Readers’ Forum: 12/15/20

366

Heritage Halls parking problem

Heritage Halls residents at BYU have a small designated off-site parking lot. This lot is almost always full. As soon as a student leaves the lot, another one comes in to steal their parking spot. There is another alternative, but it is on the other side of LaVell Edwards Stadium which is a mile away on the other side of campus. This lengthy 20- to 30-minute walk can be troublesome in many situations. BYU should provide better parking for Heritage Halls residents to make traveling back to their apartments safer.

This inconvenient parking situation poses some dangerous issues. For example, coming home from the store late at night with lots of groceries is dangerous. Walking 30 minutes in the dark while your arms are full makes you an easy target for attack, assault, or robbery. These chances only increase at night where attackers are more likely to hide, making us much more vulnerable.

In 2019 a BYU student was fatally struck by an oncoming car at night while longboarding. Traveling like this at night can be very dangerous. Even though this occurrence happened while longboarding, it could easily happen while walking. If parking was on-site or at least closer, this could be easily avoided and this threat could be severely reduced or eliminated. Another alternative is to provide a shuttle service from the parking lot to the dorms; this would decrease the time that we are vulnerable and would make it easier for us to bring home groceries. There are many options to solve this, but the staff at BYU needs to address this issue soon as we, the students, are scared to make this walk alone.

Dallin Armstrong
Olathe, Kansas

Majoring in marriage

Married by 18. Kids by 20. Minivan by 21. The culture at Brigham Young University sets a standard for its student population, or moreover, the students set these standards for themselves. There is such pressure to start dating immediately for marriage. Jokes being made like, “Mom? Can you come pick me up, everyone’s getting engaged” or “ring by spring” ring true. The culture within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seems to have a long-standing trend of marrying young. In life outside of the bubble of Utah, less and less are even getting married, or they’re getting married later. Our perspective needs to change. This culture has taught us that it is ideal to marry young but that is just not realistic.

Already researching for this paper I’ve noticed BYU’s Daily Universe has ads lining the page for Mutual, a well-known dating app around Utah County. Mutual may have been created to help those seeking relationships, but it has turned into hangouts and casual group dates. Moving into the freshman dorms we found a copy of magazine TWO in our kitchen, which contains all things dating and marriage. In big block letters on the front, “more than 500 date ideas.” In the middle, an ad for “strengtheningmarriage.com” and an interactive game of “what major are you going to marry?” This magazine for a dorm of six 18-year-old girls?

On the other side, some may argue that it’s getting better, that we are all getting married later within this area and this culture. This may be true but as the mass majority of students attending are from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our “Mormon” culture pressures us to get started with marriage. In no way is it a bad thing to get married young, but I solely disagree with the way we go about placing these timelines for our life like there is a rush. We are unintentionally stressing ourselves out over it. Growing up in Utah there always was an unspoken rule that we should start our families sooner rather than later. Sometimes it even seemed as though people began attending college with the sole intent of finding a spouse, not for the education.

This crazy idea that we need to rush into dating and marriage is unrealistic and honestly stressful. There is not a specific timeline, no rush; it isn’t a race. We need to stop stressing ourselves out over this idea of running to the engagement, really placing this pressure on ourselves. I am not personally majoring in marriage at BYU, and neither should you.

Sarah Fruehan
Alpine, Utah

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