Readers’ Forum Jan. 9, 2018

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Lauren Fine
Lauren and her husband, Pavel, volunteered for the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts through Mormon Helping Hands. (Lauren Fine)

Volunteering

As generations pass, people’s vision has been decreased to a narrow lens: themselves. People are so caught up in daily life, self-preservation and personal struggle that many go about their day without a whim of others’ problems. Service is defined as the action of helping or doing work for someone with no monetary benefit. Service is a declining aspect of our country’s citizens; therefore, people need to be informed about how volunteering in acts of service can provide benefits to apply to life. Volunteering has diminished from a proud virtue to a taboo action of which most people do not partake. Anna Bernasek states, “In recent years, the percentage of Americans volunteering has dwindled and is now at its lowest level in a decade.” This implies that volunteering is a subject of the past; people just do not participate anymore. “Last year the volunteer rate was 25.4 percent, or 62.6 million people, compared with 29 percent of the population in 2003” (Bernasek). There are reasonable excuses to not volunteer; people do have their own lives to live. The most common excuse to not volunteer is time; there is not enough time to volunteer anywhere. People have jobs and families, so it is understandable if they do not have time. The benefits gained from volunteering range from health benefits to work experience and so on. However, nothing is gained if action is not taken.

Dakota Thompson

Gardendale, Alabama

Attendance

BYU professors should not take attendance for their classes. Students pay incredible amounts of money and time to attend the university, work and care for their families. One might argue that much of a student’s enrollment costs are covered by tithing, but that is why there is a minimum GPA required to continue attending BYU and assignments and tests given in class. If a student is learning the material and does well on the tests, then the purpose, in theory, is achieved. If the test or assignment is too easy, then that is the fault of the professor. If a student can learn better reading from the textbook than attending a lecture, that is the fault of the professor. A student should not be forced to sit in a class and be bored if the professor fails to provide an engaging experience. If attendance was dropped from the class then that would force the professor to up their game and make it engaging and rewarding enough to attend. If I feel like I am actually learning things, then I will attend. Students don’t want to do poorly in school, but they are busy. Because they are busy, they will only set aside the time for things that are essential. And some lectures on campus simply are not.

Tyler Torrie

Grassy Lake, Alberta, Canada

Vaccines

As future or current parents who attend Brigham Young University, it’s important for us to be properly educated on the importance of vaccinating our infants and young children. There is no reason for anyone that has the option of vaccines to suffer from the diseases vaccines offer to protect us from. While the arguments presented by anti-vaccination groups appeal to parents’ emotional states, emotion cannot be the sole factor in deciding whether or not to vaccinate. Based on scientific research, there are far greater risks from not vaccinating infants than risks that come from vaccinations. BYU attendees should be aware of the impact vaccinations play in their lives and for generations to come. Whether the knowledge comes from an outsider program or through a class, it’s necessary for everyone to understand the importance of vaccinating young children. Many, if not all, parents pray for a healthy child. God has given us this option by being born in a time of amazing modern-day medical miracles called vaccines; however, the miracles cannot have any effect unless we go out and seek them. Vaccinations are necessary, safe and crucial to not only protect the receiver of the vaccination but those around.

Phillip Morrison

San Diego, California

 

Open mind

In recent years, colleges and universities across the United States have been more protective of students by sheltering them from real world topics. To prevent students from feeling uncomfortable and awkward, universities spare their students from listening to or conversing about topics including transgenderism, homosexuality, race, religion and politics. This creates a dilemma for society because mental problems are on the rise for students, and they are no longer prepared for life after college. Students are facing an academic crisis, but the best way to fix this is for both colleges and students to take responsibility. Colleges must provide students with opportunities to listen to open forums with a variety of topics, and students must be open-minded to listen to those forums. Positive changes will be apparent as students become more tolerant and will thus be less likely to have mental problems. This creates capable students who are prepared for the world. By ensuring the success of students, the future can only get better.

Quin Flores

Ewa Beach, Hawaii

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