Readers’ Forum: 11/13/18


Puppy Barn

According to a survey from the UCLA Higher Education Institute, 69 percent of first year college students report feeling homesick. I was included in that 69 percent. I soon went in search of a place where I could just hold a dog to alleviate my homesickness, and I came across Puppy Barn.

My experience is not unique. That intense, immediate response of your heart melting after seeing a tiny, big-eyed puppy is always the reaction you will feel when walking into one of their locations.

Puppy Barn is not a pet store. A pet store is a location where dogs are put into cages behind glass windows, isolated and alone. It has been psychologically proven that this messes with dogs minds. Luckily, Puppy Barn places dogs together.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in order to survive — once physical needs are met — a sense of belonging and love is also needed. The motto of Puppy Barn is “home-to-home,” suggesting they help provide dogs with an environment that makes adjusting easier when they are adopted. Because of Puppy Barn, 7,000 puppies have been adopted since 2014.

It is indisputable that these locations are made with an environment of care and love for each and every puppy in it. It is an environment in which puppies are kept clean and safe.

The benefits at Puppy Barn are endless — they help reduce stress, they are mood-lifting and they provide you with a smile and a healthy dog.

— Ashtyn Chipman

Boston, Massachusetts

Guest Opinion

Discussion on diversity

There have been many recent efforts to increase diversity, but it seems more like a checklist rather than true and sincere interest.

I feel the word diversity has become more about division and separation between people than about positive change.

Being a minority student on the BYU campus is difficult. And I did not know how difficult being a minority was when I applied to BYU.

I sent in my application to BYU and I was nervous like many others. I worked hard in high school and felt confident in my application. When I received my acceptance letter, I was filled with joy. I remember sharing the news with one of my childhood friends and she said, “Oh, it’s because you’re Navajo.”

That statement instantly stripped the excitement I had and a wave of guilt hit me. It made me question my intellect and the hard work I put into the application. But I tried to forget about the comment and focus on going to BYU.

I thought BYU would welcome me with open arms and I would finally be accepted for my whole self. I thought BYU is a church school and in the mission statement it says, “students at BYU should receive a broad university education … which will help students think clearly, communicate effectively, understand important ideas in their own cultural tradition as well as that of others.” I wanted to learn about other cultures and broaden my education. I was ready to embrace my culture and share it with others.

However, when I came to BYU, it was not what I imagined because I felt a racial separation. I entered class my freshmen year, and I watched my classmates engulf in conversations as if they had known each other for years. They asked about their hometowns, upbringing, and even exchanged phone numbers. But when it came to me, they simply asked what my name was and where I was from then moved on to the next person. After a couple weeks, I began to feel lonely. I did not like class. I saw my roommates go on multiple dates and talk for hours about boys. I felt I could not talk to anyone because it seemed like no one understood what I was feeling.

One day in class the topic of immigration came up. I was writing notes and the professor called my name to see if I had anything to add to the conversation. I did not know what to say because I am not an immigrant nor are my ancestors. I am full-blooded Navajo but because of the color of my skin, I became the spokesperson for all people of color.

I went to my dorm and thought more about the rest of the semester and my time at BYU.

My time at BYU has been hard. I am working on numerous projects to help minority students feel more welcomed and included at BYU. I have worked with many students and heard their stories and it is heartbreaking to hear their stories. All the students I have talked to faced a similar story with friends, school or church.

One positive experience I had in class was about a controversial topic concerning Native Americans.The professor opened class to a discussion and I was scared. I didn’t know how my peers would respond and I was afraid of hurtful comments. To my surprise, my peers were sincerely curious. They asked respectful questions and stood up for the Native American views. I felt safe and comfortable to share my thoughts and I felt genuinely happy because I did not feel alone.

Diversity needs to change from division and separation to unity and respect.

— Erin Tapahe, BYU communications major

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