Clubs concerned about complacency among students



    BYU’s motto is “Enter to learn, go forth to serve.” However, many clubs and organizations on campus said most BYU students are focused on themselves and ignoring important political and social issues.

    The president of the College Republicans at BYU Benjamin McMurray said there are a lot of students who have an opinion about issues, but assume something is already being done.

    “The reality in politics is that the things we think are happening are not really what is going on,” McMurray said. “Students don’t realize they have a chance to make a difference, so they don’t do anything about it.”

    Former voice club chair Jolene Yukes said it is hard to make a difference at BYU through BYU-sponsored clubs because of the administration.

    “It’s very difficult to get a protest going at BYU … or sign petitions for your congressman because in order to do a petition you have to get permission first to do the petition,” Yukes said.

    Yukes said that doesn’t make any sense and is unheard of at most schools.

    The president of BYU’s Chapter of Amnesty International Rachel Kirkland said BYU puts too tight of a restriction on who can and cannot speak for their club.

    BYU clubs must be approved through BYUSA.

    Vice-president of campus organization Brian Heaps said there were some administration kinks.

    “I believe that some of the policies that exist presently do hinder club activity. Bad experiences in the past have caused club guild lines to become strict,” Heaps said.

    Heaps said BYUSA is working to alter the ineffective regulations.

    Students have organized the weekly Soap Box on Brigham’s Square to give students an opportunity to voice their opinion on social and political issues from campus to international events.

    Many important issues are discussed, such as campus racial problems. However, according to Jake Ball, program director for Soap Box, more often students end up discussing superficial issues.

    “We try to foster discussions about political issues and things that really matter, but a lot of times students end up talking about dating, hair styles and things like that,” Ball said.

    McMurray said the culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a large factor in the students’ political and social complacency.

    “We know we are right,” McMurray said. “We have testimonies, and we content ourselves to stop there. We don’t push forward, and it takes the time to find an argument to support our reason.”

    McMurray said BYU students often believe they don’t need an argument; they only need faith.

    BYU assistant psychology professor and faculty advisor for the BYU club voice Diane Spangler said students in other schools tend to get more involved in extreme positions.

    She said people respond to these positions to some degree, which creates more involvement.

    “Because BYU cannot quite go to the same extremes as other schools, I think it might contribute to some

    complacency,” Spangler said.

    President of BYU’s Democratic club Lance LeVar said he feels students do get involved in important issues, but they are not willing to expand their minds.

    “I’ve seen a lot of students come here with an idea and a mind set and what they want to do is find ammo for that mindset,” LeVar said.

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