Please encourage extracurriculars

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Various pursuits bring students to Brigham Young University. They come to play a sport, expand their musical abilities, dance, perform and to develop academically. The BYU Mission Statement alludes to the importance of academic instruction coupled with extracurricular activities for a “balanced development of the total person.” From my own experience, this balanced development is indeed fulfilling, but it is also popular from university to university. Not everyone feels this way. Many university staff members feel that a timely graduation plan is more important than an accompanying extracurricular activity. They might be doing what they think is best, but it is not right to interfere with involvement in a university-sponsored extra-curricular program, for the student’s sake. If interference prevails, students miss out on opportunities to learn and grow in supplementation to their degrees.

Why should a university support and encourage students in both academic and extra curricular programs? Hard work ethic is learned by the participating students. As students discover the need for effective planning, they learn to juggle schoolwork, their extra activities and often part-time employment as well. These time management skills are indispensable to students as they graduate and enter the workforce as professionals in their area-specific fields. Participation should be a choice made by the student, a choice with consequences in their favor. Adverse action by a university at the expense of the student will deplete the credibility and value of the academic programs (and the university as a whole) and leads to depleted credibility and value of the student’s qualifications and abilities.

Parker Stringfellow
Provo

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