Carleton University faces backlash for removing scales from gym
Published Sunday, March 12, 2017 8:18PM EDT
Carleton University’s decision to remove weight scales from its sprawling campus fitness centre in an effort to promote positive body image isn’t sitting well with a number of students who have taken to social media to weigh in.
The scale controversy was first reported by the university's student-run newspaper, The Charlatan. The paper said that the scales were replaced with a sign saying the decision is “in keeping with current fitness trends.”
The university claims the move was intended to encourage students to focus on wellness instead of weight.
“There are other alternatives to measure the success that were more accurate than just weighing themselves,” said Carleton wellness program manager Bruce Marshall in a statement to CTV Ottawa.
But much of the online ridicule accuses Carleton of pandering to a small group of gym users who are easily offended.
“Great policy,” wrote Reddit user BernieLeadon. “Next up, ban calculators because I'm flunking calculus and seeing them triggers me.”
“This idiocy is incredible. I use the scale all the time to track progress. So because people have no coping mechanisms the rest of us have to go without?” said Reddit user kewlbeanz83 in the same post.
So #Carleton gym removed the scale so that people won't be offended by the measurement it provides. Novel concept, don't step on the scale.— Aaron Bens (@TacticsAdvanced) March 10, 2017
Heard about @Carleton_U removing the scale from the gym. Embarassing as an alumni. Smarten up. Everyone there is an adult. Act like it.— Luke Côté (@lilyliveredlib) March 12, 2017
Opinions on campus are a little more reserved.
“I think it’s a little over the top. Everybody does things their own way. If people want to use the scales, I don’t think they should take them away from them,” said a student who spoke to CTV Ottawa.
“I don’t really understand the reasoning behind it, because I like to know what I weigh,” said another.
One certified personal trainer says the university may have a point. Stanley Victor says only two of his current roster of 12 clients use a scale to track their progress.
“The scale scares them,” he said. “It tells them they are not good enough and they are not seeing results.”
However, Victor says he does keep one on hand for clients who wish to keep track.
The school’s wellness program said it stands beside the decision, but continues to weigh the pros and cons.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Megan Shaw