‘Colleges can fight obesity, lessen divides’

Philadelphia Inquirer

June 20th, 2014 by 

In a recent opinion piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kevin Golembiewski ‘10 offers what he sees as a way to help fight “the growing opportunity divide in our country as well as help fight our nation’s obesity epidemic.” Currently living in West Philadelphia near the University of Pennsylvania, the economics major suggests a potential solution lies in the access to recreational facilities of colleges and universities, which currently have a “members only” policy. While he notes liability and overcrowding as potential issues colleges and universities may face if they open their recreational facilities to their communities, Golembiewski asserts that “neither of these issues is insurmountable.”

“It is incumbent on these institutions to use their resources to strengthen their surrounding communities – as many already do in other ways,” says Golembiewski. “And they do these things because they understand that while colleges and universities have millions of dollars of annual revenue and substantial endowments, they are classified as ‘charitable institutions’ and therefore do not pay taxes. That exemption includes property taxes, which are relied upon by cities to support schools and social services. This status obliges colleges and universities to use their resources to benefit the community – even when doing so would pose an inconvenience.”

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This is a “Holy Cross in the News” item by Evangelia Stefanakos.

For additional information, please contact Cristal Steuer at 508-793-2419.

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