Readers’ Forum August 4

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Unmarked BYU parking areas should get the boot, not us

Evan Chang (a senior on the BYU men’s volleyball team), was playing against Santa Barbra State and his parents were in town. After the game, his parents came to drop him off and pick up some things at his apartment. They parked in an unmarked bay and upon returning to the car only minutes later, they had a boot tacked on their wheel, valued at $60.

There are many such areas near and on BYU campus, which are similarly unmarked, where students have had to pay hefty and unpredicted fines. We understand that BYU can’t have students parking wherever they choose. But as part of our choice, the potential consequences of our parking must be clearly posted. If we are not aware that where we are parking is illegal, there must be leniency and any disciplinary action must be rescinded until the area can be appropriately marked.

Upon receiving the boot, Evan’s parents expressed their concern that there was no sign notifying that this was not a space to be parked in. The response was unyielding. They would not remove the boot without them complying to pay, even though it was an unjustly booted car. If areas are unmarked, parking officials should not be permitted to engage in disciplinary action.

— Sara McLaws, Alyssa Walecki, Mikelle Reese, Eliza Rushton, Austin Shong, Hunter Hiskey, Dave Rodriguez, Logan Robison

 

Sexual assault at BYU

As a trained victim advocate for sexual harassment/assault response and prevention in the U.S. Army and an alumni of Brigham Young University, I would like to know what is being done to address what appears to be a disturbing policy of opening Honor Code investigations on students who report being victims of sexual assault as discussed in the Apr. 12 Salt Lake Tribune article.

The U.S. Army, albeit slowly, has made recent changes to policy as it deals with similar circumstances. The army’s change in policy of not rigorously prosecuting acts such as underage drinking by victims (in favor of creating a climate more amenable to victims feeling like they can report and access victim resources) has not led to an increase in underage drinking, but has led to an increase in reporting. More reports do not correlate to more assaults taking place, but that victims have more trust in the system protecting their rights as a victim.

Also, those concerned with false reporting (that people will claim to be a victim to avoid Honor Code violations for consensual activities) are greatly overestimating false reporting and misunderstand the abilities of law enforcement officials and the court system to differentiate between the two. BYU’s current policy of opening Honor Code violation investigations on students who report causes students who should report, to not report. This could result in perpetrators going uncaught and victimizing others. This has to be rectified. BYU should be at the forefront of the universities in this country who struggle with sexual assaults on campus.

— Jairus Roberts

Mesa, Arizona

 

Every leap second counts

During 2016, timekeepers at the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service have observed that the time on atomic clocks doesn’t exactly match the observed rotation of the earth. To correct this, we’ll experience one additional second of time on December 31, 2016 at 6:59:59 p.m. EST. A leap second, if you will.

Most people will be thinking, big whoop. One second doesn’t matter, unless you’re competing in the Olympic Games or a wild competition like GISHWHES. (The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen — go team DirtyVulcan!) They’re right to some extent. You can’t even binge an episode of “Stranger Things” during that time.

But — not to get too cheesy — the way you spend that extra second says a little bit about what matters most to you. Maybe you’ll be a planner finalizing your New Year’s resolutions or a socialite on your way to the next party. Maybe you’re really fascinated by space and time, and you want to watch that leap second unfold.

My biggest goal for the year has been to read at least 40 books, since I’ve been slacking on that front since finishing my English degree. I intend to spend that extra second diving into yet another story. (I just measured my reading speed, and I can get a whole five words in.)

I would simply encourage readers to spend that time well. We shouldn’t let that extra second go to waste because we shouldn’t let any time go to waste.

— Shannon Williams

Las Vegas, Nevada

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