Readers’ Forum: 3/17/20


Media causes mayhem

According to Abraham Lincoln, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Satan knows that and is trying so hard to divide us. So we should ask ourselves, “What is causing the division between people today?” There is one answer that stands out from among the rest: Media.

Media “controls the minds of the masses” according to Malcolm X. It has the ability to divide people, families and a nation. It can cause worry, panic, fear, hatred, anger and any other horrifying feeling within someone almost out of thin air. That is how the division starts.

Let’s look at the coronavirus, for example. How deadly is it?

The World Health Organization says that the mortality rate is around 2 to 3 percent, however other health experts report that the actual percentage is not that high since not all cases are diagnosed or reported.

One might ask, “If the case-fatality rate is that small, why is it such a big deal?” Again, the media. At this point, we should be less worried about the virus and more worried about the panic that is causing the public health system to become overwhelmed.

Don’t get me wrong. We should be aware of the coronavirus, its symptoms and how we can prevent it, but we also need to remain calm about it. We can’t let the media scare us into panic buying toilet paper, water or hand-sanitizer. When that happens, resources will eventually run out. All because that’s what the media puts into their minds.

One might say, “What am I supposed to do about it? I don’t work for CNN, CBS or NBC.” While that may be true, you still have an active role in the media today. Anybody with a social media account participates with the rest of the media. However, the keyboard is a doubled-edged sword.

There is nothing wrong with posting memes and opinions and recent political events, but do it in an uplifting and accurate manner. Post something that will have a positive impact on the community; not something that will cause us to create more mayhem. This world could use a little more of the good stuff.

Brandon Southwick
Kanab, UT

Silence is golden

“Thank you for being quiet in the library,” a nearby signs say. The word ‘QUIET’ appears in big, capital and unmistakable letters, accompanied by a large graphic of someone pressing their finger to their lips.

For studying, I love the quiet atmosphere of the HBLL. As I try to concentrate while on the bottom floor, however, I somewhat frequently find my focus fragmented by another’s voice cutting through the silence like a dull hatchet. Whether it’s someone on the phone or a group of friends shooting the breeze at a nearby table, I can’t help but cast disapproving glances their way. I know I’m not the only one, either. Scanning my surroundings, I often see at least one other poor soul with a look on their face that seems to lament, “Really?” Perhaps I could afford to show a little more courage, but none of us seem to have the heart or the guts to go and ask the perpetrator to please pipe down.

Loud whispers still travel. Yes, we all love to talk to our friends, and of course we need that kind of social interaction, but there’s a time and a place for it. I’m sorry, but I don’t think any of those trying to study in the quiet zone really want to be dragged into hearing a recitation of someone else’s stresses or triumphs. From a fellow student, this is a friendly reminder to please keep conversations where they belong. When we don’t, others suffer silently and needlessly.

Charles Reid
Provo, UT

Intramurals should be for everyone

The mission of intramural activities at Brigham Young University is to provide a variety of wholesome recreational activities to its students. It’s supposed to be a fun way to play ball with your friends. But what happens when a six-feet four-inch man, who has a wife and a 2 year-old daughter, runs over a five-foot-eight-inch freshman on his way to the hoop?

This situation is beyond competitive drive. When a team signs up to play in an intramural league, they select a division for themselves according to how they judge their skill level. As a five-foot-six freshman on a team with other small freshman, I joined the lowest division. Yet my team loses by 20 or more points every game because higher-skilled men decided to chase the glory of an intramural champions T-shirt by playing in the lowest possible division. This is an abuse of the intramural system at BYU.

If the Intramural Office “strives to provide programming for all levels of ability and experience” (as they say on their website), then they need to strive harder. Yes “all levels of ability and experience” are allowed to participate, but often times the matches are so lopsided that it is challenging for those of us who are not incredible athletes to enjoy ourselves. Why should it be a requirement to be six-foot with years of experience to have a good time playing intramural basketball?

The goal is for the students to monitor themselves by dividing into divisions of relatively equal ability and size to provide for equal play and more fun. That “goal” is failing miserably. The responsibility now falls on the Intramural Office to fix things. They must either select the divisions themselves based on age, size and experience, or put in place a system that promotes and demotes teams based on their performance. Teams need to be put in their correct order.

I’m tired of intramural sports being made into a highlight reel for old, large men on the basketball court, football field and  other venues. Let’s keep an eye out for the little guys.

Henry Fillmore
Portland, OR

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