Silent assassins


In World War I, debilitating chemicals were used in gas attacks to irritate enemy forces. On the BYU campus, a similar assault is being waged on helpless students who fight their own war against assignments and exams. This time, there are no gas masks to protect them.

The silent assassin is a smell emanating from Ginkgo Biloba trees outside of the Joseph Smith Building. Many students have noticed this putrescent odor on their way to and from the Testing Center. The vile stench resembles vomit, with a dash of cheese, popcorn, and feet. Ginkgo tree fruit contains butyric acid, the same acid that gives rancid butter its horrible smell. The smell causes BYU students to consciously choose alternate routes to their classes. It disturbs their focus and train of thought as they walk to the Testing Center. On an important tour route for incoming students, the smell can be overwhelming. BYU runs the risk of turning away potential students who notice the unbearable scent on that tour route. It detracts from the serene atmosphere of the BYU campus.

The Gingko fruit is what causes the odor. The fleshy outer shell is difficult to dispose of and stinks when left on the ground to rot. Plucking the fruit would be time consuming and expensive. What is the best solution? Remove the trees and replace them with one of the many beautiful and less stinky alternatives. The students deserve nothing less for their valiant efforts in making BYU a heaven on earth.

Carson Teuscher
Vancouver, Washington

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