Monday, June 02, 2008

BYU

This post is in response to Jess' query as to why it is that so many people outside of BYU hate it. I actually wrote a comment earlier but my computer at work had the hiccups and it didn't post. Firstly, I certainly don't hate BYU and I certainly don't have a problem with the honor code or curfew - I lived with that same curfew and honor code while at Ricks. My contention is that so many people who attend or have attended BYU seem to feel that they are somehow better than the rest of us. This elitist attitude is contrary to the Lord's plan and the Church's purpose. Please keep in mind that I am making generalizations here and that this definately doesn't apply to everyone that goes or has gone to BYU. Having said that, I have experienced this attitude from friends and even some family members. Even tongue in cheek comments about BYU being the "Lord's" school are condescending. By the way, did you know that of all the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, only 4 of them attended BYU? To those of you who went to BYU, ask yourself truthfully what your attitude was toward UVSC or USU or Southern Utah when you were a student. Did you view those schools as viable options for your education? Knowing most of you like I do, my guess is that it probably wouldn't have mattered much to you but what about to your roommates or FHE brothers and sisters. How many times did you hear a disparaging comment about a neighboring school? Not one made in jest - we all do that - but one that was serious? There is much about BYU that is praiseworthy. Does that justify the attitude? Again, please remember that I am making generalizations and am well aware that they don't apply to everyone but Jess asked what the deal was.

I'm not saying that we can't make good natured fun of other schools, I definately don't have a problem with anyone making fun of my attendance at Idaho State - I make fun of it. However, it was a good enough school to have provided me the education and background necessary to have been accepted to Vanderbilt's PhD program in biomedical science.

I am glad that BYU and its sister schools exist. I believe strongly in their stated purpose and will encourage my children to apply. I have met many wonderful people who have attended BYU who are truly the salt of the earth and don't have a prideful bone in their bodies. Its just that sometimes it seems that we have trouble remembering that having pride in our school is different than being prideful.

I hope I haven't offended too many of you. If I have, I apologize.

15 comments:

Mike and Adrianne said...

You haven't offended me. I feel the same feeling you do in reverse. I feel from those here in Oklahoma that didn't attend BYU and other places I've been that I am not as good as they are--that I'm not a true faithful member because I lived in Utah and went to BYU, that my faith wasn't tested as much as theirs, that I didn't have to make sacrifices (early morning seminary) that they did so therefore, I'm not as good a member. People just like to judge and make others feel bad. It is sad. Also, I have never felt Lance or David was less of a person or not as smart for not going to BYU. I had many roommates that went to UVSC and friends that went to other schools in Utah or elsewhere and I still loved them just as much.

Papa Doc and the Duke said...

I agree with something Adrianne said -- I don't know if it's jealousy or just hatred, but BYU students are degraded by everybody that isn't one of those students. There is some pride here and a feeling of elitist that I don't like, but it seems like anyone that doesn't go here really can't leave the BYU students alone. While there is a lot of good that comes out of U of U (medical students, architecture, etc.), they malign BYU as often as they can and it becomes sickening. I'm sorry that this has become a BYU vs everybody else on the face of the earth kind of situation. It shouldn't exist on either side.
Personally, I'm very proud of the great work you did, Jason. Attending your Master's defense was one of the proudest moments of my life and I thank you for inviting us. And then we were invited to Jess' defense and again I felt very proud of his efforts. We didn't get the opportunity to go to Adam's because his program was set up differently.
I'm proud of how hard Lance is working and what great grades he is getting. I'm glad he is getting a sense of pride in his school. I am happy with David's efforts and will cheer him on through his schooling. I only care where my kids go if they have no reason for attending there and they want to party. Then I have issues. I also don't want to hear any negative attitudes coming from any of you concerning your siblings' choices for schooling. Bravo for all of you! Keep studying.
Sorry the photos have dredged up a sore spot. That was the intent.
Mom

Jason said...

I think that in many ways it must have been harder to grow up in UT. It was relatively easy for me, growing up in NE and CA to make the right choices because I knew that my friends were watching and that I had to be an example of what I believed.

I am truly sorry that you have been treated the way you have been. That is just as wrong. Occasionally, I hear those sentiments out here. I like to remind people that they have no right saying things like that until our hometeaching stats approach those of Mom and Dad's ward.

Lokodi said...

Provo in general left a sour taste in my mouth. I lived and roomed with all BYU students. I had a BYU ward. Because I lived in BYU approved housing, I had to sign the honor code, which I had no problem doing what so ever. I kept my word. However, my byu student roommate didn't. I found she and her boyfriend doing very inappropriate things on MY bed. After that semester was over, I was the one that got kicked out and couldn't renew my contract because they decided they only were going to allow byu students only to live in those appartments. She didn't even get kicked out. All I wanted was to be around people with the same standards and values I had and I couldn't get that there. Instead, I was the one treated like the black sheep. I also got treated very poorly from ward members. I kind of felt like they made me feel less of a person because I wasn't a byu student. I just couldn't stand the hypocricy of those kids. that was one of the main reasons for my move to philadelphia. to escape that feeling of not being good enough, smart enough, or rich enough. I think byu has some really great programs like the finance and engineering programs. i also believe it's a great school for mormons outside of utah to go and be around other people of their faith. i just had a bad experience i guess.

Lindsey

Jess and Jen said...

Mom, don't worry about the photos. They are great and keep 'em coming. I think this is a very interesting debate that would be much better suited in person. Writing about this just doesn't do it justice.

I have a lot to say about this (and I'm not offended at all by Jason's remarks). I would like to say Jason and Lindsey's comments are unfounded, but of course, I can't. Like Amy said, I had excellent experiences at BYU and loved nearly everything about it.

I feel much the same way as portrayed by Adrianne. I can't stand it when people try to separate BYU students from "other" schools, or "Utah Mormons" from "Other" Mormons. We're all on the same dang team! The differences are manufactured! -Jess

chelsey said...

Amen Jess. Don't get me started on the "Utah Mormon" thing. The ward here does that a lot. Like I'm less of a member than they are because I went to school and lived in SL for 12 yrs. Personally, we get many negative mormon comments from a few particular neighbors as it is. I don't need church members attacking each other -- or anyone else for that matter.
Lindsey, I had a very similar situation to yours while at BYU. I, however; made the choice to move out on my own. No, it wasn't easy, but I learned some really valuable lessons from that. Members make terrible choices everywhere, not just at BYU. I can't wait to start my independent study classes and say I graduated from BYU. I'll frame it proudly.

Jason said...

I agree with Jess about the photos - keep them coming. One of my favorite things about this blog is all the pictures everbody posts.

I also hear the same things Jess and Chelsey and Adrianne mention. I hate the term Utah (or Idaho) Mormons. As Jess said, we are all on the same team.

Jess and Jen said...

No, I said the same "dang" team!

I never had any intentions of attending BYU until we moved here. I was set on attending IU.

It would be fun if your kids did come to BYU. For all it's follies (and there are plenty), it's a fun place to get an education and it's very fun to hang out with a bunch of people your age -- including beautiful girls! -- who have roughly the same value system as you. I couldn't have asked for a better experience: I loved the intramural sports, wards, excellent friends I still keep in touch with, devotionals, football games, men's volleyball matches, etc.

However, I think the thing Jen and I miss the most isn't the university, but rather the geography immediately surrounding the campus. They have unparalleled access to mountains, lakes, and canyons. Even in SLC, getting to a mountain canyon to escape the drudgery of the valley is half an hour drive for us. In Provo where we lived? About 5 minutes. We loved that!

Dave said...

YEah! I am on the side that is Jesus Christ's. Is there really another side?

Mike and Adrianne said...

I too loved BYU. No one is perfect but I enjoyed the morals that were around me even when people made mistakes.

My friend Cali went to the University of Utah as a dance major. One day they had a guest professional dancer teach the class. He had them act out some terrible sexual things. She refused to do it and along with one other student (only one!) she walked out of the class. The department tried to kick her out of the program because of it. She stood her ground and instead of getting kicked out they gave her a barely passing grade. The sad thing to me is that her professors were the ones pushing this type of morals and behavior. I am very proud of her for sticking up to her morals--I think it took a lot of courage and faith on her part.

I think the point that has pretty much already been said is that you have to have your own testimony and Heavenly Father will give you experiences no matter where you are that will build your testimony. I think Jason's comment about it being harder in Utah is only kind of right. It is a little grey at times--not so black and white--but I don't think the experiences Heavenly Father gives someone is less hard depending on where you live, if that makes sense. The challenges are just different. Someone might have to take a stand and decide they won't date non members or go to certain parties, etc. That is something they will have to be strong about and that will make their testimonies stronger but there are equally hard challenges for everyone. I don't think Heavenly Father favors people depending on where they live. Like David said, if you are a member of the church that strives to live the gospel standards you are on the side of God, regardless of where you live.

Again, I loved, loved my experiences at BYU. I had over 26 roommates in those six years and I never had any problems like Chelsey or Lindsey. I doubt you could find the same thing outside of the church schools unless you hand picked your roommates. I also will frame my degree proudly.

Papa Doc and the Duke said...

I do not want to be deeply involved in this stuff, except to make a comment on Lindsey's imput, and a few other things.

Yes, what happened to you with your roommate was terrible. Just remember two things. It probably would be the norm in most public universties where there are not many LDS kids. You just ask around, and you will find out. What Adrianne said about having great roommates, not perfect, but great ones, is the norm at BYU. That is wonderful, and one of the great things about attending there.

By the way girls, I am talking to those who signed Honor Code aggreements: The aggreements included helping (shall I just say "turning in") those that are doing terrible things. Usually we think of that in terms of someone who is cheating in school, but the Honor Code includes those kinds of moral conduct issues that you saw. If you would have contacted their Bishop or other suitable persons in the school, you might have ended up really helping those kids, or at least riding the school of those elements that drag down the moral standards and experiences of so many. Just not getting involved does not help anyone, including youselves.

You know that those of you, including any other persons, who attend any other school other than BYU can avail yourselves of many of the things that come easily at BYU. May I ask Dave and Lance: have you made the sacrifices (the obedient choices) that are needed to take institute? We had a man in Nebraska that taught LDS kids the same kind of classes they would have had to take manditority at BYU. My former neighbor, Dwight Durrant, would teach you if you were going to Yale. Jason could tell you about the men at Iowa. You men in Church leadership positions in non-Utah areas will sometime be in a position to advise students attending schools that they are advised by the leaders of the Church to attend Institute. Well, boys, what about it?

As for Idaho State. If you want a hard, demanding, and very intellectually fulfilling bunch of ethics of introductory Philosopy classes just take Bill McCurdy at ISU. You will think that you are at Harvard,, MIT, or Stanford. And rembember, you can make any class anywhere into much more than it would otherwise have been by your effort and interest. This internet can make contacts with students and faculty around the world in any subject you want. It mostly depends on you as the student. BYU for me was not the best place to go for Animal Science. But those boys found out in Nebraska and Indiana that the Utah boy could go to BYU and know as much and as understand as much as about animal science as they could going to Purdue, or UNL, or ISU or anywhere, because I worked at it myself, and was in contact with people all over the county during my education.

So that is enough from me.

Dad Clark

Mike and Adrianne said...

Plus, BYU is really cheap for such a good school...

Lokodi said...

Dad,

I did turn the girl in and nothing happened. She was probably put on disfellowship, but she was still living in that appartment the next semester and still attending byu. i don't know about all of you, but i'm getting really tired of talking about byu. by they way, lance, david, and jason aren't the only ones that went to other schools. and no, i didn't go to suu to party either.

lindsey

Jess and Jen said...

Lindsey, no one's asking you to comment on BYU. You certainly don't have to participate if you don't want to. And I don't think Dad was saying you went to SUU to party.

Jason said...

How about we move on to something else? Remember, we all love each other, right?