Readers’ Forum


College students need music in their lives

My brother was diagnosed with metatropic dysplasia (dwarfism that severely inhibits muscle development, joint mobility and bone growth) at age 2. The doctors predicted that, along with never being able to walk, Colton would have limited movement in his hands for a few years until arthritis rendered them entirely incapable. My father immediately began teaching him piano in the hopes of strengthening his hand muscles to prevent the heart-wrenching, inevitable outcome.

As a piano teacher, I’ve realized that music benefits not only those with physical limitations like Colton; it also improves the lives of those with mental handicaps and those fully capable, making it essential to your success.

Last year I had one student advance from “needs improvement” to “highly proficient” in first-grade mathematics after one month of piano lessons. This immediate improvement proved that music was the key to her progress.

Even without physical or mental setbacks, music can still enhance us. Through dedicated practice, I’ve learned more about my potential than any class I’ve ever taken. I’ve done things I thought I could never do. Music has shown me that I can do anything that I put my mind to —and so can you. A simple 15 minutes of practice during your study break will expand your comprehension and increase your capabilities.

Because of music, Colton’s story is far from over. He’s currently pursuing a career in commercial music at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. Without music, he wouldn’t be here today; with it, he’s more successful than any of us ever could’ve imagined.

— Caylie Purcell

Mapleton, Utah

Make a mobile function for Learning Suite on app

Learning Suite, the universal BYU grade book and syllabus, is the main means of connection between faculty and students and the primary medium of reviewing assignment information and submissions. The BYU mobile app includes a Learning Suite function; however, this app does not allow students to view their scores on graded assignments as is possible online. Furthermore, the built-in schedule cannot be programmed to provide reminders for due dates or transferred into a standard mobile reminder system (such as Google Calendar). The BYU Learning Suite app should be reprogrammed into a format that allows students to view grades and receive notifications of due dates on their phones, thereby increasing student productivity and success.

Several of my peers have mentioned their frustration that there is no effective mobile platform for the program. In one class, 88 percent of students polled reported an interest in a more effective Learning Suite app.

Creating such an app would admittedly require cost and time commitment; however, improving the BYU app Learning Suite function rather than creating a new app would minimize this cost. The BYU administration should consider timely development of these improvements to increase student accessibility to academic assignments and expectations.

— Andrew Sessions

Cedar Hills, Utah

BYU student gym should be bigger

Members of the LDS Church are taught from their youth that their bodies are sacred and exercise is critical to physical health and caring for that sacred gift. If exercise is so important to our health and happiness, it is a wonder that the student gym, which caters to its population of 33,000 students, is so small. The fields and courts for the collegiate sports are both expansive and appropriate for the excellence expected from our teams, but the gym that caters to the majority of students is only 5960 square feet. The space is constantly crowded in the mornings and evenings, making it difficult for anyone to work out, especially those who are not as confident in their workouts.

The complaint for crowding was solved by a campus camera that allows students to check gym space before coming. However, the extra camera doesn’t really solve the issue: it still offers no extra space. And the solution for those who aren’t as comfortable was a women’s gym, which is demeaning, as its closet-sized space is not enough for more than a handful of women. These changes are like an ice pack to a bullet wound—they ignore the issue and offer pointless comfort.

To add insult to injury, a recent trip to our sister school at BYU Idaho showed me an expansive gym for students. For a school that prides itself on giving its students the best opportunities, BYU fails to provide appropriate gym space for its students.

— Makayla Beitler

Columbus, Ohio

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