Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's Wrong With the BYU Honor Code, Part II

These were printed on March 23 in the Daily Universe:


Several people have written letters arguing for skateboards to be permitted on campus. These sly serpents make fairly convincing arguments equating “boarding” to biking and saying that any property damage caused would be minimal. While these arguments may be true, they stray away from the main reason to have this rule implemented in the first place: Skateboarders are bad people! People who ride on these things are most certainly associated with things such as baggy pants, sweating and cannabis. These street urchins do not fit into the middle-upper-class BYU image, and will become a problem if not harshly dealt with.

It is not enough to kick skateboarders out of every part of campus (as well as any other reputable establishment in Provo). This is the treatment is common everywhere and boarders have gotten used to it. To assure success in this fight, we must expel all skateboarders on first violation.

I hope all non-boarding students understand that these people are not like you and me. Anyone who rides one of these sinboards could not possibly have enough honesty to keep the Honor Code, intellect to graduate without cheating or faith to be a believing member of the Church. Perhaps even more important is the fact that instead of listening to Country and Broadway musicals, many of these dunces will bring the devil on to our campus through the hip-hop music in their iPods. This plague of false preaching must stop, as we weed all of the skaters out of campus.

John VanDenBerghe

Salt Lake City

Considerate clothing

To the women who think it’s acceptable to wear tank tops and short shorts out to tan in Helaman Quad, I submit the following:

“And young women, please understand that if you dress immodestly, you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you.” Dallin H. Oaks, General Conference, April 2005.

It is hard enough for the young men of the Church to keep a clean mind and a pure heart without you lying around half-naked right outside our dorms. Please be more considerate of not only the BYU Honor Code, but also of the spiritual well being of the men you date. We are doing our best to be worthy to enter the temple and serve the Lord as missionaries. Could you help us out by wearing modest clothing?

Sam Speer


And these on the 25th:

Grossly misinformed

As a BYU freshman who enjoys skateboarding regularly, I am writing in response to the March 23 letter “Sinboards.” The ridiculous presumptions made by the author are astounding. Paralleling the devil to hip-hop? Saying all skaters are bad people? Claiming that skaters are incapable students, and even worse, church members? That letter was not only preposterous and grossly misinformed, but false as well.

I can name 10 people off the top of my head who attend BYU, who have received or are soon receiving their mission calls, who I skate regularly with. All are terrific examples to me. Outlawing skateboarding is unnecessary. Skateboarding is a creative outlet that has brought a great deal of joy into my life as well as countless other adolescents to young adults.

I keep the honor code. I don’t smoke weed. I don’t cheat in class. I’m submitting my mission papers soon. And I skate all the time and love it! This contradicts the author’s statements completely. The skaters aren’t the problem — it’s ignorance that needs to stop. Skaters don’t need to be weeded out, which is the wish of the author.

As 3 Nephi 18:30 reads, “ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him.” Let the Lord judge who can have enough “faith to be a believing member of the church.” The “Sinboards” author and anyone else worried that skating is tainting BYU’s middle-upper-class image can keep their close-minded, dogmatic opinions to themselves.

Alex Willden


Skateboarder and still worthy

My name is Lin Skinner my wife and I were recently married in the Provo temple, but after reading that article I realize that I wasn’t worthy of a temple marriage because I was a sly serpent, a bad person, not honest enough to sign the Honor Code or intelligent enough to graduate without cheating, and that I have been committing a multitude of sins for the last 14 years of my life. According to the author of “Sinboards,” skateboarding is a sin.

I skateboard with many different people; some are students at BYU, but you are right, they are not like you. They are open-minded and intelligent individuals with many different personality traits. One could not classify them simply as skateboarders. You have a very ignorant and biased point of view of skateboarding. I wish for you to actually know something about skateboarding and those that participate in it before you run your mouth in such a way that is very insulting to my wife and I and many others attending the fine university of Brigham Young.

I remember the first skateboard I got; my mother got it for me. I loved it and it kept me out of trouble. It was the only thing that could help me relax. I can’t count the times I have prayed while kneeling on my skateboard. I just want you to know that your article has inspired me not to quit but to continue skateboarding for all eternity.

Lin Skinner


Saints and skaters

To the author of the March 23 letter, “Sinboards,” how can you be so shallow and narrow-minded? Your lack of perspective is not only embarrassing, but even frightening — what if someone believes you are an accurate representation of BYU students and faculty?

You have apparently had a less than positive experience with those who choose to skateboard, but, regardless, who is to say that everyone is the same? Who has met every skater? Is it to be said that everyone who rides horses thus loves country music, owns a pair of cowboy boots and enjoys branding livestock? Does anyone who drives an electric car consequently enjoy ethereal music, follow a vegan diet and smoke marijuana? It isn’t fair to categorize. It isn’t just to presume. It isn’t Christlike to discriminate. God loves us all.

My hope is that your eyes will be opened as you venture out of your shell and learn to see the beauty in all people, find their virtues and see what some of us “non-boarding students” have seen. Every one of us has flaws and “all (of us) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).” Don’t let yourself down because you choose not to see the good in others: “skater” and “saint” are not mutually exclusive.

(Wasn’t the debate about longboards anyway?)

Randal Graham


In response to this insanity, I penned and submitted the following:

Two birds, one stone

It was simultaneously hilarious and painful to read the recent letters "Grossly misinformed," "Skateboarder and still worthy," and "Saints and skaters.” All of these authors, bless them, seemed to take a previous letter, "Sinboards," at face value. I am not the author of that letter, but it seems obvious to me that his tirade against skateboarding was tongue-in-cheek. You see, Alex, Lin, and Randal, he wasn't being serious. Indeed, he was humorously arguing against his real position––thus lampooning those who disagree with you!

Allow me to demonstrate. Mr Sam Speer wrote a recent letter ("Considerate clothing") criticizing women who were sunbathing near Helaman Halls wearing shorts and tank-tops. If I were to respond satirically to his letter, it might sound like this:

I agree wholly with Mr Speer! Do these scandalously-clad ladies have no sense of propriety? No care for the young men nearby? As we all know, males are simply time-bombs of immorality waiting to go off. Who among such could bear the sight of bare shoulders (not to mention knees!) without immediately engaging in mortal sin? Knees and shoulders are pornographic! Furthermore, as a scarcely-in-control male myself, I believe the Honor Code doesn’t go far enough. Let the school mandate burqas as standard female attire; if they cannot swim in one, ban female swimming entirely. This is a small price to pay for the purity of the stronger sex! Sisters, no more fetching hair styles and absolutely no makeup. Also, don't make eye contact with the brethren: confidence in women is too attractive. We are hardly accountable for our actions as it is, but with so many sirens running about campus, it's miraculous that we males haven't all been excommunicated. If you cannot take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, Ladies, BYU ought to become a male-only university!

Nicholas Sherwood
Granby, Missouri

The Honor Code is fine, I guess. It's the people who are crazy (read: stupid). I hope that they publish this one!


Ashlie said...

Hysterical! I about soiled my trousers! You should write more work like this!

The Olsen's said...'d figure if anyone could understand sarcasm it would be sinboarders...I love your responses and I love how offended they were, but come on reading comprehension can not be being taught at BYU. Speaking of offending...sorry if I offended you the other day on the was not my intention. I do know a girl I think you would have a lot in common with. check out my facebook friends, Melissa Ciraiz. She is beautiful and musical. She goes to BYU-I, but she might just be fun to facebook with.

dixonfamily said...

That was too fun!!! Seriously, have those people never heard of sarcasm?! Your response was hysterical!!! I can't wait to read any responses you get!! please post them. Love ya! Hope you are doing well. Call me when you have a minute.