Our Opinion: Challenge extension denies Southern deserved trophy

Seconds after being declared winner of Gov. Jay Nixon’s 100 Missouri Miles Campus Challenge on Oct. 3, the Missouri Southern’s victory dance was cut short when it was announced that the challenge had been extended to the end of October — giving the competition an extra 30 days to try to steal the title.

The challenge, which was originally supposed to end Sept. 30, is meant to encourage college campuses to be more physically active by asking participants to log miles spent walking, running, biking or even paddling.

This extension, however, made worse by the University’s homecoming loss on Oct. 4, has caused some displeasure among participants — including Southern’s director of recreational services Steven Benfield — and rightfully so.

The reason for the extension appears to stem from the failure by each university in the challenge to actually reach the unreasonable goals put forth by the governor’s office.

“I don’t think they had the turnout that they thought they would,” said Benfield. “I think they might have been a little overzealous with the goals for each university.”

Missouri Southern’s goal to reach was 35,000 miles. Even though the University was briefly declared the winner, the campus had actually only logged 16,223 miles — just 46 percent of its overall goal.

Following in second place was Central Methodist University, which only logged 29 percent of their 15,000 mile goal.

Though being incentivized to be more physically active is not necessarily a bad thing, the fact that Missouri Southern still has to fight to ensure its rightful trophy does not get stolen by any competitors is a bit annoying. It seems the campus will just have to continue their efforts and hope the challenge does not drag on any longer.