Why BYU students care about the Syrian crisis


Sometimes being a student can lead to complacency in politics, but according to some of the presidents and officers of political organizations on campus, students should be well-informed on the crisis in Syria.

Many questions have risen in regard to the crisis over what kind of U.S. involvement is needed, if any, or what to do about Russian involvement. It has proven to be a complex moral issue, rising above partisan politics and typical foreign policy.

Keegan Rank, a senior from Salem, Ore., majoring in political science and a current co-president of the BYU College Democrats, said that as members of a Christian community, students should care about what’s going on in Syria.

“Even though we’re dealing with a very Muslim nation there are still shared values and beliefs, the dignity of mankind,” Rank said.

Rank also said the crisis in Syria will not require a simple solution.

“It’s really easy to add a binary to it — either we go in or we don’t go in — but I feel like it’s much more complicated than that,” he said.

Wyatt Warnick, a political science major from Delta, is the current president of the BYU College Republicans. He said the U.S. has an important role to play in world affairs.

“I don’t think we’re the world’s policeman, but we do have the responsibility to help out where we can,” Warnick said. “We don’t want another war though. … Right now I don’t think there is a real threat to our national security. Lots of people were dying before Assad used chemical weapons.”

Cameron Harris, editor-in-chief of Sigma, a publication by the BYU Political Affairs Society, said this issue should matter to BYU students.

“It’s really easy to forget that as students at Brigham Young University we have been given lots of things that the majority of the world has never even dreamed of having,” Harris said. “This whole situation matters to us because, whether or not we’d like to accept it, the world is becoming more interconnected. What’s happening to Syrian refugees will have an impact on us; be it economically (or) culturally, fallout from our inaction or action will have an impact on the U.S.”

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