Readers’ Forum Feb. 16


Uneven bars, uneven access

When I found out that BYU had a gymnastics gymnasium on campus, I was ecstatic. I have been a gymnast for over half my life and competed for my high school team. I was excited for the opportunity to continue one of my passions. However, that opportunity never came. After talking to one of the STAC coaches during freshman orientation, I discovered that the gym only allows access to members of the collegiate gymnastics team or scheduled gymnastics class. When I tried to sign up for the class, it was full in both fall and winter semesters with hefty waitlists. Though the gymnastics gym is needed for the competing team and credit class, there is a way to provide more access to the gym that will accommodate the gymnastics class, collegiate team, and student body of BYU.

There are two potential solutions that could solve this issue of accessibility to the gymnastics gym. The first idea is to create a gymnastics club. Several colleges have recreational clubs. Gymnasts of all levels are able to join and enjoy the sport. These clubs are great for gymnasts who may not feel they can compete on the collegiate team, or simply cannot make the commitment. The BYU gymnasium is occupied daily from one to five p.m. for team practice, and nine to eleven a.m. Monday through Thursday for the class. This leaves evening hours open to schedule a gymnastics club, or explore another option- open gym time.

Gymnastics is unique in many respects. One particular aspect is the equipment required for gymnasts. This distinctly sets gymnastics apart from other sports, and makes it very hard for recreational gymnasts to find a place to practice. On campus, or close nearby, there are soccer fields, basketball courts, swimming pools, tennis courts, and numerous other areas for athletes to play and practice their sport. But gymnasts cannot practice their beam routines in a grassy field or vault in the parking lot. By limiting gym access to just team members and students in the class, other gymnasts are ultimately shut out from any gymnastics equipment on campus.

With the team and class gym times stated above, open gym time would be possible in the evenings. Ideally, the open gym would be free to full time students, just like the Smith fieldhouse operates. But if running the open gym becomes a cost issue, a small admission fee could be required. A common counterargument to open gym is the issue of liability. However, this issue can be easily resolved by requiring a liability form to be signed upon entering the gym. Also, there would be coaches there to supervise and possibly spot potentially dangerous tricks. These coaches could be certified students, which would provide even more on campus student employment.

— Rachel Glew
Wilmington, North Carolina

Promise to remember

I am privileged to be friends with a woman named Paula Lebovics. There’s no way for me to do her experiences justice in a few words, but I will say that Paula was 6 years old when World War II started, and by the end, she had lost her father, two sisters and experienced unspeakable horrors in Auschwitz-Birkenau. She was only 12 years old at the time of her liberation.

I am trying to make good on my promise to her that I will never forget what she endured and that I will not be silent. If we forget the past, then we risk history repeating itself, which is completely unacceptable. I urge everyone — my friends, family, and acquaintances — to take note, and remember that these unspeakable horrors actually happened and are entirely capable of happening again if we forget the love and respect we owe to each other as human beings.

Be aware of what is happening in the world today. There are many places where genocide is committed and the most basic human rights are being atrociously violated. Count yourself lucky not to be there. We may be powerless to directly affect a war-torn nation across the globe, but we influence our immediate environments whether or not we are conscious of it.

Be conscious, because everybody changes the world; whether we change it for better or worse is our decision.

— Emily Maynes
Studio City, California

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