Weight loss challenge!

August 24, 2010

Weight-loss Rhino

Interesting story at the Chronicle of Higher Education about an old woman who has pledged $1 million to her alma mater, Stephens College, if the employees of the college lose a total of 250 pounds by the stroke of midnight on January 1. She’ll throw in another $100,000 if the college’s president loses 25 pounds. Apparently the donor weighs the same (117 pounds) at age 87 as she did in college, and she thinks the educators at her old school need to slim down a little. Is this a brilliant and biting piece of social commentary or a condescending and mean-spirited act? Let’s ask Weight-loss Rhino.

Weight-loss Rhino says: “BRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAARRRRR!”


2 Responses to “Weight loss challenge!”

  1. Heather Sazama said

    I think Weight-loss Rhino should join in the challenge. If the teachers are in shape, they will have more physical and mental energy for their jobs. They will be setting a good example for the student body and live to teach longer! I say it is a brilliant use of the old bird’s millions.

    • Robert said

      Ha, well, maybe so. But I tend to agree with one of the commenters at the Chronicle website who pointed out that there are lots of unhealthy and dangerous ways to lose weight and that connecting a financial incentive to a weight-loss goal could lead to unhealthy behavior. The commenter goes on to say:
      “If the donor’s (and president’s) motives are for healthier lifestyles (and personal integrity and dignity) for members of the college community, then surely they could come up with a more humane, graceful, fun, sustainable, educational way for under a million dollars. What at Stephens College makes it harder to choose healthier alternatives, and what change in the nature (structure, policies, campus architecture, food options, awareness, medical plans) of the place would make it easier? Go with the ideas that will last longer than midnight on Jan. 1.”
      I can definitely see both sides of it.

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