By MICHAEL KELLEY
BYU began a new association for married students Thursday.
Discussing the needs and concerns of married students and providing activities for them are goals of a new married students organization sponsored by BYUSA.
Michael Nielsen, BYUSA vice president, said the goal of the Married Students Association is to better serve the BYU married student’s needs and to provide any activities that will benefit them.
“Ricks College started it a few years ago and it has been a great benefit to them,” he said.
Nielsen said that the response to the program has been good.
Because 33 percent of all BYU students are married, Nielsen said that a married students organization is necessary.
“The problem that most students face is finding the time to do it,” he said.
One student, Jeremy Rich, a senior from Preston, Idaho majoring in business management, said, “the organization might be helpful for students who have time.”
“The married ward that I live in serves the same purpose for me,” he said. “I think the church caters to married students through BYU better than any other college around. “The married wards have activities that are great for interacting with other married students.”
Rich said that the program would be more of an assistance for couples who both work and have children because they provide day care.
“The church doesn’t have day care help for us, so a baby-sitting program might be a good idea,” he said.
Nielsen said providing baby-sitting would be a goal of the organization.
“We want students to be able to participate in the organization, so baby-sitting can help,” he said.
Clifford Dunn, a junior from St. George, Utah majoring in microbiology, said, “I would expect good results, and I would want (MSA) to meet our needs.”
Dunn said that the program sounds like it would be fun and informative.
“I think it is necessary to address specific needs of (married students) and to discuss and find solutions to challenges that they are experiencing,” Nielsen said.
The first meeting of the MSA will discuss ideas for activities. BYUSA also wants to have a lecture series to help students deal with all aspects of marriage.