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Class of 2024 to Celebrate Final Exercises with Physical Activity

President Jim Ryan and other University officials are set to join students in exercise

<p>President Jim Ryan said in a meeting with the University’s Board of Visitors, “Many can climb up the stairs of greatness, but very few can do so without being winded at the top.”</p>

President Jim Ryan said in a meeting with the University’s Board of Visitors, “Many can climb up the stairs of greatness, but very few can do so without being winded at the top.”

Editor’s Note: This article is a humor column.

Grades and attendance will no longer be enough to qualify for graduation. This year, students will have to go to town for their caps and gowns.

As announced by the University Registrar, students closing out the University’s 195th academic term will be required to compete in a series of athletic events before Valedictory Exercises. Though the specific activities will be tailored to each student’s studies, they are certain to include running, swimming, weight lifting, biking and team ball sports. 

Parts of the preliminary department-specific exercise tasks have been leaked online. Economics majors have been ordered to do 100,000 gold-bar curls. Physics students are tasked with 20 perfectly elastic jumping jacks. Environmental Science pre-graduates must swim five miles in water untouched by man. And all Engineering students must walk for five minutes with a romantic interest. 

While the department-specific tasks will have more weight in assessing graduates’ fitness for degree conferral, all students will be expected to engage in certain general education tasks. Among these general requirements is climbing to the tippy top of the Rotunda, army crawling across Madison Bowl, climbing all the stairs in New Cabell Hall and eating five pounds of O’Hill food.

Some students have hypothesized that the change may be retribution for recent lapses in academic integrity on Grounds. The Ryan administration, however, insists that the physical activity is meant to benefit students, not punish them.

“This graduating class, I have no doubt, will go on to represent the very best of the world it comes to lead,” President Jim Ryan said in a meeting with the University’s Board of Visitors. “Many can climb up the stairs of greatness, but very few can do so without being winded at the top.”

In a private interview, Ryan — shirtless and running his daily 5k — rehashed his passion for the new graduation requirement.

“I believe that we should strive to be great and good in mind, body and life. I think that if we have succeeded as Wahoos, 10 years from now, we will all make six figures with six packs.”

Ryan has famously lived by these sentiments, maintaining a six-pack physique throughout his tenure as the University's president. His resolution this year was to increase his ab count to match his eight-figure salary.

Though the change in Final Exercises procedures is spearheaded by a chiseled role model with good intentions, legitimate pushback remains. The well-endowed Council for Helping Unheard Ballooned and Braggadocious Youth — CHUBBY — is unambiguously opposed to the initiative. 

Putting up posters at local eateries, CHUBBY decried the shift in graduation procedure as “a repugnant exercise in body recomposition meant to categorically eliminate a marginalized group.”

CHUBBY’s initiative has had a beefy impact on restaurant frequenters, swaying the lion’s share of undergraduates. Students individually have been shocked and appalled by the news for various reasons. 

“I usually just sit in my dorm and eat and game after classes. I don’t think I’ve even run since high school gym class,” said Charlie “Chunky Munky” Mayweather, Jefferson Council student member and fourth-year Engineering student. “But I have really poor media literacy, so I won’t be looking into the subject anymore and instead will complain.”

Mayweather's comments were officially endorsed by the Jefferson Council. They were also supported by the University’s “Computer Sciencers” who described the expected exercise as “icky” and without “sufficient RGB lights.” 

In an unusual display of interdisciplinary solidarity, Political Philosophy, Politics and Law undergraduate students agreed with the Computer Science department’s attitude in a written statement of their own. The 190-page circuitously-argued legal memorandum decries the changes as paramount to cruel and unusual punishment. Law school faculty were told to expect an 8th Amendment case on the local court docket soon enough. 

Yet, not all are opposed. In a letter co-signed by all 25 Division I sports teams, Virginia Athletics representative Offlee Buff praised the addition of exercise to the list of graduation requirements.

“The university that insists on dividing the swole man and the smart man is liable to find its fighting done by zanies and its thinking by scrawny wimps,” said Buff.

All in all, the Ryan administration remains committed to its stated goals and is set to move forward with the changes pending approval by the Board of Visitors in March. 

“I’m enormously grateful to give back to and serve this institution. This is a place that has given me and my family an awful lot,” said Ryan. “I will not let detractors derail my mission, no matter how large they might be.”


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