Readers’ Forum, Feb. 15, 2006


    Keeping students happy

    In the article ?Professor to become ?walking billboard?? in Monday?s Daily Universe, professor Corry Cropper expressed fear that corporate influence on universities would force professors to be ?service providers? and ?keep [students] happy.? Well, what?s wrong with that?

    Joshua Cutler

    Twin Falls, Idaho

    Corporate campus

    Am I the only one whose stomach churns at the thought of a corporate campus at BYU? McKay Coppins? article in Monday?s paper underscored an insidious trend in universities across the nation: the halls of academe are being plastered (literally and figuratively) with corporate messages. And I?m sick of it.

    Private universities, such as BYU, are part of the last frontier for brand managers to conquer. They?ve already co-opted our cultural events, sports competitions, and public education. Naturally, universities are the next step.

    I, for one, reject this fate. As a mere student, it often seems futile to seek a change of policy in this area. Heck, judging by our athletic uniforms and merchandise, I should think I attend BYU-Nike. But all is not lost. Perhaps this letter and Professor Cropper?s tongue-in-cheek eBay auction will somehow pique the attention of the powers that be. And, in a flash of good judgment, perhaps those powers will help us reclaim the public sphere.

    I can only hope.

    Jason Harrison

    Decatur, Texas

    Don?t forget obesity

    Monday?s editorial about the media pressuring women to look perfect had a lot of good points. However, I often cringe when I hear that girls are pressured too much to look thin. Yes, anorexia and bulimia are serious problems. But there is another problem that is becoming an epidemic in our society ? obesity.

    If you have tracked the rate of obesity over the last 15 years or so, you?ll notice that it?s spiraling out of control. Along with it comes life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.

    These may take years to develop, but they can kill you in the end just like eating disorders. Perhaps the media isn?t doing women a disservice by portraying thin models/actresses. Until more women (and men) decide to jog or hit up the gym instead of watching Friends w/ice cream tub in hand, the status quo should be maintained ? if not increased.

    This goes for men as well. The pudgy guy who hides it with extra charm may do well with BYU girls age 19-20, but they?d better get married before they graduate. In the real world, girls aren?t so naive, and they don?t want a butterball either.

    I applaud all of you that lead healthy, active lifestyles.

    Brian Bowen

    Claremont, Calif.

    Not blue over babies

    With a title that included the phrase ?Baby Blues,? I don?t know why I expected David Hinckley?s article on Thursday to be uplifting ? it?s one-sidedness was almost offensive. If I didn?t know better, it would?ve convinced me I?m insane for having a baby before finishing college, even though it was the most rewarding decision I could?ve made. Sometimes we forget that sacrifices are compensated with blessings.

    Despite inevitable challenges, parenthood/studenthood is worth it, and not just by teaching patience, time-management, and flexibility. My education has been more motivating and taken on much greater significance with tangible evidence in my arms that I?ll be a lifelong teacher. I?ve also been humbled and inspired as the frequent recipient of kindness, like a near-stranger saving me an aisle seat each class. I also find it impossible to have anything close to a ?bad day? with a beautiful child beaming back at me.

    In conclusion, I just want intimidated prospective parents to know that, yes, it?s hard, but yes, it?s worth it. I wouldn?t trade the opportunity to be a mother now for a million college degrees, and while I may have half the time I did without a baby, I consider myself now at least twice as blessed.

    Tiffany Larsen

    Portland, Ore.

    Daycare problems

    Every year Brigham Young University receives the recommendation to start up a day care (?BYU daycare,? Feb. 13) for the children of students and employees. A natural inclination for concerned members of society is to desire a continuing program that meets the needs of these fellow citizens. Apart from the statistical and monetary challenges of this idea, there would be a more insidious assumption if this were adopted. When institutions or states inject themselves in the care of others, each runs the risk of supplanting those who have a moral obligation to help. I am speaking of extended family members, friends, neighbors, home teachers, visiting teachers and others who can and should help.

    As a parent, I know many of the excuses that arise from those who consider themselves too busy to help others in need. My response is to consider those in the parable of the Good Samaritan who were too busy or had more important things to do than to help the wounded traveler. Briefly stated, this is why BYU should not provide day care: it would rob the rest of us the opportunity to fulfill our obligation to share our time and talents in building the kingdom.

    Brian Wages


    Old doesn?t mean right

    In Josh Kacher?s letter, ?Women in the past,? he alleges that he finds the ancient societies? treatment of women ?enlightening? and urges its return. Perhaps he would also find crucifixion, feeding Christians to lions, and massacring peaceful protestors to be noble and enlightening ancient practices that ought to be reinstated. Might I remind him that the age of a practice or belief has no bearing on its correctness.

    I admit that I find the words of our living prophet far more ?enlightening? than any history textbook. Said President Hinckley: ?In the marriage companionship there is neither inferiority nor superiority. The woman does not walk ahead of the man, neither does the man walk ahead of the woman. They walk side by side as a son and daughter of God on an eternal journey. She is not your servant, your chattel, nor anything of the kind.?

    May I suggest that the only way to truly renew any true form of societal greatness is by giving more heed to the anointed servants of God than we do to the ancient Chinese.

    Amy Gordon

    South Windsor, Conn.

    Free speech, not blasphemy

    Obviously, nothing justifies the burning of embassies and turning to violence as Muslims protest the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. We all have our sensitive lines we would not like others to cross. Members of the LDS church can remember the occasion during general conference when violence broke out after an Anti-Mormon protestor wore sacred temple garments around his neck in a mocking gesture. Cleary not everything is fair game. There are beliefs worth defending, and Americans should be the first to agree.

    Muslims reject the depiction of all Prophets, period. To most Muslims, these cartoons are offensive, mostly because of the evil and inconsiderate depiction of Muhammad as a violence monger. New stories are now coming out about the original Danish newspaper denying to publish cartoons of Jesus they deemed to be offensive. The newspaper?s attitude about the cartoons has caused problems, because first they disrespected Muhammad and then now they are disrespecting Muslims themselves.

    Let?s see how long the Danish can celebrate ?freedom of speech? while their interests and business are shutting down in the Islamic world. All we are really saying is that violence cannot be justified, but freedom of speech does not mean freedom of blasphemy.

    Carlos Gonzalez

    Santa Monica , Calif.

    Hani Al-Madhoun

    Gaza Strip, Palestine

    We’re all pedestrians

    In response to the ?Pedestrian hater? letter on Monday, I would just like to ask Mr. Nelson if he knows exactly what he?s saying. His mother might have ?taught him to look both ways before he crossed the street,? but she probably forgot to tell him what a ?pedestrian? actually is. Yep, that?s right. Whenever you step outside your door or your car, you are a pedestrian. So remember, when you say you ?hate all pedestrians,? that includes you too.

    I do agree that people might be less than careful at times when they cross the street. Heck, I?ve honked my horn at them a few times. But even though I probably don?t feel too charitable to them at the time, that doesn?t mean that I necessarily ?hate? them. Hate is a strong word that probably shouldn’t be passed around to whoever might annoy us from time to time. It?s not like these people do it on purpose to annoy you. If you?re the one hating each and every person who might accidentally cross the street in your way, I?m guessing that the problem isn?t them. It?s you.

    Isaac Christensen


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