Readers Forum: 10/13/20

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An extroverts plea enduring a pandemic

In my world there are no strangers, just friends I have not met yet. I identify with the 49.3% of the United States general population that would consider themselves extroverts. However, in this COVID world, the window for random interactions with new people, interactions that extroverts need, has been shut and it must be reopened.

My heart craves pre-pandemic life — a life where FHE was a weekly norm and where students would camp out to get into the ROC section at a football game. A world where meeting new people was about getting to know them, not worrying about whether or not they have COVID.

Though this struggle might seem insignificant in comparison to people dying and losing their jobs, the loss that extroverts are struggling to articulate is still deeply felt.

I know there is currently not much to be done to change the present circumstances, but we can be socially distanced without being socially disconnected. We may have to cover our mouths, but we do not have to cover our eyes. Acknowledging a stranger’s presence with a simple wave, head nod, or making eye contact can make all the difference.

Elisa Huhem
Cedar Hills, Utah

BYU’s beard ban

Written out on BYU’s website is the Honor Code — standards to keep us on God’s path. One clause of the dress and grooming standards states that beards are prohibited. As a male, I believe that this beard ban should be overturned because it was created following the hippie era and does not apply today.

The prohibition of beards was part of a 1970’s crusade to stop the ideals of the counterculture movement. BYU administration views beards as a symbol of rebellion against authority, so they are completely forbidden. President Dallin H. Oaks said that it was intended to respond “to conditions and attitudes in our own society.” We do not live in the ’70s anymore. Beards no longer signify anything but a means to feel comfortable as yourself.

BYU wants male students to be clean-cut, so banning both beards and mustaches would be logical. Ironically, mustaches continue to be a welcome form of facial hair. Neither has a negative connotation and the only difference is the location of the hair. Nevertheless, beards are still limited.

The Savior taught that we should not judge one another. Instead of judging others for how they choose to present themselves, let us come together to bring about this necessary change. Through petitioning and contacting BYU administrators, we can reform the Honor Code in order to reflect the ideals of our society and what we students believe in.

Truman Galmeister
Laguna Niguel, California

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