Reader’s Forum Nov. 24


Syrian refugees

This summer I received a full scholarship to study Arabic in Rabat, Morocco, where 99 percent of the population are practicing Muslims. I lived with a host family for two months, devout Muslims who pray often, love the Quran and go to mosque daily. They welcomed me and my American culture into their home with the highest level of kindness and hospitality. It saddens me to see people stigmatize a full quarter of our world’s population, as their faith has done nothing but make them better people. Similarly, from my work at the Refugee Center in Twin Falls, I know how grateful incoming refugees are to be new Idahoans and what a benefit they are to our society and economy.

The United States was founded by religious refugees, but we’ve turned our backs on that legacy in favor of ignoring a critical global problem — leaving more toddlers to drown, more tears to be shed, and more satisfaction to be felt by the terrorists who want America to fall.

As a Latter-day Saint, I’m uplifted when I see the compassionate actions of those in my community and across the globe represent charity and love. Christ was a Middle Eastern refugee, and in Matthew we learn that by taking in strangers it’s as if we’d done it unto him. In a situation where the least of these our brethren are suffering, it’s my hope that the U.S. and its people will continue to stand for safety, family, and freedom —  to love one another in solidarity with our brothers and sisters worldwide. Terrorism cannot be conquered by fear.

— Amanda Solomon
Kimberly, Idaho

PDA in the library

It’s happened to all of us — you’re trying to study for a hard final in the library when the couple in front of you starts displaying PDA. As hard as you try, it’s impossible to stop their actions from distracting you.

This is a problem encountered by many BYU students every semester. The library is a common place for students to go when they cannot focus on their studies elsewhere. College is a distracting place, with loud roommates, parties, and the ever-tempting Netflix around every corner. The library is a place where students can go to focus on their studies and let the other distractions melt away.

However, the library sometimes becomes a “hang out place” for many students and couples. Many go to the library to hang out and “study,” but really all they do is talk to each other in these areas of the library that are not the “no shush” zone. Their distracting conversations and actions can destroy the library’s central purpose to many of its students.

We know that this problem cannot be solved overnight. However, we believe that these rules in the library need to be more strictly enforced. Students that are talking or being distracting in the library can be sent to the “no shush” zone or nearly anywhere else on campus where those conversations belong. That will allow students to focus on their studies in a place that was built for students to focus on their studies.

— Dereck Hancock
Beavercreek, Ohio

Scoot in

Bruised knees and crushed toes, not the best way to start class.  My experience at the university has lead me to believe that there is a drastic need for class room courtesy, and it all begins with where you sit.  Picture it.  You’ve got a pop tart in one hand and a laptop in the other, all bundled up running into class five minutes late.  A quick scan around the room reveals that an inconsiderate defensive parameter has been set, blocking all access to inner seats.  Glaring at these row-end-sitters, you plan the daring plunge.  Upon beginning your frontal assault, you find yourself thinking, “Do I face frontward or back?” After a bit of awkward shuffling, and high knees, you finally find the refuge of an open seat. Sitting in the middle of the row (the no man’s land), you take off your coat and cannot help but ask, why?  It seems that the majority of students tend to sit at the end of the row instead of scooting in to make room for others.  Whether this be a problem of pure laziness, or perhaps a compulsive need to be the first to leave at the end of class, it does not warrant their inconsiderate actions.  The simplicity of the solution almost makes me embarrassed to state it.  Please, just scoot in.

— Chelsea Nay
Provo, Utah

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