Readers’ Forum April 26

131

More than a statistic

Women comprise more than half of college graduates in the United States every year but less than 35 percent of STEM field graduates. Theoretically, men and women have the same opportunities to pursue their goals, yet we can see there are still uneven numbers of women and men in certain fields. That must be because of our prejudiced, patriarchal society, right? If we push and rage and fight against it, the statistics will then exhibit equality, right?

Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

Don’t get me wrong, I am 100 percent for empowering women – AND men – to pursue high goals. Many people discourage my friend against becoming a surgeon because she is a woman, and that is wrong. However, in my experience the problem runs both ways: whether we choose a “traditional” path or not, women are treated like we don’t know what we want.

Freshman year, I pursued a STEM major. It was a fantastic program and experience, but ultimately I realized that a humanities major, as stereotypical as it sounded, was simply a better fit for me. The hardest part about switching majors was the knowledge that I was ruining the male-to-female ratio of the engineering department.

However, guilt and social pressure are not reasons to be an engineer. My life is more than a statistic.

— Emma Anderson

Walnut Creek, California

Sleeping earlier

Throughout my life, I have never, “pulled an all-nighter”. Much to my friends’ surprise, I usually sleep before 11 p.m. As a result, my closest friends back home still call me a “baby” for sleeping so “early”. Nevertheless, I believe the benefits of sleeping early easily outweigh the fun of staying up late.

Sleeping earlier allows you to accomplish more tasks. When you sleep late, you have a harder time getting up even at around 10 p.m. However, if you sleep before 11 p.m., your body is more inclined to wake up earlier. Furthermore, when you stay up late, your productivity decreases because you will be distracted. Waking up early enables focus on your tasks.

When you sleep early, you can actually enjoy the morning weather. Morning weather feels a lot better, and you can always enjoy a cool breeze!

There’s a reason why our mothers tell us to sleep early, and it’s not because the “early bird gets the worm.” Sleeping early has many health benefits. On the other hand, when we sleep late — or don’t sleep at all — our body has a harder time functioning. Sleeping early enables our immune system to function properly and efficiently!

— Victor Lau

Los Angeles, California

Limited

There is a problem in Provo that has sadly gone unnoticed for far too long. There are numerous citizens who are denied affordable off-campus housing due to lack of accessibility. I have Leigh’s Disease and I have seen various problems with this first hand. Not only is accessible housing expensive, but there are limited options. Even locations that claim they are accessible do not meet all the requirements needed. Areas of difficulty include: hallway width, ramps, railings, elevators, curbs, automatic doors, bathroom accessibility, and general wheelchair access.

One of the major issues I have faced is location. Location is crucial for not only accessing grocery stores, but also school, work, doctors, etc. It often takes me 30 minutes to get somewhere in my automatic wheelchair that takes someone else about 5 minutes to drive. This is even more of an issue when the weather is severe without cleared walkways. A simple snow day to someone could be very difficult for me.

A solution for this unnoticed problem is requiring accessibility apartments in each apartment complex that include annual inspections in order to pass updated Accessibility Disability Acts. If apartment complexes do not have someone who requires this type of need, they can fill the apartment with other renters under the condition that they will move to another room if someone with disabilities needs it. If Provo were to enact this proposition, it would help individuals who have these same struggles to live as normal as possible.

— Kylie Webster

Alpine, Utah

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