there are few exemptions or substitutions for these requirements. Baylor is doing a really good job of trying to encourage students to live healthy lives (complete with physical activity), but the requirements are too strict for students who have a wide variety of interests and want to pursue other things.

Each human performance class is one credit hour. They range from classes like Fitness Practice and Theory to Relaxation and Fitness to Rock Climbing.

While these are entertaining classes and provide students an opportunity to learn about a new sport or physical activity, they take away course hours that could be put toward taking another major-specific class or lab, pursuing an elective or even finishing a minor.

While we agree that students might not put exercising high on their list of priorities, especially when the semester gets hectic, but forcing students to take time out of their schedules to sit in what is essentially a P.E. class is not the most effective way to encourage students to work out.

Baylor has several options.

Instead of requiring HPs, if Baylor is interested in seeing students exercise, perhaps the university could require students to clock a set number of physical activity hours every semester or before they graduate to ensure students prioritize working out.

That way students would be able to pursue physical activity through working out at the SLC, volunteering to lead physical fitness activities at local schools, or individually working out doing activities that may not be offered by Baylor.

Some of the Fitness Theory and Practice classes allow students to set their own workout schedules, fulfilling this wish, but that’s only some classes, depending on the instructor, and it’s a toss-up as far as classes go.

At the very least, Baylor should re-examine its exemptions and possibly add more exemptions for students. Some students do a variety of activities that require their time and energy. It may not be physical activity, but it is consistent with what they want to do post-college. Some students work long weeks on top of school and extracurriculars.

These students should be exempt from taking human performance classes, if only because their other duties take up time and energy.

They get their physical activity through their work or even just in the time they give to accomplish everything.

Baylor could also allow students to petition to have human performance classes not apply to their course hour cap each semester. This way, students would be allowed to take those two to four hours and pursue another class or even minor in order to round out their course work or academic interests.

This way students are still doing required physical activity, but they are also allowed to pursue other classes. Even one class can provide students with the glimpse they need into another realm of academia and also give them a more holistic education.

The idea behind human performance classes is genuine, but the system could use a lot of improvements and be much less strict. If Baylor would re-examine its human performance requirements, students could be a lot more fruitful academically and hone the other gifts they have. They could broaden what they do with their physical activity and potentially benefit the community more. Human performance requirements could be handled differently in a variety of ways and still be much better.