Viewpoint: Make freshmen friends

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    By ADAM MANGUM

    Do you remember your freshman year? Maybe many of you reading this are at the end of your memorable first year in Happy Valley.

    My little brother is a freshman, and it has given me an entirely new perspective on the whole thing. Did anyone else not know about this Dining Plus thing? On-campus students with meal plans can buy their meals anywhere on campus.

    When did that happen? When I was a freshman living at Deseret Towers, options were few. If we really wanted to be daring, we would go down to Helaman Halls and eat at the Cannon (Cancer) Center instead of the Morris (Morbid) Center.

    The gas-producing food was basically the same, the only difference being that we knew all the cute girls lived in Helaman (as all the good-looking guys lived in DT).

    But now freshmen live without such petty limitations. While many on this campus cry out about perceived lack of freedoms at BYU, freshmen roam the campus armed with their ID card.

    The intermingling of DT and Helaman residents provides for a greater exchange of ideas and a greater understanding between the two dorm areas.

    Many upper-classmen are probably wondering what possible application this could have to them. Well, I’ll tell you. Dining Plus is a resource that can be tapped. Let me elaborate.

    One day over the summer, my brother offered to buy me lunch at the Cougareat. I stared at him in disbelief. Was he prepping me for an attempt to borrow my car? Added to that, where was the money coming from? Unless Zuka Juice had bumped up their wages, I knew my brother was dead broke.

    I accepted, because I never turn down a free meal, even a shady one. Then my brother ripped out his ID card, and like magic, he purchased both my lunch and his.

    That’s when the concept hit me: make freshman friends.

    Since doing so, I have received many free meals. These freshmen freely spend their Dining Plus money on others. It’s not like it’s real money. They can only spend it in certain places, and their parents probably paid for it anyway. And if they leave money on it at the end of a semester, the funds disappear into some mysterious coffers deep in the secret BYU tunnels.

    Before you picture me as a complete parasite, the relationship is mutually beneficial. Why? Because some freshmen feel good having friends who aren’t freshmen. I know I did. It added a different perspective to my limited view of the world.

    Freshmen guys ask me about missions and non-freshman girls. Freshmen girls complain to me about immature, long-sideburned, “filling the canteen,” freshman boys.

    Now I will try and anticipate some of the concerns I am sure will be voiced in letters to the editor in response to my suggestion.

    “Isn’t this stealing?” Of course not. I am not suggesting the use of force, only the use of persuasion. Didn’t we use another term on the mission?

    “Are you going to have this same attitude when you’re a bishop?” I don’t aspire to any callings, so we’ll skip this one.

    “Isn’t this blatant materialism, that goes along with the wearing of cargo pants and driving SUVs?” Yes, it is.

    “It’s people like you that make the Honor Code necessary.” No answer needed.

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