HP activity courses cut after budget reductions

Maggie Shepeard

As most students have noticed registering for the winter semester, the health promotion class offerings are significantly reduced in size. As a side effect of low enrollment numbers campus-wide, the HP curriculum has been negatively impacted, and it is affecting everyone sooner as opposed to later.re-HPClasses2

According to Barb Coleman, associate professor of health and fitness, her department has been given a budget that is much less than what they’ve had in the past to pay for the contingent staff and adjuncts that  have been teaching many of the HP classes.

Their department, as a result, had to develop a schedule according to that budget beginning with the upcoming winter semester.

“This is a very painful loss, since a lot of excellent classes and people are affected,” Coleman said. As a requirement for graduation, most colleges and universities require students to take a personal wellness course in conjunction to the core academic curriculum. At NMU, students must complete two health promotions courses in order to graduate.

HP 200 Physical Well Being must be taken by all students, and any variety of HP activity courses are offered to fulfill the elective credit requirement.

NMU is fortunate enough to have both the PEIF (Physical Education Instructional Facility), which houses an Olympic-sized pool, as well as the Superior Dome, and is categorized as an Olympic training facility.

“The School of Health and Human Performance believes that it is important for students to learn more about their wellness at the adult stage in their lives and be part of an active campus community,” Coleman said. “The information and experiences in these classes can help students with choices that can enhance their health as well as self-efficacy in life. Our HP classes have provided education about wellness and opportunities to take part in both new and familiar activities to accomplish those objectives. We are not in favor of reducing those opportunities for students.”

Adding that administration has been very forthcoming about the upcoming changes, Coleman said that they are only able to offer what they have money to pay people to teach.

In addition to physical education and exercise science courses, there were also 38 health promotion activity classes offered at NMU this fall.

These courses range from aqua zumba to belly dancing to tai chi. Although you should be in average to good health, there are no previous requirements needed sign up for these courses.

Amer Mansoor, a senior communications major, said he decided to take a beginning swimming class to help meet the course requirement, as well as to have a little fun. He is enrolled in a weight-training strength and conditioning class, as well as a swimming class two days a week.

Anna LaBreche, a junior theatre major, has taken HP courses in the past. She has taken the  required HP 200 wellness course, as well as beginning ballet.

“To be able to take a course in ballet, for me, was a good opportunity to learn techniques and was a welcome addition to my schedule,” LaBreche said. “It was nice to go to my other classes and then go to that one and be a little more physical versus sitting at a desk in a traditional classroom.”

For students, the opporunities to take these classes may remain  reduced in size until the university resolves the budget deficit.