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PE must be worth something

Lindsey Marugg | Monday, December 7, 2009

As a freshman, there are many things you have to just get used to here at Notre Dame. Parietals are a big one that I imagine will never seem to make sense. The fact that the University can put such harsh regulations on the new freedom college is supposed to bring doesn’t seem right. The amount of work that has to be done each day is also something that you just have to accept and push through during the first year. But one thing that a college freshman shouldn’t have to accept is taking a class for a full year and not getting credit for it. There is no good reason physical education should be a zero-credit course at Notre Dame.

PE is required for all Notre Dame freshmen, but while it is a graduation requirement, there is no credit given for the class. It meets twice a week and consists of 20 weeks of four different physical activities and 10 weeks of Contemporary Topics. Attendance is mandatory at each and every class and multiple tardies result in an absence and require a make-up class or assignment. In Contemporary Topics there is a paper to write and other various assignments to do outside of class. So far this doesn’t sound at all different from some of the Arts and Letters classes offered on campus. Actually, the required attendance and make-up classes make PE seem more difficult in some ways.

If these reasons aren’t enough to make PE a two-credit course per semester, then there is absolutely no reason it shouldn’t be worth one credit. I am in Liturgy Choir, and it was my surprise to find out that I could get credit for it. I am receiving one credit hour this semester for it. Now, I attend two rehearsals a week and we sing at Mass on Sunday. While attendance is kept, there are excused absences. There is never work outside of choir, except the occasional requirement to work a couple hours at a concession stand or something. This is less regulated than PE, but I am getting credit for Lit Choir and not PE. Something here is not right at all.

Some people may argue is that since every single student has to take PE before they can graduate, then it doesn’t matter. But everyone has to take a lot of similar classes their first year. For example, everyone has to take a University Seminar their freshman year. Should that class be not worth any credit? The answer to that question is obvious. So why isn’t the answer to the question about whether PE should count as a credit just as simple?

Given these facts, I can see no reason that PE is a zero-credit course. Attendance is mandatory and work is assigned for Contemporary Topics outside of class. Also, other things, such as Liturgy Choir, can be taken as one-credit courses and even though PE is a graduation requirement, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t count as some sort of credit for students. This is a great example of the University adding things to freshman year without giving students any recognition for completion and is just nonsensical. PE should be worth credit for Notre Dame freshmen. End of story.


Lindsey Marugg


Pasquerilla West Hall

Dec. 5