Readers’ Forum

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Bring caffeine to campus

It’s time the caffeine drought on BYU campus ended. For a student to get caffeinated beverages, one must leave school grounds. This has been an issue and area of complaint for students for years and there is no reason it should continue.

Though the BYU campus does not serve or sell caffeine, a recent visit to Temple Square restaurants, the Joseph Smith Memorial building, and the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City found caffeinated beverages freely flowing. Why is BYU any different? All three are owned and maintained by the church.

The LDS Church’s law of health, the Word of Wisdom, has no mention of the prohibition of caffeinated sodas and at the time of this revelation there were none. The church came out with a statement in 2012 on their Mormon Newsroom Blog saying that “the church revelation spelling out health practices does not mention the use of caffeine.”

Many would say that there is “no demand” for caffeine on BYU’s campus. Carri Jenkins made a statement a few years ago saying that caffeinated drinks were not sold because of a lack of customer demand. This is not true. The caffeine demand is alive and well. Off-campus soda businesses like Swig and Sodalicious are wildly popular. If caffeine was sold on campus, the money being spent at those places could instead go to the University. College students are up late, up early, studying furiously and frequently falling asleep in class. Caffeine is not a stranger to BYU students, but is definitely not as accessible as many would like it to be.

The church already supports and maintains buildings that sell caffeine, a real demand for caffeine can be found on campus right now and the LDS Church has come out and publicly clarified that the drinking of caffeinated beverages does not violate any doctrine or policies.

This drought needs to end, and unlike many droughts throughout the country, this one can be fixed now. BYU needs to re-evaluate its outdated and unnecessary ban on campus promoted caffeinated drinks.

— Lauren Lethbridge

Lehi, Utah

On-campus institute would benefit BYU

All students attending BYU, whether members of the LDS Church or not, are required to complete 12 credits (six courses) of LDS religion classes to graduate from the university. Other large Utah universities have institutes near campus to offer students religious education. Although religion can and ought to be an important part of education at BYU, required religion classes should be forgone for the traditional university institute.

The church never obliges sacrifice and obedience, but instead preaches agency. Missionary service, tithing or institute attendance are encouraged, but not required. But the 12 religion credits (comprising a tenth, or tithe, of the 120 credits required to graduate) are obligatory. Compulsion and obligation are not the Lord’s nor his church’s way to teach. It should not be this school’s.

Even the 1.5 percent of students who are not LDS are required to complete six credits, usually in classes designed for church members. Classes that are discouragingly difficult for church members who have spent their lives studying become nearly impossible for those ignorant of the concepts and traditions. Perhaps this is one reason more non-LDS students don’t attend, even when so many outside the church share its moral values.

An institute on campus would be a location of greater sanctity for spiritual learning. The atmosphere would be of intrinsic submission rather than extrinsic compulsion. It would encourage year-round religious study, rather than merely six classes over a four-year degree.

— John Newton

Salt Lake City, Utah

Parking on campus

All of us have been frustrated when we find it impossible to find legal parking within a fourth-mile of our destination. This is the same frustration BYU freshman living in Heritage Halls feel when all the parking stalls closest to their dorms are taken and they have to relocate their car blocks away. It seems silly that more parking has not been allocated for Heritage residents’ use closer to the Heritage buildings. There are often dozens of vacant stalls next to the designated Heritage resident parking. In addition to this, the one-hour time limit parking stalls to the side of Heritage Halls are always mostly empty, whereas the normal Heritage overnight parking is always full.

In the current parking situation, it would make sense to allocate more parking to Heritage residents from the Conference Center parking, the one-hour time limit section, or the Y stalls on the other side of the Heritage resident parking. Many stalls in these parking sections are left empty every day and so several stalls could be changed to Heritage resident parking without overfilling the parking lot. Heritage residents who have to relocate their car every time they take their car out get frustrated because relocating their car to the parking by the Museum of Paleontology adds about thirty minutes to their journey.

— Jacob Harris

Cottonwood Heights, Utah