Readers’ Forum

419

Response: Rural Utahns concerned about government

I’m very disappointed by the top story in this week’s print edition. The reporting is vague at best and belligerent at worst. Ms. Wise reports that laws governing rural Utah are restricting and disrupting the rural way of life, but she fails to reference any specific law or attempt to quantify the effects of these laws in any meaningful way. Instead, she leans on the anecdotes of a single family. She also fails to explain why these laws are unjustified or unfair. Does Ms. Wise know anything about how grazing fees are determined, or why limits on agricultural water use are put into place? If she does, she doesn’t share that with us. She also repeatedly fails to distinguish between federal and state issues, signaling a lack of understanding. Finally, her bit about the political differences between urban and rural areas comes off as overly simplistic, needlessly divisive and tangential to the main story. This type of journalism is sloppy, subjective and cultivates an unhealthy polarization in our student body. I’d like to see someone else have a crack at this story, so they can undo Ms. Wise’s obfuscation.
— Anson Call
Draper, Utah

Defend affirmative action

Those who object to affirmative action agree it provides minorities with unfair advantages in an otherwise equal, color-blind society. Defendants of affirmative action point to how it provides minority students with the social capital necessary to succeed in our modern society and offers diversity in educational settings that lead to enriched learning, preparing students to excel in our globalized society. Both of these perspectives ignore the intended purpose of affirmative action that needs to be discussed: to correct the historical injuries of slavery, Jim Crow laws and the current institutional structure of society to favor majority over minority races.

During the civil rights era, only five percent of undergraduate students were African-American and such policies were intended to improve and provide educational opportunities for historically excluded groups. However, the reasons behind its purpose were twisted into the diversity defense  that affirmative action promotes diversity and enhanced experiences in a unique setting by allowing race as a factor in college admissions. 

Although diversity is a worthy ideal to strive for, diversity of race has morphed into diversity of intellect in this context and insignificantly addresses diversity of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Defending affirmative action based on diversity ignores the true purpose of these policies — to rectify decades of racial, social and economic oppression perpetrated by the United States against subgroups of society perceived as inferior. Effects from these policies still ripple through our society. Affirmative action, though not a perfect or an all-encompassing solution, does achieve its goal in admitting more minority students into universities and giving them opportunities for greater success.

As Justice Sotomayor stated, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate side effects of centuries of racial discrimination.” Affirmative action will be relevant and necessary as long as race is relevant in individual life opportunities.

Mandy Workman

Tigard, Oregon

Tell the truth in relationships

Communication is key to create healthy relationships, but too many students don’t communicate openly with their peers. BYU students should take the time to openly express their feelings instead of being passive aggressive. Too often, society seeks to beat around the bush when it comes time to face an awkward situation.

Instead of directly letting a roommate know they would like them to clean their dishes, they let the sink grow in dirty heaps. Rather than let a young man know she isn’t interested, a young woman tells him she can’t go on a date for multiple reasons that are not at all relevant. These situations are quite common and ultimately lead to unhealthy habits and relationships. In order to solve these problems, students at BYU should, with kindness, tell the truth. If a student wishes their roommate would clean up their side of the room, simply ask the roommate to clean up their side of the room. Doing this swiftly and kindly will get the room cleaner quicker and the relationship healthier. Young women should simply let young men know they aren’t interested from the beginning.

Many people choose not to be straightforward out of fear of getting into an argument or hurting someone’s feelings. However, if students took the time to counsel with their peers, there would be no arguing because they would strive to understand, not just be understood. Therefore, feelings would not be hurt because they would see their friend wishes to help them. Learning to communicate will allow students to create healthier relationships in all aspects of their lives.

Sara Davis

Nephi, Utah

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