Editorial: New Year, New Agenda


Each year it happens: New Year’s Resolutions. Fleeting as they may be, resolutions emerge every January as we hope for something new and better. This year, the Daily Universe decided to join the resolution bandwagon. Over the upcoming semester, we would like the Issues and Ideas page to focus on four topics: Faith and Reason, Lifelong Learning,  Moral Roots, and Small and Simple Things. Many accuse news organizations of agendas. In this case, we are proud to promote one. As titles are simply titles, a short explanation of each follows:

Faith and Reason: Last fall Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke of the importance of professing truth in public sphere, not only religious truth but all truth. He encouraged the student audience to learn how to present and defend truths in the public sphere. While faith and reason are often seen as in juxtaposition with one another, we would like to explore how faith and reason unite to support such truths, especially in relation to moral debates. Instead of only supporting arguments with phrases such as “Well, the prophet said…” or “the Church says…,” we hope to increase student access and awareness to reason-based arguments for their faith-based beliefs. Please see today’s front page story that explores how study and faith can work together in BYU classrooms.

Lifelong Learning: Elder David H. Bednar has stressed the importance of students taking an active role in their education. Students only have a few short years at BYU and should make the most of it. At few other times in their lives will students have access to so many resources for free. Here we’d like to explore how students can make the most of their education and incorporate the BYU Aim to “inspire students to keep alive their curiosity and prepare them to continue learning throughout their lives.”

Moral Roots: During the general priesthood session at the October General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson reminded listeners that today’s world has radically shifted from the traditional moral center. He quoted New York Times columnist David Brooks who wrote that young people are increasingly struggling to articulate any sort of moral reasoning. According to Brooks, they lacked the vocabulary to confidently say if something was right or wrong. We want to provide students with that vocabulary by discussing how to live an honorable life, avoid moral relativism and face moral dilemmas.

Small and Simple Things: Sometimes in life, we can simply get bogged down. Between work, classes and homework, it can be hard to find time for anything else. Here we would like to focus of finding time for that important ‘anything else.’ From finding small ways to simplifying student lives to reminders on the important things such as reading the scriptures and attending devotionals, this is here to help remind students that in the end, somethings will matter more that that one test. We want to remind students to “be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).

In addition to this agenda, we want to encourage greater depth, participation and civility in the readers forum.

We want this page to be a resources for students; ergo, we need student input. If students have ideas and would like to write a viewpoint, please send them to for length and content guidelines. We also encourage students to send us suggestions as to what they would like to see discussed on the opinion page.

Finally, a small word about letters. Please, remember civility: be polite.  It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Letters should focus on presenting one side of an argument and not on being extreme. If a reader see holes in an argument, point them out, but don’t insult the writer. When in doubt, remember not to write anything that wouldn’t be said in person. Remember, authors’ names will forever be attached to their letters. In the past, students have written letters in which they exaggerated their views in hopes of being published, only to later regret it when the letter is published.  In general, use common sense.

We can only work with the letters we receive, so again, we value input. If students want to see quality letters about world issues filling the page, they should write them.

If not, we may to resort to letters about leggings and mustaches.

This viewpoint represents the opinion of The Daily Universe staff. It does not neccesarily represent the opinions of BYU, its administration or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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