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Students Angered After College Sends Students With High BMIs Invite To Weight Loss Program

One Bryn Mawr student said the email telling her to join a fitness program "horrified" her.

Posted on January 29, 2015, at 6:31 p.m. ET

Women at Bryn Mawr College are outraged after the school’s health center sent them an email encouraging them to join a "weight loss success" program because they had high BMIs.

Junior Rudrani Sarma was one of the students who got the email from the health center at the all-women's college, which had the subject line "Give a HOOT!"

Rudrani Sarma

Sarma said she was “extremely horrified” when she read the email.

“It’s really affected me psychologically. At first I really took this message to heart, thinking … I must need to lose weight,” she said.
Rudrani Sarma / Via facebook.com

“It’s really affected me psychologically. At first I really took this message to heart, thinking … I must need to lose weight,” she said.

Sarma said she was shocked by the insensitivity of the email, particularly because she was treated for an eating disorder at the same health center. She called the email “triggering.”

Rudrani Sarma / Via facebook.com

The English literature major was so angry, she wrote about the email on Facebook:

Rudrani Sarma / Via Facebook: Rudrani.Gollapudi

Her post got over 200 likes and dozens of comments, some from women who said they got the same email. One student said she responded to the email:

I'm a senior who's not only doing her senior project in a language other than English, and finishing an arts minor in photography... which means I've got better things to do. It's a shame, because you'd think a college like Bryn Mawr would trust me to set my own priorities. Quite frankly, you guys are asses for targeting students like this.

Sarma said she wrote the health center back, and was told she was included on the list by mistake. The center also promised to modify the language for the future.

Sarma said she didn’t think the school’s apology was good enough, and thought that the fact it didn’t address the email itself was problematic. Though she and some other women have reached out to the administration for an explanation, they said they did not receive much of a response.
Rudrani Sarma

Sarma said she didn’t think the school’s apology was good enough, and thought that the fact it didn’t address the email itself was problematic.

Though she and some other women have reached out to the administration for an explanation, they said they did not receive much of a response.

Together, they women have formed a committee and are planning a protest or demonstration against Bryn Mawr “policing our body.”

They are also asking the college to apologize to the entire student body.

A spokesman for Bryn Mawr told BuzzFeed News that this is the third time the college has offered the program and this is the first time they have received complaints.

"We sincerely regret if our communication around this program has upset any student and have contacted the students quoted in the article to examine ways to improve future communications," spokesman Matt Gray said.
Bryn Mawr College / Via brynmawr.edu

"We sincerely regret if our communication around this program has upset any student and have contacted the students quoted in the article to examine ways to improve future communications," spokesman Matt Gray said.

h/t Swarthmore Phoenix

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