Proud2Bme | Update: Petition Challenging Oral Roberts University’s Fitbit Requirement Reaches 1,500 Signatures

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Update: Petition Challenging Oral Roberts University’s Fitbit Requirement Reaches 1,500 Signatures

It started with a simple blog post calling out Oral Roberts University’s policy requiring students to track their daily aerobic activity using a Fitbit. When we posted the piece on social media, we couldn’t help but notice how outraged our community became over the requirement.

At Proud2Bme, we believe that if a policy is unfair, young people have the power to challenge it—and so we did. This past April, Proud2Bme blogger Kaitlin Irwin published a Change.org petition asking ORU to end their misguided Fitbit program.   

In her petition, Kaitlin argued: “Tracking and grading students’ physical activity encourages an unhealthy environment that may lead to drawing unfair comparisons between students, creating a one-size-fits-all benchmark for health, and encouraging compulsions to over-exercise.”

The petition surpassed our goal of 1,500 signatures, received widespread social media support and garnered significant press coverage. Keep reading to learn more about our campaign’s success!

Statements of Support:   

  • “I entered my freshman year at Oral Roberts University as a recovering anorexic. It was difficult enough to navigate the mandatory HPE program as it stood in 2011, but this requirement would have been devastating for my recovery.” –Vanessa Sweet, Tulsa, OK
  • “Before coming to ORU, I finally was happy with my appearance. But since being here this rule has made my self-consciousness about my weight and size return.” –Kaylee Gemeny, Weatherford, TX
  • “I am a student at ORU and the Fitbit has caused me to get a C in PE, which is my only C in my college history.” –Jennifer Swyden, Tulsa, OK
  • “I'm a mental health clinician and I do not believe this is a healthy requirement to implement. This will be very triggering for students already battling an eating disorder. Healthy living is measured by so much more than steps per day.” –Lauren Woodard, Asheville, NC
     

Social Media Successes:

Our April 12 #DontTrackMe chat earned 3.3 million impressions and 1,045 tweets using the hashtag were made. In fact, we had so much support that #DontTrackMe trended on Twitter that afternoon! Check out the chat recap here

Press Coverage:

Our Change.org petition and #DontTrackMe campaign were covered by major publications including CosmopolitanShape, BuzzFeed, Redbook and many more.

To learn more about the dangers of fitness trackers and compulsive exercise, check out:

Recovery is More Important Than a Fitness Tracker

Health is Not a Number

When Fitness Becomes Compulsion

Facebook discussion

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About Us

Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.