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The New Guard

University Offers Free Fitbits, Health Coaching; Gift Cards to Non-White Students

By

Nick Baker

December 7, 2023

The University of Utah is launching an openly discriminatory initiative to provide free Fitbit devices, health coaching services, and gift cards to students, as long as they’re not straight and white, according to a flyer received through Young America’s Foundation’s Campus Bias Tip Line.

A flyer for the “Prevention Plus Wellness Research Study,” a project of the University of Utah Student Health Center in collaboration with the Salt Lake County Health Department, lists races, ethnicities, and “LGBTQIA+” statuses that the program is seeking:

  • American Indian
  • Black/African American
  • Pacific Islander
  • Asian
  • Hispanics/Latinos
  • Refugee
  • First Generation Students
  • LGBTQIA+

Students who participate in the program receive hundreds of dollars worth of benefits – a nice smartwatch, professional health coaching, and $40 in gift cards.

When asked by the New Guard why the program excludes students who are white and not members of the “LGBTQIA+ community,” refugees, or first generation students, the Student Health Center said, “Our goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of background, has equal opportunities for a healthy academic experience.”

That rationale, however, makes no sense. If the goal was truly to provide “everyone” with valuable tools to promote personal health, everyone would be eligible to participate.

“Simply put, this is racist and discriminatory,” Lucy Atwood, chair of the Utah Young Americans for Freedom chapter, told the New Guard.

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