A very thin Yale student, Frances Chan, has finally settled her argument with the Ivy League university over her weight. Yale had been threatening for months to expel her over concerns that she was too thin to be healthy enough to continue as a student.
The student had gone back and forth with Yale over the matter, even going as far as “stuffing her face with Cheetos and ice cream” according to the New Haven register. The matter was finally settled just last Friday when Yale dropped its threats to expel the 92-pound student.
“It felt really bad to be this powerless,” Chan told the New Haven Register on Yale campus last week. “I ate ice cream twice a day. I ate cookies. I used elevators instead of walking up stairs. But I don’t really gain any weight.”
The concerns from Yale over Chan being too thin started when the 20 year-old history major went to have a breast lump checked. After the lump was determined to be benign, Yale health officials then started to focus on the weight of the naturally thin Yale student.
For the past several months, Yale required Chan to make mandatory weigh-ins and have counseling appointments. The school told her she was too thin repeatedly, even telling her she might die if she did not put on some weight.
The thin student says her family members were also thin at her age, including her parents and grandparents. Her parents tried to help by sending photos of the student as a child and medical records.
The turning point seems to have come from an essay that the thin Yale student wrote for Huffington Post on March 7. The essay put a spotlight on the treatment of Chan by Yale and just a month later the issue was resolved.
In the Huffington Post essay, entitled “Yale University Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder,” Chan described how the university pushed her to gain weight. But she simply couldn’t.
“Since December, I have had weekly weigh-ins and urine tests, three blood tests, appointments with a mental health counselor and a nutritionist, and even an EKG done to test my heart,” wrote Chan. “My heart was fine–as it always has been–and so was the rest of my body. So what was the problem?”
She went on to describe how narrowly the university had approached her case without taking into account the fact that she is naturally thin, and always has been. She also pointed out that there are other indicators of health aside from body mass index.
“The medical professionals think I have an eating disorder–but they won’t look past the number on the scale, to see the person right in front in them.”
Now that the issue has been resolved, the thin Yale student can get back to her studies.