Readers’ Forum Oct. 11, 2006


    Claims Lack Substance

    Upon reading the recent article, “Voters Left Behind,” I was quite disappointed to hear what you had to say. After reading your criticism you had for virtually the entire student body of BYU for refusing to register to vote in the upcoming November elections, I couldn’t help but think that you were missing several key points to this issue and making accusations without facts.

    You state that many of us “lackadaisical students will offer the perennial excuses for not taking part in the political process.” Frankly, this is just disappointing that you fail to recognize the main reason why we refuse to register to vote here in Utah. That fact is we aren’t refusing to register to vote. The vast majority of us simply don’t live here. Our homes are located across the country, and we all care much more about the issues occurring at home rather than here. To say we have refused to vote is simply ignorant. Utah is a solid republican state and will not be swaying the one way or the other any time soon. Personally, I feel my vote will make absolutely no difference here. I would rather my vote go to my home, where the lines are much less clear.

    Next time, don’t simply make accusations based on one unadvertised meeting that, in the big scheme of things, plays nearly no roll in our lives. It’s usually not a good way to get your facts.

    My voice will indeed be heard.

    Andrew Woolston

    Sugar Land, Texas

    Apathetic Students

    I wanted to respond to the editorial boards critique of BYU students apathy to the parking and traffic Q & A. I thought about attending the Q & A until I remembered one thing: the BYU administration does not care what students think. I have spent more time than most students trying to change problems around BYU. I started the Provo Student Alliance and recruited hundreds of members to have a body of informed students that could be powerful to change BYU-approved housing problems, parking problems and local business problems. After trying to work with the Student Life management and trying to get the students voice heard with little success, I realized that the BYU administration will do what they want regardless of whether or not students want it. BYU approved housing will always be expensive and poorly maintained (and will probably continue to get worse). Parking will always be scarce. The administration will offer a token response to appease the majority of students and the rest of the students will have to learn to deal with it.

    Danny Harris

    West Jordan

    Enormous undertaking?

    There was an editorial Oct. 9 claiming “this semester, BYUSA spearheaded an enormous undertaking to register as many student voters as possible.” As far as I or anyone that I’ve talked to can find, this “enormous undertaking” amounts to one poster in the Wilk and a rumor of a booth somewhere that had something to do with voting. No e-mails, no flyers, no bulletins. Now, I have heard from various sources that BYUSA is an ineffective organization with no real power. I didn’t want to believe it, if for no other reason than I see a lot of cute girls wearing BYUSA shirts. Has there really been an “enormous undertaking” to register student voters? If so, perhaps everywhere they were advertising happened to be exactly where I wasn’t. It’s possible. Right?

    Jeff Perry

    Sacramento, Calif.

    Stupid Drivers Too

    It’s about time we all change our inconsiderate, negligent commuting habits. I agree, how could any of us forget “Look Both Ways”? It was ingrained in our heads. The very thought of crossing a road should initiate a Pavlov’s-dogs-response to look for cars, scooters, bikes and anything we might not want to collide with – never mind common sense and common courtesy.

    But I believe this “stupid” behavior comes from a deeper source of self-centeredness, and is not confined to pedestrians alone. Are we not all, drivers and pedestrians alike, sometimes caught “in our own little world”? For example, the other day, waiting in my car at a light on campus, I saw a girl on a scooter – at the front of a left-hand turn lane, where the light had already turned green – without a helmet, talking on her cell phone and yes, scrambling to steer her scooter with one hand and an elbow. I just want to know, was her conversation that important? The giggles suggested it was not a family emergency. I was in awe. I didn’t know whether to laugh or scream.

    I’m sure I’ve been distracted and inconsiderate to pedestrians or other drivers at times. Who hasn’t? But can’t we all just be a little more patient, a little more considerate, a little more aware of others around us?

    Kristen Jensen


    Appreciate Pedestrians

    I’d like to thank the Oct. 9 Viewpoint writer for her comments on the stupid pedestrians we have around here. I think the issue definitely needed to be addressed. However, I think any cautious driver really shouldn’t have too much of a problem dealing with pedestrians, as dumb as they sometimes can be. As I am a driver and a pedestrian, I recognize my place when I engage in either one of these activities. When I walk I recognize that I need to be cautious because of the abundance of horrible drivers who are in a hurry, and when I drive I try to be aware of all of my surroundings: other cars, bikes, and pedestrians who maybe could be more aware. As drivers though, I think we need to be more considerate, respectful, and even appreciative of the pedestrians we encounter. They mean one less car on the road and one more spot in the lot. They’re taking the time and effort to walk home while we get to sit down and let our engines do the work. Pedestrians are an endangered species in our car-dominated society, and we should do a better job of taking care of the ones that are still around.

    Alan Peters

    Oak Lawn, Ill.

    Pedestrians Almost as Bad as Drivers

    In Response to the viewpoint “All hail Stupid Pedestrians” in The Daily Universe Oct. 9, the writer bemoans the inconsideration of pedestrians who fail to cross the street properly. True, the pedestrians in Utah are horrible — why, they are almost as bad as the drivers. Having moved away from Utah for a few years and then come back, I’m convinced that Utahns truly believe that pedestrians don’t exist. I’ll approach a crosswalk, firmly step into the road and look directly at the oncoming traffic hoping they’ll stop. It has about the same effect as trying to cross a freeway. (This in stark contrast to out of state drivers, such as Oregonian, who will get into an accident just so they can slam on their brakes to let you cross the street – even if you have the red light.) Now, in the sheer luck that I make it across half the street in Utah, I’ll find myself marooned standing on the median until the traffic clears, or a fellow student from Oregon slams on their brakes and lets me complete crossing the street.

    Ultimately, both pedestrians and drivers need to do better in being considerate toward each other.

    Rob Sanders


    Forbidden to Rock

    What The Daily Universe forgot to mention in its “Battle Rocks Ballroom” (Oct. 9) article is that, while moshing, crowd surfing, dancing, screaming and a little head banging do describe a true rock show; BYU’s definition of a rock show is much different.

    A BYU rock show feels more like a church youth dance. I felt like I was 16 years old again when the lights came on at the Battle of the Bands, and someone came to the microphone to tell us this is our first warning. What the heck! Did they expect us to just stand there and bob our heads to the music? If so, then they seriously underestimated the energy of the rock-listening crowd. Jumping is just another part of the music, like it or not.

    I understand the problems with moshing and crowd surfing, as both can be extremely dangerous; but what I can’t understand is why a crowd of 20-somethings was treated like a group of 16-year-olds. Some could say, “Well, they were acting like a group of 16-year-olds,” and they would be right. But isn’t that part of the fun of rock?

    Lighten up, BYU.

    Kevin K. John

    Alexandria, Va.

    Looks Aren’t Most Important

    I like dating. I have dated all types of boys ranging from what most people consider “hot” to the guys that do not warrant a second glance. In response to Monday’s letter to the editor stating people should only date their own kind, I say, who is really to judge if someone is too attractive for a particular person?

    Everyone has unique tastes. I think it is safe to say there are no two people who are attracted to the exact same things in the opposite sex. Also, looks are not the only important thing. Don’t get me wrong, being physically attracted to someone is important, but should not be the main basis of a relationship.

    Why is it when a guy or girl dates someone only because they are by society’s standard, extremely good looking, they are considered shallow and looked down upon but it is ok for this guy to limit his dating pool for essentially the same reason, and have that be OK?

    I would just like to assure all the “ugly” girls the author of the letter has dated, despite what he might say, I am sure they are beautiful.

    Brenna Jackson


    Bare bodies

    After winning front row tickets, my friend and I decided we should do something big for Saturday’s football game. So we, along with another friend, painted our upper halves blue with BYU spelled out between the three of us. For added craziness I shaved a Y into my hair. We thought we were being great fans. However, when we got to our seats at the game, we found out this is not allowed. We honestly had no idea. I understand the Honor Code generally prohibits this lack of clothing, but seeing as how in some places this does not apply (i.e. swimming pools), and that we had previously seen others with this form of dress (or lack there of), we felt there was nothing wrong with our display of school spirit.

    I have no problem with the rule as it stands, I only wish I had known before I went to all the effort that I did. If my friends and I embarrassed anyone, I apologize, as this was not our intent.

    Tim Shurtz

    Palatine Ill.

    Alpine School District Under Attack

    I find it odd that in the article “Alpine School District Under Attack,” (Oct. 10) Oak Norton says that we should be teaching kids as if they were the next Einstein or Madame Curie but he supports direct instruction only. I don’t think Einstein became a genius because he learned his multiplication tables and if I recall correctly he failed a school entrance exam that would allow him to study electrical engineering. Tests are not always accurate assessments of intelligence.

    It is wrong for teachers to say there is only one way to do a mathematical problem or in Norton’s daughter’s case a valid method you can’t use. Teaching Investigations Math should allow children to have mathematical creativity and to better understand mathematics. In the example problem, someone without their multiplication facts memorized would have a harder time doing that long division problem whereas with the Investigations Method they can work through it. Investigations should be about giving kids more options, not eliminating traditional methods that still work.

    Kari Priddis

    Roseville, Calif.

    Helping the homeless

    I liked the article regarding ‘Help for the Homeless’ that ran Oct. 6. How true it is that “A person doesn’t know what they have until they are stripped of everything.” I believe our day and age needs to have a greater appreciation for everything they have from an education, to food in their stomachs to a good group of friends.

    I think it is also quite common to be oblivious to how many people are struggling with money on a daily basis. As per the article, “A lot of people are a couple of paychecks away from being homeless.” However, what I find interesting is how often you see people roaming the streets or sitting at stop lights looking for money when there are so many organizations and groups set up to help people in those circumstances.

    After reading this article, it is apparent that there are several places willing to help those in need achieve stability. So, maybe the next time people are stopped by someone asking for money, instead of feeling guilty or cheap for not opening their wallets, they could think about how to help that person get assistance. As in the article, “Members of the community can lend a hand in this process by referring someone in need to the appropriate services.”

    We can be grateful to the organizations and groups that offer their time and services to give help to the homeless.

    Valerie Housley


    Clutch Has a Different meaning

    I’m as happy as any about BYU’s recent football success, and I have no desire to disparage our starting quarterback, but I do want to point out that “clutch” has a different meaning than insinuated in an article on pg. 7 Oct. 9. Playing well in the clutch, or being clutch, means performing well in tight situations, when the game is on the line. Being clutch does not mean racking up fabulous statistics in blowout games. Clutch means winning games that are decided the last few minutes, which we, unfortunately, have struggled to do in this season and in seasons past. Certainly John Beck isn’t solely responsible for those losses, but then again which individual player has more effect on the outcome of a game than the quarterback?

    Trevor Christensen


    Marshall Thompson ‘Peace’ Walk

    Who is the ‘we’ Marshall Thompson is talking about in his interview Oct. 9 for the blurb about him walking across the state? Who appointed him to represent the views of the state of Utah? I just want to be the first to say that Marshall Thompson does not represent me as a citizen of Utah or as a soldier. Whatever message he is trying to send by walking across the state of Utah, it certainly is not the message of the average citizen. And even if it was, what good does walking across the state really do except put his own name in lights?

    I also served in the Iraq conflict, but somehow I saw a completely different picture than Mr. Thompson. I saw a country being rebuilt, a people rejoicing in a newfound freedom, and a hope that never existed under the dictatorship that once oppressed them. I have talked to scores of other soldiers returning from Iraq that saw similar pictures. I can only think Mr. Thompson saw the bad because he wanted to. And I for one don’t want a pessimist influencing public policy in my country.

    Furthermore, I also support peace, but I support the military leaders on the ground in Iraq who have repeatedly stated that an immediate withdrawal of troops will not only not bring peace (as Mr. Thompson so ignorantly supposes), but also exacerbate the situation greatly. Peace is the eventual goal for all of us, but there definitely are wrong ways to go about it. Abandoning the fledgling democracy in Iraq is one of them.

    I don’t know who Marshall Thompson thinks he’s representing, but it’s not me, it’s not my Army and it’s not the Utah I know.

    SGT. Zachary Smith


    Thanks, Traffic Officers

    After reading the story on the traffic and parking Q&A session (Oct. 6), I want to personally thank traffic officers for addressing BYU’s seemingly sensitive parking issues in such a polite manner.

    With 30,000 students and a huge campus, parking could be a nightmare, and I believe that we are lucky to have the parking that is available and that it is free. With 30,000 students attending this university, can we honestly expect to park next to the specific building where we have class? I think not.

    I am glad we have a walking campus. We should be grateful for the exercise opportunity it provides us everyday. Our hearts will thank us for sure. We should be less critical of the traffic officers and be more grateful for the parking that is available, however inconvenient it may seem to be.

    Lindsay Bird

    Spokane, Wash.

    Bikes Not Cheaper

    In response to last weeks article titled “Biking getting more affordable,” I disagree. What do you mean by “getting more affordable?” Did prices used to be higher? They seem pretty high to me right now. The article states that a new road bike costs around $600, or more. I don’t know what crowd you are catering too, but most college students I know just don’t have that kind of money to spend on a bike. Beyond that there are a few accoutrements that go along with it, like a helmet and cycling shorts. Those items alone can cost an additional $100.

    I am an avid mountain biker and have wanted to get into the sport of road biking for a few years now. However, until the college days are over, I’m not sure many of us will be able to roll with the elite crowd of road bikers that you are talking about. I’d still like to pay tuition, eat a meal occasionally and put gas in the old Subaru.

    It seems to me that most anyone could find a nice used road bike in the classifieds that is more in a students price range and just tune it up. It would be sure to provide the same utility for the novice as the more expensive bikes would for the intermediate to experienced rider.

    Michael Moffat


    Standard BYU T-shirts?

    Kudos to BYU’s football for its recent string of impressive victories. I’ve also noticed increased support by BYU fans to actually wear blue (or white). However, we’re still not bleeding blue like other schools bleed their colors. One thing I noticed last weekend was the innumerable variety of BYU T-shirts available. Why is it that we have 100-plus different BYU shirts (in an assortment of colors – some which are not even BYU’s colors)? Is it because we have to differentiate ourselves from the Mormon standing next to us? I mean, you look at some colleges and a vast majority of their students wear the same style t-shirt. Is it just a marketing scheme to get more money? Can we just please create a standard BYU shirt? Go Cougars!

    Fernando Mladineo

    Orange County, Calif.

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