Readers’ Forum

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More BYU employee hours

For many, we know the reputation of the “poor college kid”, and if not, ask any plasma center near you. I took it upon myself to do a quick survey of the BYU campus to better understand “why.” Of the twenty-people surveyed, there were three main reasons why college students tend to balance on the poverty line. First, the cost of housing; second, the cost of on campus food; third, the cost of tuition.

Every month, according to BYU’s online question and answer forum, an average student pays roughly $300 for a shared room and nearly $400 for a private room. According to the same study, the average cost of utilities is around $50 a person. This means, each student, depending on their stance on the right to privacy, pays roughly $350- $450 a month on housing. That is already 28 hours a week of working a job at $8 an hour.

Now, since we covered the housing problem, we can talk about the second deadly downfall, the high cost of food on campus. The average student pays about $100 a month on food, if buying off-campus. If buying on-campus, you’ll probably spend a lot more. Let’s say you spend an average of eight dollars a meal during the day. Eight dollars, three times a day is $24 a day. In one week, you’ve already spent $168 on food. In one month, you’ve spent $672. In other words, you need to work around 42 hours a week just to feed yourself.

Let’s talk about paying for tuition. According to BYU admissions, tuition for an LDS member is around $5,000 for fall and winter. At this very moment, you just realized you are paying less than 80% of Americans, yet you are still struggling to get by. Luckily, the average wage at BYU is around $8. But, does that pay your $350 in rent? The $108 in food? The $5,000 in tuition? How many hours must one work to be able to afford this type of living? There is a solution. We need to allow full-time students to work more hours.

— Allie Brown

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Religious vs. academic obligations

There are two weekends in a year when BYU makes students choose between spiritual enlightenment and academic success. Because General Conference lasts the course of the weekend, students do not have time to complete their homework. Therefore, they are obligated to place one of higher importance. BYU should give the students the Monday after conference as a day off to complete their assignments. Then, students would be able to watch without the worry of failing upcoming deadlines. We recognize that adding a day off during the semester would result in extending the semester by a day or two; however, the extra day would be worth the spiritual enlightenment gained by focusing on the messages taught in conference.

—Morgan Hastings, Sandy, Utah

Ashley Crowley, Birmingham, Alabama

Caroline Bressler, Rexburg, Idaho

BYU fines

BYU sent me one single email in early January that I needed to change my address or I would be charged a fine. I saw this email while at school and forgot about it after all the schoolwork of the day. Three weeks later, I received another email, but rather than warning me a second time of the impending charge I would receive, it notified me—almost happily—that $25 had been charged to my account. As a new student here at BYU, I had already lost half a paycheck as I was understanding all the parking violations one could commit. With this extra fine and my $9 an hour, 20 hours a week job, plus my monthly rent, a fine like that changes a lot in my life. Please warn a second time before charging. BYU shouldn’t have charges that make you feel like you’ve been conned.

—Spencer Brown

Rancho Mirage, California