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Prompt 2: Freshman 15

Why is it that the most common thing expected of freshman is gaining a “freshman fifteen�? I understand that people gain weight when they have food readily available for them, but whatever happened to exercise?

Since the first day of the fall semester, the rec has been open every single school day. All the students at the University of Minnesota have access to workout facilities and machines that cost thousands of dollars. Why, then, do some students choose to skip out on exercise?

The most probable reasons include laziness, inconvenience, and the weather. Minnesota winters are known to be brutally cold. The tunnel system around campus serves as a very effective system designed to keep students warm when walking to academic buildings. However, the rec fails to connect to these tunnels. This keeps many students from getting the daily exercise that they need in order to stay healthy.

The social-design issue that I intend to bring to everyone’s attention is that of personal fitness and exercise. Personally, I have experienced the feeling of laziness, probably every day. Once the winter weather hits, especially these past couple of weeks, I had no desire to leave my room. Venturing out into the cold to go anywhere would be way too inconvenient. Some brave and determined students still make it to the rec through the sub-zero winter, but what about those students who don’t like to exercise?

Design can be a simple solution to this question. In order to make exercising more convenient, the existing tunnel system could be expanded so students wouldn’t have to freeze when walking there. Also, housing could be built closer to, or on top of, the rec. Another alternative would be adding exercise equipment to the living spaces. These solutions all require more money which some may say is unnecessary. The choice is either to pay up to improve health, or witness freshman classes progressively fatten up as they sit and eat through the cold, icy winter.

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