Readers’ Forum

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LGBTQ students need support on campus

While it is unclear how many LGBTQ students and faculty currently attend or teach at BYU, awareness of the difficulties and loneliness they experience is increasing while outward signs of support from the university is not. Just like support groups for anxiety and depression are publicized and institutionalized, there should be a public and available support group for LGBTQ students on BYU campus.

The Understanding Same Gender Attraction (USGA) Facebook page for BYU students and faculty states that “USGA meets outside of any sponsorship, endorsement or support by BYU.” The USGA group is an unofficial group for BYU students which holds weekly meetings and events at the Provo City Library. Why doesn’t USGA meet on campus as a BYU-endorsed club? The process of registering a new club can take time and be complicated for a number of reasons. Meanwhile, simply allowing the group to congregate on campus would be a significant act of acceptance and support from BYU to its LGBTQ students and faculty.

Although there are not yet publicized or openly supported groups for LGBTQ on campus, BYU’s Counseling and Psychological Services is available to all students in room 1500 of the Wilkinson Center.

Instead of simply engaging in conversation about LGBTQ students, the university and its students need to engage in conversation with them. This will bring the university one step closer to understanding all of its groups and members and will make campus a better place for everyone.

– Adrienne Ventura, Payson, Utah

All play, no pay for student athletes

Nothing gets the blood pumping and the heart pounding like the thrill of college athletics. Young men and women compete for nothing but pride for their school, yet in recent years many fans and media members have said that these student athletes should be financially compensated.  

When you have a job, you’re paid for your value. The more value you provide your organization, the more you get paid. The reverse is also true. If you don’t provide value, you’re out of luck. If this same theory is applied to the pay-for-play model, the football and men’s basketball teams would get paid more because they make the most revenue.

Many people prefer to watch college sports over professional sports because the athletes care more about the team and pride of winning rather than the paycheck they receive for their labors. From an athlete’s perspective, the pride of winning for your “brothers” on your team and for school pride far outweigh any monetary compensation.

If college athletes begin to get paychecks for participating in NCAA athletic competitions, their school work may be put on the back burner because of the newfound reason to play. Participating in athletics at the collegiate level comes with enough distractions and adding a paycheck to the equation would make it that much harder to focus on education.

– Austin Rustand, Tuscon, Arizona

Include termination clauses in housing contracts

Year-round contracts raise the price of rent and make housing less affordable. With most apartment companies, Fall/Winter contracts are more expensive compared to Spring/Summer contracts. This is understandable. The higher number of students living in the area means a higher demand for housing and higher prices. The problem arises when there is less demand for housing during Spring/Summer and the prices stay the same. With so many companies starting to keep their year-round prices, all apartment companies are starting to charge more.

Unexpected opportunities that arise due to external causes are also an issue. Marriage, mission calls and out-of-state internships can’t be planned for. Without termination clauses, the opportunity window for students is very small. We firmly believe that BYU should require off-campus housing to create termination clauses for these circumstances in contracts.

Only offering year-round contracts adds extra pressure to students who have to buy them. As mentioned above, students don’t often stay in Provo during the spring and summer months, but will be forced to pay rent anyway because of year-round contracts. Year-round contracts make it very difficult to sell to other students when the need arises and should be changed to two semester contracts to help struggling students.

– David Joseph, Miami, Florida

– Rieley D. Hoyt, Chicago, Illinois

– Mark Guymon, Highland, Utah