Readers’ Forum June 8

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Response to ‘BYUSA: Change the Cougareat’

Millennials are widely infamous for being the “entitled” generation, having grown up in an era of participation trophies and receiving the benefits of success without much of the work that previous generations experienced. Whether or not this notoriety is deserved is largely a matter of opinion, but the Readers’ Forum piece in the June 1 (online edition) of The Daily Universe makes a compelling argument that millennials are indeed entitled.

The articles author believes it is “shocking that BYU doesn’t subsidize students’” food in the Cougareat. She bemoans that Cougareat students “have little choice but to pay a premium price” for food on campus. She clearly forgets a couple of relevant facts.

  1. BYU heavily subsidizes the cost of each students’ education. BYU’s own admissions page states that BYU students pay about $24,000; less per year than they would pay at a traditional private university. For the price of a community college education, we each receive a top-tier, world-class education at a discount of nearly $100,000.
  2. While the author believes that the only way to obtain food is to purchase it from the Cougareat, I feel obligated to remind her that in the real world, adults don’t eat out every day. The benefit of BYU student housing (even off-campus housing), is that it is within a reasonable walking distance to several grocery stores. A much cheaper option (and typically healthier) would be to buy food there, and then pack meals that can be brought to campus.

BYU doesn’t owe us cheap food. BYU owes us nothing beyond the quality education that has been promised us.

— Sean Robison

Provo, Utah

Honor Code violation vs. sexual assault

I was disappointed to see social media flooded with misleading “clickbait” articles accusing my alma mater (BYU) of punishing sexual assault victims. It’s a prime example of biased, sensationalist, and frankly dishonest journalism.

Here’s why these headlines are fundamentally misleading: the Honor Code office isn’t investigating students for being victims of sexual assault. Instead, these investigations result from separate alleged honor code violations. Every student signs the Honor Code when they enroll at BYU. There is no asterisk at the bottom stating that the Honor Code is null and void if one becomes a victim of a crime while violating it, nor should there be.

If a student is assaulted while using drugs or alcohol, they have two choices: they can report the crime and face punishment for doing something they agreed not to do, or they can refuse to come forward in order to protect themselves, thus allow their attacker to continue to acquire victims. Neither of these options will seem appealing to the student, but neither of them are the fault of the university. I’m the strongest advocate for victims of sexual assault, but giving Honor Code violators “amnesty” is both unwise and not in harmony with the principle of moral agency.

— Alex Kolkena

Kansas City, Missouri

Remember high school?

Only 58 percent of students enrolled at four-year universities graduate within six years. Is there a gap between high school academics and the university (in) writing research papers, conducting case studies, taking tricky tests and even studying? Rarely, if ever, did I participate in any of these activities in high school. My experience at BYU pushed me intellectually and made me dig deep to sit down and study every day. Class work will still be overwhelming even with a one-day spring break as a new addition to the winter semester of 2017.

Thinking back as to what would have better prepared me (for college) in a high school setting, I first think of studying. For every high school class period, with the exception of English classes, I would generally be done with all homework, reading and studying inside of class. There was usually time to work on problems and consult with other students and teachers — perhaps serving as a crutch for high school students, leaving them disabled in a college world.

On the other hand, maybe high school academia did give proper preparation for college and I just didn’t take advantage of it. High school students are allowed many opportunities to push their minds to the limit. Maybe I should have limited my mind to scholastic opportunities instead of dropping out of an AP Biology class, playing soccer and refusing to take statistics in order to take a day off.

— Nathan Allen

Provo, Utah

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