University of Vermont

The Honors College

Olympics Theme Week: HCOL Students Examine the Issues Behind the 2010 Winter Games

In February the Honors College and the University Heights North Hall Council put together several activities focusing on addressing social issues connected to the 2010 Winter Olympics. A total of four events took place, each addressing a different aspect of athletic diversity, inequity, power, and privilege.

On February 22, Hall Council, which is comprised of student leaders in University Heights North (the Honors College dormitory), invited Annie Cressey of Health Promotions to facilitate a student discussion on body image and performance-enhancing drug use in sport. Later that same evening, a guest speaker from Vermont Adaptive Skiing and Sport came in to facilitate an event about the Paralympics. The event included a screening of the film Muderball, which follows the story of the paralympic Rugby team as it competed in the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece. Students sat down to a variety of snacks and chatted about the experiences of athletes with disabilities.

The following day a group of Honors College students led a conversation about the International Olympic Commission's recent rulings addressing the inclusion of Transgender identified individuals in sport. The event was an academic exploration of the impact of the ruling on athletics and on gender variant individuals.

The week was rounded out by a monopoly game night highlighting the economic disparity present in the Olympic games, and the impact of money on how many medals are won by various nations. The game attempted to get students in the building to discuss the current manifestation of global economics and to address the translation of sport as national pride.

These events created an atmosphere of inquiry and excitement in the Honors College, and students from a variety of communities within University Heights North came to contribute their opinions openly and with conviction, not to mention to chow down on some pretty delectable food options.

Last modified April 01 2010 09:38 AM