Readers’ Forum: 3/30/21


General Conference weekend

I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; I’m also a steadfast student who savors learning and doing well in school. Twice a year, we have General Conference, where we hear from Church leaders for guidance and reassurance. These conferences are all weekend long — six hours on Saturday, four hours on Sunday. As a college student, when is the prime time to do homework? The weekends. As a private college owned by the Church, where 99% of the students are members, BYU should cancel Monday classes after General Conference weekend to provide a homework day for its students.

According to Data USA, 87.5% of students at BYU are enrolled full-time — taking twelve credits or more. According to studies, for every one-credit hour that you enroll in, you will spend approximately two to three hours outside class studying. That means, the lowest amount of time spent studying outside of class is 24 to 36 hours, which normally works. But when six hours of a solid studious Saturday is spent being flooded with spiritual fireworks, that leaves less time for studying.

Yes, it’s possible to plan and get everything done beforehand, or braid studying in between sessions. However, I’ve tried this, and it results in me staying up way too late and being so tired that it’s not a good study anyways. If BYU cancels the Monday classes after General Conference, it will provide more time for a good, effective study and ultimately less stressed students.

Cacia Rasmussen
Orem, Utah

Does BYU trust its students?

I love BYU and am grateful to have the opportunity to study here. Unfortunately, however, over the past year, some of those sweet feelings have started to sour.

The pandemic blindsided all of us, but I fear it did so in more ways than one. At the cost of supposed social responsibility, critical thinking seems to have been lost.

COVID-19 restrictions at BYU are not just limited to certain campus privileges and buildings. Professors and instructors at their discretion are also authorized to verify students have completed a daily checkup as they enter on-campus classes.

As more and more restrictive policies like these are put into place, I often find myself asking, “Where does the line of social responsibility end and the line of encroachment on privacy and common decency begin?”

I also find myself questioning if these policies are effective and reasonable in the first place. Inconsistency in policy, such as the requirement to show a completed daily checkup before entering the library, but not before entering arguably more populated locations like the Wilkinson Student Center, is dumbfounding. Furthermore, the practicality of it all feels arbitrary. Heaven forbid, a student could simply lie on their daily checkup if they chose to do so.

Does BYU trust that its students will be moral and responsible citizens in their communities? Does BYU trust that its students can use common sense in determining whether they are healthy and safe to attend and use campus facilities?

While I doubt it is the intention of the university, the underlying message inherent in these restrictive policies is that BYU does not trust its students. I expected better from BYU. Going forward, I hope that BYU will let logic and reason determine how it enacts policies pertaining to COVID-19.

Ryan Smith
Highland, Utah

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