On March 5th, the Provo City Council passed an ordinance that limits the number of single students that can live in areas zoned “single-family.” This is one additional blow to students in Provo.
Provo has increasingly used students as a scapegoat for its problems. This ordinance will make renting to students economically infeasible for most homeowners. As a result, students will find fewer housing options and higher rents. Students are an ideal scapegoat because we are politically powerless due to our temporary status. However, BYU as an entity possesses great political clout in this community. Yet, BYU chooses to refrain from involvement in community issues that affect its students. We call on BYU’s administration to stand up for its students and take an active role in preventing the implementation of this ordinance.
If we cannot depend upon BYU’s administration to advocate our position then we will have to use other means. We suggest a student boycott of all Provo businesses. One result of the ordinance is fewer students living in Provo. Students not living in Provo will spend their money outside of Provo. A boycott will provide Provo businesses with a sample of Provo’s economic future under this ordinance. It will encourage businesses to take notice and place political pressure on Provo.
It is time for Provo to stop paying lip service to the student population and take efforts to reduce the hostile student environment that it has created. If Mayor Billings allows this ordinance to become law, then we encourage students to boycott Provo businesses for the remainder of the semester. If you have ever complained about student housing or how Provo treats students, now is your chance to take action. Let them hear our wallets if they will not hear our voices.
San Diego, Calif.