Readers’ Forum: 2/4/20


A solution to year-long housing contracts

Life as a BYU student can change so much within a year. With missions, marriage and
families on the horizon, a single year can take many different and unexpected turns. Committing to a one-year housing contract, which the majority of off-campus BYU housing requires, has proved problematic for many BYU students. The panic of finding someone to buy a contract for the upcoming semester is an all-too-familiar feeling taking its toll on students living in Provo.

Students should be able to sign a semester-long contract and have discounted rent for a certain number of consecutive semesters they remain in their apartment. With this solution, students won’t feel the added stress of finding someone to buy their contract during the middle of the year.

Instead of restricting a student’s plan for their future, landlords should work with the individual and their situation. The first steps to change are addressing the problem and proposing a possible solution, which might better help the situation for both parties. From the landlord’s standpoint it’s understandable to want year-round apartment contracts, but with the way things are, students are forced to either lose thousands of dollars or even pay someone to buy their contract if they want to move out.

So, instead of reaching out on Instagram or Facebook for “anyone looking for housing in
the Provo/Orem area,” contact your building management, fill the suggestion box and do whatever it takes to start the conversation to end year-long contracts.

Sydnee Bond
Mesa, AZ

Korean pop and masculinity

Over the past several years, a previously niche music genre has broken into the American
music scene: Korean pop aka K-pop.

One of the defining characteristics of K-pop is the heavy emphasis that is placed on visual aesthetics in performances and music videos. Striking makeup, vibrant hair colors and avant-garde outfits are all key elements of the appearance of a K-pop artist, regardless of gender. This departure from the appearance of masculinity that we typically see represented in Western cultures has brought male K-pop idols to public attention, prompting a wide range of responses. Idols see this range of visual expression as an extension of themselves, which allows them to be honest on stage.

Observers of this media do not necessarily share this perspective. Some have taken their strong distaste for the trend to the comments of social media posts, while some Chinese citizens have created after-school clubs to create “alpha males” and combat the dangers of the “effeminate male images” that K-pop idols present. However, many individuals have been attracted to K-pop by the freedom and exploration of visual expression represented by the genre.

Fans hail this departure from Western hypermasculinity and machismo, which is represented in
the media as a way to challenge “toxic-masculinity.” It allows men to adopt softer and gentler
images without seeing them as a sign of weakness. Regardless of opinion, these reactions open an interesting discussion of societal perceptions of masculinity.

Jane Hutto
McKinney, TX

Perception of weather

Most people believe the quality of their day can be predicted by their environment, especially the weather around them. However, it is truly our past experiences and attitudes associated with the weather that influence how we react on a daily basis.

There are a million places to live around the globe that can attribute to this reaction. Based on where people are from, they have grown up accustomed to certain weather, which has an effect on what they enjoy. We are culturally defined by weather based on where we grew up and currently live.

Children are able to see what others responses are to specific surroundings, especially those whom they closely connect with. As a result, many people think of rain negatively due to how they reacted to the weather as kids and how their parents raised them to act. Past experiences dictate how people react.

Even though past experiences allow us to have previous knowledge of what to expect or how to act in certain situations, society’s perceived idea of the environment has an affect on our attitudes of the weather around us. These notions are ingrained in us through those
around us, including our parents, siblings, friends and teachers.

We each have unique lives with variations of experiences and learned emotions. However, we all have the agency to choose how we react to the weather. You don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so don’t confine yourself to your idea of what you define as a great day.

Laura Greco
Pepperell, MA

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