Frances Chan, a 20-year old history major at Yale University, can finally put down the Cheetos and relax: she isn’t getting expelled after all.
In an unusual set of circumstances, Chan was threatened with expulsion by school officials after the Yale health center contended that the 92-pound student was suffering from an eating disorder.
It felt really bad to be this powerless,” Chan told The New Haven Register of the situation. “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."
Last September, Chan went to Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven to have a breast lump checked.
It was diagnosed as benign, but physicians expressed concern over her figure.
Despite her family sending along childhood medical records that proved she has always been very thin, Chan was forced to meet with a nutritionist and a mental health counselor.
She had mandatory weigh-ins and was told by Yale that the two pounds she gained while trying to build mass were not sufficient.
Around spring break of this year, Chan wrote an essay detailing her experience for The Huffington Post. It gained national traction and many chimed in to agree with Chan, saying Yale erred in focusing too much attention on body mass index (BMI).
After her parents arrived on campus and visited with health officials, it was agreed that BMI was only one indicator of overall health and the university relented in its quest.
“At Yale, you’re taught to be the change that you want to see in the world,” said Chan, who also wrote to the school president. “Well, this seems like an easy thing to change.”