Paging George Orwell! Students at Oral Roberts University are now being monitored by their administration

By Kaitlin Menza
February 02, 2016

College is rarely the healthiest time of anyone's life. There's all that pizza and beer, microwaved ramen noodles, and the whole unlimited cafeteria buffet thing. It's no wonder that some students get paranoid about the Freshman 15. But that paranoia is reaching a whole new level at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma.

The school has decided that all incoming freshmen will be required to wear Fitbits to track their activity levels. The Fitbit data will be monitored by the school administration, and the students' physical health will be factored into their grades. Until the new freshmen arrive, current students may also take part in the program, and Fitbits are now available in the school's bookstores. (Do you know The Right Way to Use Your Fitness Tracker?)

While it's awesome to encourage and even incentivize students to be healthy, it feels downright creepy to be tracking their activitiesHunger Games-style dystopian series/movie. But even though the technology is very modern, ORU's approach to student health is not new for them. The school's founding principle is to educate the "whole person." As such, students were already getting assessed by (and graded on) their physical discipline, though it was previously accomplished via self-evaluation.

"ORU offers one of the most unique educational approaches in the world by focusing on the Whole Person-mind, body and spirit," university president William M. Wilson said in a statement. "The marriage of new technology with our physical fitness requirements is something that sets ORU apart." Yea, it sets the school apart, alright!

Wilson pointed out that current students have already (voluntarily) bought over 500 Fitbits from the school store, which suggests they're excited about the technological update. Again, it's wonderful to see young people taking control of their health...maybe a little less wonderful when an institution takes control for them. (Find the Best Fitness Tracker For Your Workout Style.)

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