Readers’ Forum: 9/11/18

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Global media coverage

If you turn on any given news channel, you’re very likely to see some story about President Trump and his administration — either positive or negative. This intense attention has been almost constant since Trump first announced his candidacy. On the surface it seems to make sense that we, as a nation, would be interested in the daily happenings in D.C. But exactly how much good does this constant barrage of news stories, personal and political attacks, and social media updates actually do for us as a nation?

How much does the average American know about the economic collapse in Venezuela? Is there a BYU student who can explain Brexit and the economic risks that it may pose? Do you really know what is going on with Syria right now? Is there anything that the United States could do to help Nicaragua overcome its current political crisis?

The point is that by focusing so much on our own problems, we may be missing opportunities to do great good in the world. While it is important to be informed about the issues within our own country, we also have a responsibility to help others. As public pressure and opinion can strongly influence the way our government acts, it is essential that we, the American people, push to expand the national news coverage. I encourage everybody to take an active stance in supporting and encouraging the expansion of the press.

—TJ Beal

Gainsville, Texas

Campus gift cards

It is so convenient to have full access to a food court with a variety of options right in the heart of campus. The Cougareat guarantees to satisfy any food craving. Whether it’s a chicken burger with waffle fries, a taco in a Dorito shell or even a roll of sushi — the Cougareat has it all! Heading into college many students look forward to cooking less and eating Chick-fil-a with a Mango-A-Go-Go from Jamba on ‘Thirsty Thursdays.’

Gift cards are just another form of payment — often used as a gift from your loved ones — that are meant to be used. Their purpose serves not only the marketing aspect for companies but also the “college student budget.” Where is the harm in gift cards being accepted? Instead of walking to the Cougareat to use this gift from your grandparents, we have to find our car miles away due to the limited parking, and hopefully, don’t have a piece of paper on the front window written by the lovely BYU parking police (that’s a whole other topic), and then drive almost five minutes to use the gift card. That is more time and money spent just to get to use a gift card. It is 2018, you would think that people would know the word “convenience.”

—Madeline Mossman

Portland, Oregon

Provo construction 

I woke up early this morning and left for class with 10 minutes to spare. I had a microwave breakfast burrito in my left hand and my hair brush in my right hand. I slowly meandered around the parking lot to find that the southeast exit was closed. After driving in circles trying to find another way out, I finally escaped the parking lot only to find another detour. The road was lined with the species of tree native to Provo, laranjas barricadus, better known as the orange barricade. I still had three minutes to spare. I got out my phone and opened up Google Maps to find where the traffic was least severe on my route. Every single road was blanketed with red, and we all know what that means. By this time my burrito was gone and I had pulled all of my hair out. I never made it to class. And I live only two blocks away from campus.

There are only three things in this life that are unavoidable: death, taxes and Provo construction.

—Austin Banz

Salt Lake City, Utah

Cougar honor

Ever since the freshman New Student Orientation, I have been thinking a lot about a major theme here at BYU, namely one of honor. It seems everywhere I look there is the presence of honor. Whether it is implied in a testing center policy reminder or explicitly stated on a T-shirt, it seems BYU is focused on honor, and I love it. A major target for both external and internal critics of BYU is our focus on honor and the honor code. To these critics, I would like to extend a counter argument that goes beyond the simple “You know what you were getting into” we’ve all heard.

At BYU, we gain an excellent education, but we also learn to be honorable people as well. Although a major in electrical engineering will get a foot in the door, I believe it is work ethic, honesty, and integrity that play the more important part in our work, social, and spiritual lives. BYU and its focus on honor is not meant to control our lifestyles; rather, it teaches us a valuable attribute most of the world is missing these days. It sets us apart, makes us unique, and defines what it means to be a Cougar. Let’s embrace it and truly learn what it means to Enter to Learn; Go Forth to Serve.

—Jacob Ward

Mapleton, Utah

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