VOLUME 1 ISSUE 3 MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011
EXCLUSIVE! Religious freedom on campus
An independent newsmagazine for student thought
A look at the most Democratic & Republican majors at BYU
Jon Huntsman’s BYU-Idaho bans 2011: A year daughters skinny jeans in rewind speak out
2 Student Review
Staff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hunter Schwarz
COPY EDITOR Kami Coppins
SECTION EDITORS Isaac Bourgeois Derrick Clements Andrew Livingston
WEB EDITORS Jordyn Canady Derrick Lytle Alexandra Sandvick
DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Erik McCarthy
ART DIRECTOR Nick Smith
Letter from the editor Dear Reader,
The Student Review has come a long way in its first four months. Our circulation continues to grow, we’ve been quoted by major Utah news organizations and we have lasted a semester longer than the haters predicted. This is only the beginning. As the BYU student community’s only independent newspaper, we hope to continue to provide an unfiltered voice and untethered perspective. We are proud of this issue and think it reflects the direction we are headed in. In it, we reveal the most Democratic and Republican majors on campus, report on religious freedom at BYU, explore the contributions of a BYU professor named among the “Top 100 Global Thinkers” and share interviews with a presidential candidate’s daughters and a Provo native working at the Daily Show. A common question we’re asked is “What’s your agenda?” As an independent newspaper, it’s an understandable question, but our only goals are to seek truth and report it, offer a forum for the diversity of thought on campus and poke fun at the lighter side of Provo life. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished and remain confident this publication has a bright future ahead of it. We hope you enjoy this issue and welcome your letters to the editor, opinions and story ideas. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on Twitter at @YStudentReview and find us on Facebook. We look forward to your contributions. Hunter Schwarz
DESIGNERS Peter Barrett Craig Mangum
PHOTO DIRECTOR Sarah Kay Brimhall
PHOTOGRAPHERS Riley Adamson Michele Doying Johnny Harris Felicia Jones Sean McGrath Spencer Ruiz Annelise White
CONTRIBUTORS Dylan Chadwick Stephanie Grimes Grant Harper Angela Marler Christopher Michaels Jeffrey Stott Conner Tracy
BUSINESS MANAGER Hunter Phillips
The Student Review is an independent publication serving BYU’s campus community. By providing an open forum, all students are equally eligible to submit articles to the Student Review. Articles should examine life at BYU, sometimes humorously, sometimes critically, but always sensitively. Opinions expressed in the Student Review are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of BYU, the Student Review or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Letters to the editor
Note: Student Review welcomes letters to the editor. E-mail all submissions to email@example.com Please include the topic of the letter in the subject line of the e-mail. We recommend letters not exceed 300 words. Letters may be edited for length, clarity and style.
Another side of an issue
I picked up the second edition of the Student Review off my couch after it had been lying there for two or three days. First of all, it has so much more to offer than the Daily Universe and believe it or not, I actually feel educated after reading it (shocking, I know). When I started reading Jennifer Duque’s piece on the Mitch Mayne Controversy, my gut instinct and Mormon conservatism made me want to immediately argue with her and the content. But, by the end of the article, I had virtually changed some of my views on homosexuals. It’s a touchy topic that isn’t often discussed in Mormon culture where the majority, including myself, don’t struggle with such tendencies. Yet, aren’t homosexual tendencies like anything else someone deals with like tendencies to look at pornography, to drink, to lie, to cheat, to steal? And don’t we try to treat those with such dispositions as any other person? It jolted me a bit that those who have openly declared themselves as gay can serve in Church callings as long as they keep all the commandments. Once again, my background and the way I was raised set a little fire of defiance in me, but the words that this represents “a cultural shift, not a doctrinal shift” really made me think about how we’re trying to be more accepting. Thank you to Jennifer for having an open and analytical mind to help those
overly conservative people like me to see another side of an issue. Looks like I’ll be reading the Student Review a lot more often. —Jaron Smith
Tweet, tweet: What you said about the SR Miriam Shumway (@mshums) tweets: “@YStudentReview Interesting points in the paper. nice diversity and content. I'd say well done.” Madison Parks (@madisonmparks) tweets: “I loved Issue 2. Thanks, @YStudentReview!”
Zac Woffinden (@zwoffinden) tweets: “Sorry if i ignored u on my way 2 school, i was way into the 2nd edition of @YStudentReview” Joshua Dunn (@cineshua) tweets: “Didn’t see anyone with a stack of @YStudentReview, then I saw an abandoned copy in the terrace. #finderskeepers” Lyse Cook (@raincitycharm) tweets: “@YStudentReview I just read todays Daily Universe and the Review back to back. I will admit, there is a clear winner, and that winner is you”
BYU-I bans skinny jeans by stephanie grimes
Trends come and go, but the skinny on the most recent addition to BYU-Idaho’s Honor Code shows one trend going more quickly than some students would like. Students at Brigham Young UniversityIdaho recently encountered a new sign in the university’s testing center that read simply, “No skinny jeans.” The popular clothing item is something many students in Provo would not think twice about, however, it has become a somewhat polarizing issue at BYU’s Idahoan affiliate. In a September question-and-answer session students and faculty, Advancement Vice President Henry J. Eyring was asked whether skinny jeans are in violation of the university’s Honor Code, which states that clothing should not be form-fitting. “It’s useful for us to realize that fashions will come and go,” Eyring answered. “There will always be some tempting new style.” But are skinny jeans the gateway style to more scandalous attire, or a legitimate clothing option with a bad rap? “Skinny jeans are really form-fitting, like jeggings, which are technically leggings,” said BYU-Idaho student Rachel Taylor.
“They show a lot of curves.” Taylor said she knew of one student who had been asked to leave the university’s testing center because she was wearing skinny jeans. “Some girls wear skinny jeans that are just too skinny … so they ask us not to wear them,” she said. Other students disagree, though, saying the ban on skinny jeans goes too far. “I think it is pretty ridiculous,” said BYUIdaho student Zach Cooper. “We already aren’t allowed to wear shorts or flip-flops, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they banned skinny jeans as well. This school is crazy.” Despite the alleged craziness, Cooper said he has come to accept the strict dress and grooming standards. “It’s nice that everyone is dressing relatively nice,” he said. “At first I was rebellious … but I’ve adjusted and come to accept it. It’s not really a burden anymore.” In fact, it can be helpful at times. “Some girls are trying to wear skinny jeans three sizes too small—it’s a good idea to not where them at all,” Taylor said. ▬ firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @limsteph
The differences between BYU and BYU-Idaho dress standards BYU dress standards No sleeveless, strapless, backless, revealing or form-fitting clothing Bottoms must be knee-length or longer Shoes should be worn in all campus areas
Corrections: President Cecil O. Samuelson was called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1994.
Photos of the Occupy Salt Lake City protest were taken by Stephanie Grimes
BYU-Idaho dress standards No sleeveless, strapless, backless, revealing or form-fitting clothing No patched, faded, frayed or torn clothing Caps or hats should not be worn in buildings No flip-flops or other casual footwear Bottoms must be ankle-length (skirts and dresses may be knee length or longer) Traveling to athletic activities in shorts is not appropriate
Returned with honor by christopher michaels
photo by dinomonster
A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine about BYU. She knew two things about us: Jimmer Fredette and Brandon Davies. While both have been covered immensely over the last year, one topic has remained relatively quiet in mainstream media, which is the overwhelming Christianity and love from the BYU community for Davies. To place this in perspective, we must remember BYU basketball was in cruise control and ready to step up to any challenge thrown at them. The Cougars had the best point guard in the country, a terrific center and a great defensive specialist. Then, just before the grand finale, it all collapsed. Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team. Davies was placed on center stage as the poster child of what happens to athletes at BYU who break the honor code, and what for? Pre-marital relations, an occurrence almost habitual at most institutions in the NCAA. The nation was astonished at the punishment given; meanwhile fans at BYU were disappointed, frustrated and angry. However the anger was not at Davies, it
was at the situation: they were angry that all of this happened to such a kind person. We looked at our center and chose not to judge, but to love, not to shun but to embrace and this is what made all the difference. That single act of charity shown by our school is what helped lead to his return this year. We owe a lot to Brandon Davies as students and alumni of this university. His behavior during the incident and aftermath was nothing less than first class. He never attacked the school or made excuses for his actions. Furthermore, he shed a light on our students, that no one is exempt from our code and we are willing to walk the walk. That to be a real Cougar it is not just about avoiding conflicts, but our reaction to them. Brandon Davies did what needed to be done: he faced his problems head on, took responsibility and refused to let it define him. He took all the late night jokes and criticisms only to come back this year and prove to the world that he is more than an example of honor code violations he is in all ways a real Cougar. ▬ email@example.com
4 Student Review
Wilk terrace piano player
Care? Carol? Carollama!
by dylan chadwick
by conner tracy
“I really like video games,” said Devan Orme as he adjusted his shirt a bit. “They’re a way to escape into a different world when your brain is too wound up.” He rests his hands lightly on the Wilkinson Student Center terrace piano keys and blinks. There’s a laptop computer flipped open on the music rack and a small windows folder entitled “piano music” highlighted. At a table behind us, someone picks the tomatoes from a chicken wrap, and the thrumming lilt of lunchtime chatter hangs over us. I look at my notes. “I started taking lessons when I was seven, but those were boring,” Orme said. Already passionate about the Disney films his family watched, he began digging through the heady archive of Disney sheet music his parents had amassed, and taught himself most of the compositions. In time, he was incorporating his favorite video game scores into the mix too, scouring the Internet for transcriptions of various songs from the Legend of Zelda series, among others. Orme, a sophomore studying computer science, finds most of his time at home dominated by homework and other family obligations. He started playing the piano in the the Wilk terrace after a break in his schedule following a ballroom dancing class. The cathartic experience quickly developed into a daily routine, entertaining himself and other students. Playing music in a high-traffic area brought about its own opportunities, and Orme decided to put a sign out soliciting requests from Wilk visitors. Though he doesn’t get many, he isn’t discouraged, and maintains that upon request, he’ll track down any sheet music, learn it and play it for free. Ultimately, he’s only concerned with providing nice background music, and he doesn’t get any complaints. As most of Orme’s musical influences are drawn from the animated films of his youth, he hopes to instill some strains of comforting nostalgia in those around him. “Even if they’re not completely paying attention, they hear the song and feel less tense, and it reminds them of their childhood,” he said. Orme is no exhibitionist. He has no Facebook page, no Twitter account and no Youtube channel, and he feels no need to advertise beyond his own grass-roots playing and word of mouth. Still, he hopes that some of his siblings will take up some instruments.
If you are one who enjoys spreading Christmas cheer by singing the songs of the season, you are probably delighted that December is upon us. In the past you may have caroled with family, friends or ward members, but why not try something different this year? How about carolling with llamas? During the first few weeks of December, a local charitable group called Carollama provides llamas and donated shopping carts to caroling groups in an effort to help collect non-perishable food forn Community Action Services and Food Bank. After singing one orU two songs at each door, the carolers ask the homeowners if theya would like to make a food donation to feed hungry members oft our community. Though surprised at first, the homeowners tendR to be very amused and generous. By the end of the night, carolerst i typically raise between 400–700 lbs. of non-perishable food. Ty Clive, director of Carollama and a senior at BYU, has been P running the show since he was a freshman. “The neat thing about it is that everyone who gets involveda benefits … I can’t get enough of it,” Clive said. “Each year I tryH to make Carollama bigger, better, and more outrageous than them year before.” Clive has done this by extending the event over multiple nightsH and renting more llamas. Last year they could get as many as 20r llamas per night and caroled for five nights. This year, Clive hasg found an additional 15 alpacas and expects the event to run for 10a nights. “We’re always trying to grow. It helps that so many of the e same people come back each year.” In addition to increasing the event’s size, Clive also finds wayst to make Carollama more fun each year. Jillaine, a local jazz vo-c calist, has generously volunteered to perform for carolers onm some of the nights as they gather and wait to be dismissed withR their groups. Participants are also encouraged to come dressedh in costume; some Carollama favorites are ugly sweaters, Charlest Dickens-era carolers, Santa and his elves and characters from thet Nativity. Lastly, some avid Carollama supporters will host after-d parties to which all 200+ carolers of the evening are invited. At the heart of all the mayhem, the service-oriented nature oft the event has enabled Carollama to create some important tiesd with other local altruistic groups. Visit carollama.org to get a feel for Carollama and to preorders tickets ($8 admits one; $12 admits two), but get the most recentC updates by joining Carollama on Facebook. If you care aboutt your community and like to carol, make Carollama your newestf t Christmas tradition. ▬
photo by johnny harris
“I’d like to start a family band like the Jackson 5,” he said. “We could play around campus and earn a few extra dollars.” For now, Orme is content just playing music and working through his campus course-load. Across from the table, someone balls up a Taco Bell sack, and a cellphone vibrates across the table. Devan’s hands rest over the keys and he sways slightly on the bench. “I’ve almost got ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ from Fantasia worked out,” he said. I slide my recorder into my pocket. Next time I’m here to score a bagel, I’ll be sure to put in a request. ▬ firstname.lastname@example.org
Farewell to feminism
Valerie Hudson is moving on
by sara vranes
The demise of the gathering of femirnist-minded intellects at Brigham Young rUniversity is evident throughout recent academic history. Most recently, we see this in the dismemberment of the Women’s Research Institute in January 2010, and sthe end of Parity, the gender equality club, in April 2011. n Beginning January 2012, one of Foreign Policy magazine’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers” and self-proclaimed feminist, Dr. Valerie Hudson of the political science department, will transfer from BYU to Texas A&M. Since she was hired by BYU in 1987, sHudson has contributed to foreign policy 0research on the global consequences of gender inequality, and was the first faculty 0advisor of Parity in 2005. The goal of the group was to maintain an environment where students could gather sto discuss what it meant to be equal in the -context of gender differences. Parity club nmeetings included presentations by the Rape Crisis center, panel discussion on how to find parity in one’s relationships and sthe distribution of information on campus to raise awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence in Utah County. For reasons that were never made clear to club members nor the public, BYUSA disbanded Parity in April 2011. Elisabeth Westwood was one of the students who helped create Parity in 2005. Currently a temple worker at the Manhattan LDS temple, Westwood expressed confusion regarding the opposition that led to the club’s closure. “If we wanted to be subversive, we would have gone about in a subversive way,” she said. “I walked the line of not pushing but-
tons, while wanting to maintain an environment where ideas could be exchanged.” She and others involved feel the school’s wariness and ultimate closing of the club may have been due to the group’s willingness to call into question traditional cultural practices not aligned with Church doctrine. The group, Westwood said, would discuss at times matters they felt were important but unaddressed in traditional Church meetings. More famously, in 2001 Hudson began work on the WomenStats Project, a pursuit that grew out of an article she and graduate student Andrea den Boer published in the academic journal International Security regarding the correlation between the relationship of Asia’s abnormal sex ratio and its national security. WomenStats first hit the Internet in 2007 and by 2011 tracked the welfare of women in over 170 countries through 307 variables backed by over 18,000 sources. Since its creation, the research presented in the Project has been used by the CIA, the United Nations, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the World Bank. In short, Hudson posits the greatest factor in a country’s welfare is the welfare of its women. The WomenStats Project lost its funding, the Women’s Research Institute scholarship, in 2009. In an article published by the Salt Lake Tribune at the time it occurred, BYU spokeswoman Cerri Jenkins said its removal “will result in significantly expanded resources and creative activities pertaining to women.”
photo by annelise white
Two years later, those replacement resources remain unclear to those affected, as do the exact reasons behind the loss of funding. According to those close to her, Hudson has been offered the funding and support at Texas A&M no longer available to her at BYU. When interviewed about her thoughts on the reasons behind the funding cut and general difficulty she has faced as a feminist professor at BYU, Hudson said the LDS social paradigm concerning women is largely to blame. “Despite the LDS Church’s revolutionary doctrine concerning women, LDS culture,
LDS traditions and LDS chapel practice often do not live up to the doctrinal vision we have been given by our prophetic leadership,” Hudson said. “We as a people must stop living beneath our privileges on this score.” ▬ email@example.com twitter: @sarabrains
f V c “ m T t s a
M A e b H M
6 Student Review
Join the Hunt
Jon Huntsman’s daughters prove valuable on the campaign trail
by hunter schwarz
The Republican presidential primary has been a rotating carousel of candidates. Each gets his or her turn to rise in the polls before a gaffe, scandal or poor debate performance derails their campaign, and the next candidate is given a few weeks to lead. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has been patiently waiting his turn, which at times seemed like it would never arrive. After a strong showing at the most recent CNN debate on national security, however, people are starting to pay attention, and Huntsman seems poised to make an unexpected surge in the polls. His supporters couldn’t be more pleased, especially his biggest three. Huntsman’s daughters, Mary Anne, 26, Abby, 25, and Liddy, 23, are doing more than passively supporting their dad’s presidential bid. With a growing web presence, the Huntsman daughters have become valuable campaigners for their dad, securing headlines during an overcrowded primary season. The morning of the CNN national security debate, the Huntsmans were together in Washington D.C. The girls spoke with the Student Review before helping their father prep. “We just try to keep our dad busy on debate day,” Abby said. Music plays a big role on debate day, and the Huntsman daughters describe their family as “a huge music family.” Mary Anne majored in piano performance at the Manhattan School of Music, and her father dreamed of being a rock star when he was young. Their current debate prep playlist includes Ben Folds, Florence + the Machine, Adele, Foo Fighters, as well as Kings of Leon whose lyrics they retweeted hours before the debate. “It’s my show/I must go/With my soul/ Not my hand/Where I stand/It’s my role/ It’s my soul.” The 2012 Republican primary has been described as a battle for the heart and soul of the party, and it’s been hard for a candidate like Huntsman, mild mannered and level headed, to make his voice heard over the rest of the cast of characters who
keep political observers and commentators entertained and occupied. That’s why his daughters have been dubbed his “secret weapon.” The girls started a joint Twitter account in July using the screen name @Jon2012Girls to document their adventures on the campaign trail. “We wanted to keep all our friends up to date,” Liddy told CNN. Over the past four months, however, their audience has grown from their friends to more than 15,000 followers. “The reason we’re doing this is we’re getting his message out,” Abby said. “A lot of people don’t know who he is or his message. If anything, we’ve brought a little bit of laughter.” In October, the girls tweeted at Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg, asking him if he wanted to tailgate before the next debate. “We’ll bring the Godfather’s [pizza], you bring the Diet Coke,” they said on Twitter. The invitation, which Tagg never responded to, came immediately after the Huntsman girls criticized his father’s foreign policy credentials. “How does Romney know anything about China?” they asked on Twitter. “He’s only been there once and that was for the Olympics. Panda Express doesn’t count.” The girls’ frank, sassy and irreverent commentary stands in sharp contrast to the usually polished talking points of the campaign trail, and it has gotten their father’s campaign some much-needed media attention. Since they started tweeting, Mary Anne, Abby and Liddy have been interviewed by the Daily Beast, The New York Times and the Washington Post.
(top) From left to right, Abby, Mary Anne and Liddy, Jon Huntsman’s daughters. (bottom) Liddy and Abby with their father before a recent debate. photos courtesy of abby livingston
“Overall, we’ve had very positive feedback,” Liddy said. Before the debate began, the girls were interviewed by CNN’s Erin Burnett about their father. “He’s just such an incredible dad,” Mary Anne said on the show. “And along with that ... [he] is someone that you can trust and that can bring people together.” As one of the few candidates with foreign policy experience, Huntsman, a former U.S. ambassador to China and Singapore, was at home in a debate focused on national
security. Still, he found himself at the edge of the stage as the candidates with the highest poll numbers were placed front and center. Known for his sartorial style, Huntsman selected a strong, red tie for the evening, mirroring the confidence he exuded during the questioning. “He’ll ask me for my opinion [on his wardrobe] before debates,” said Mary Anne, who cites fashion as one of her passions. Topics covered included the war in Afghanistan and aid to Pakistan. Hunts-
man answered the questions, but seemed rushed as he packed as much as he could into his allotted him, aware of the limited spotlight he had as the 90 minutes of debate time was split among the eight candidates. The final question of the night was about unseen national security issues, which he only touched on briefly. “I guess I could say China, because I know a little bit about the subject matter,” Huntsman said, before pivoting to the message he wanted to leave with voters. “Our biggest problem is right here at home … it’s called joblessness, it’s called lack of opportunity, it’s called debt … How can we have any effective foreign policy abroad when we are so weak at home?” After the debate, CNN host Piers Morgan tweeted he was baffled that Huntsman still polls so low. “Smart guy,” he said. And so are his daughters. The Huntsman girls racked up more than 305,000 Youtube views on a video they posted in October. That’s over 271,000 more views than any videos put out by their father’s campaign. Their video parodied a Hermain Cain ad where Cain’s campaign manager puffed on a cigarette. The girls swapped the cigarettes for bubbles, and the video went viral. Huntsman is betting his campaign on New Hampshire. If he can make a strong showing there, he reasons, he can gain momentum. According to a Rassmussen telephone survey of likely Republican voters in the state released Nov. 29, Huntsman has 11 percent support, his highest poll numbers in this race. His daughters hope to continue bringing attention to their father and his campaign, although some might worry about the damage a trio of outspoken twentysomethings could do with a single tweet that goes too far. The girls said they’re not worried though. “We are always on the same page,” Abby said of her sisters and the campaign staff. “They trust us. They know we have our dad’s best interest at heart.” ▬ firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @hunterschwarz Go to thestudentreview.org or scan this QR code with your smartphone to watch the Huntsman girls’ viral video.
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Citizenship 101 by angela marler
photo by angela marler
The Salvadorian Civil War had been raging for eight years when Alvaro Medina decided to leave his home country. The violence and distrust had been creeping ever closer to home until one morning he was stopped by soldiers and threatened at gun point while walking to class at the University of El Salvador. Medina’s story joins those of hundreds of immigrants who have attended Violet Brown’s citizenship class over her 17 years of teaching. Some students seek refuge from violence or injustice, while others simply want to be closer to family members. But all strive toward a common goal: pass the naturalization test and become a U.S. citizen. “As far as I know, there’s no other program like it in Utah,” Brown said. “For me, it’s a labor of love and friendship. I love to teach. That’s who I am.” Brown teaches her class with help from her husband Ray at the recently built Food and Care Coalition in Provo. Violet Brown designed the curriculum with help from her family and ensures that every student who comes to them is as prepared as possible for the test. She teaches civics, history and English to her mainly Spanishspeaking students while her husband gives practice interviews to the more advanced students. Violet Brown said after an average of four months in class, almost 99 percent of her students pass the naturalization test.
But that is only one factor that makes the class unique. “We’re like a big family,” Brown said. “We support and encourage each other and we’re excited for each other when we pass.” On a recent evening during class, all took a break from reading aloud to celebrate Enrique Lopez and Adela Alba passing the test. The two arrived with their families in tow, smiles on their faces and arms loaded with food. But before digging into homemade tamales and potato salad, Lopez and Alba shared the questions they answered correctly to pass the test. They encouraged the others and assured them that they too
would be able to pass. “It was really easy,” Lopez said. “I was prepared from this class. Now I can live the American dream. For me, it was my dream to be a citizen.” Jeanne Kent has worked now for a year and a half as Salt Lake City’s field office director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Kent said her favorite part is witnessing people’s joy at becoming citizens. Over time, she has come to know Violet Brown as she takes her students in to take the test. “I enjoy working with people like Mrs. Brown who are trying to help people become citizens—not just to have that piece of paper, but to participate in the American way of life,” Kent said. To qualify to take the test, one must be a permanent resident of the United States for at least five years, be able to speak, read and write basic English, and be of “good moral character.” If qualified, one may fill out the 10-page application and send it in, along with $680 in application fees. Applicants are then signed up for a test and interview time where they will be tested on their English ability and knowledge of U.S. history and civics. If they pass, they are allowed to take their oath of citizenship. Kent said the process usually takes four months from application to oath, and on average about 250 immigrants are naturalized every month in Salt Lake City. Medina is now looking forward to the time he can take the oath and become a U.S. citizen as he waits to hear the date of his test and interview. “This country is giving me a lot of things that I could never have in El Salvador,” he said. “I have a better opportunity here to grow and help my family. I can express what I think and I feel safe. When I am a citizen it will be even better.” ▬ email@example.com
smart & insightful popcorn popping on the internets
8 Student Review
Religious Freedom at BYU by jeffrey stott
Even if a BYU student’s moral conduct is in line with the Honor Code, he or she can be kicked out of school if they are LDS and convert to another religion, leading some to question BYU’s commitment to religious freedom. “Students who are not in good Honor Code standing are not eligible for graduation, even if they have otherwise completed all necessary coursework,” reads the mandatory endorsement policy in the Honor Code. “Excommunication, disfellowshipment or disaffiliation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints automatically results in the withdrawal of the student’s ecclesiastical endorsement and the loss of good Honor Code standing.” While any LDS students that convert to a different faith will lose their ecclesiastical endorsement, non-LDS students can continue practicing their religions or convert to Mormonism without any penalty. In effect, this policy restricts religious freedom for 98 percent of BYU’s student population. It also ultimately penalizes other churches that wish to proselyte to the BYU population. The Church is a strong advocate for religious freedom, as evidenced by the 11th Article of Faith which calls for men to be permitted to worship “how, where, or what they may.” Furthermore, at the request of the First Presidency, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a former president of BYU, has testified in support of religious freedom before members of Congress. On Feb. 4th, 2011, during an interview with Chaplain University, Elder Oaks said that religious freedom is a “fundamental right” and “[a]ll who believe in [the importance of religious voice] should unite more effectively to preserve and strengthen the freedom to advocate and practice our religious beliefs, whatever they are.” The Church has an incredible interest in religious freedom because without it, the Gospel cannot flourish. There are still many countries that do not allow the Church to proselyte. To change this, BYU hosts an annual symposium on international religious freedom. According to Elizabeth Clark, the symposium’s associate director, the purpose of the symposium is to “help share experiences and information on how to promote religious freedom throughout the world.” The symposium invites delegates from all over the world. For example, in October of 2010, an important Mexican government official in charge of deciding how many visas to give LDS missionaries in Mexico was invited. The Church paid for her travel, hotel rooms, food and entertainment for a week so she could attend the symposium and understand the importance of promoting religious freedom in her country.
Imagine if she, being a Catholic, was told that if a LDS student converted to Catholicism he would be kicked out of BYU. Would she then feel inclined to support measures that would allow the Church greater religious freedom in Mexico? “BYU has not considered changing this policy,” said Carri Jenkins, BYU’s director of communications. “BYU has been very open and forthcoming about [it].” When asked if there are legitimate reasons not to change the policy, Jenkins said that the best way she could answer was to refer back to what the Honor Code said. However, the Honor Code states that BYU’s purpose is “to provide an education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of the Church ... [which atmosphere] is created and preserved through commitment to conduct that reflects those ideals and principles.” BYU has done a miraculous amount of good, but some say the Church’s ideal to spread religious freedom is compromised by this current policy. “Wouldn’t it make sense to ensure robust religious freedom first at BYU before seeking to teach the world what religious freedom means?” asked Brad Cormack, a recent BYU law graduate. Cormack suggested BYU remove the Honor Code’s current policy and instead, require students who convert from Mormonism to another faith to pay the tuition non-LDS must pay and obtain their ecclesiastical endorsement through the BYU chaplain as non-LDS students already do. This policy change, he said, would be in line with the words of Joseph Smith, according to an Aug. 22 Church News article. “If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a ‘Mormon,’ I am bold to declare before heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves,” he said. ▬
illustrations by hunter phillips
This I believe Occupy Sunday School—Hopefully We Already Do
by grant harper
New research recently released from Salt Lake shows 95 percent of the comments in Sunday School are controlled by 5 percent of the class attendees. While that may not be entirely true, the need to occupy Sunday school is. In short, over should be the days when the ultraconservative-Glenn-Beck-quoting Mormon feels at liberty to mix faith and politics making the sweeping assumption that everyone is in agreement. Of course, this is not to say that those individuals should discontinue their very heartfelt commentary, but rather that for those who roll their eyes when doctrine of self-sufficiency supersedes the Christian dictate to give to the poor, it is time to convert your unvoiced discontent into action. Here is an example of a deplorable occurrence which recently took place during a Sunday School consisting of BYU students: The topic was signs of the last days. We read first from the following scripture: “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils . . . commanding to abstain from meats” (1 Timothy 4:1, 3). Later in the class, when asked to give examples of some of the seductive doctrines of the devil, one class member stated, “Vegetarianism.” True, the individual most likely meant it jokingly. This does not, however, prevent the marginalization such comments make. Sure enough, a girl raised her hand and said she was offended because she was, in fact, a vegetarian. While the class tried to backtrack and try to solve this issue, the vegetarian and a number of others walked out of class. This is just one example of many that indicates how conservative adherents to the LDS faith seem to think they have a monopoly on church discourse and/or that
photo illustration by riley adamson
sensitivities to the ideological minority is passe or implied. In truth, it is neither. Once again, this is no surprise nor a fault of their own; rather, the result of of the complacency of those who disgruntingly or dispassionately wait out each lesson do a disservice to themselves and to others around them. Church is a place where people from all different backgrounds should associate and get along as saints in Zion. I am aware of no other church that continues to define its boundaries on the basis of geography. There is no shopping around for a congregation that fits your exact political and spiritual leanings and this brilliant practice forces people with different mindsets to coexist. This means that we are each exposed to various ways of perceiving the world and the gospel as long as everyone decides to
contribute. When various groups refuse to voice their ideas, the whole body of saints is negatively affected. This is a call to all closet liberals, free thinkers, and generally open minded people to cease their complacency and take an active role in church: Stop feeling sorry for yourself and fill the discursive void that currently exists in your own Sunday School class. Living in a community of saints can be a great experience for all involved when everyone participates. We might even learn something from one another. ▬ firstname.lastname@example.org
10 Student Review
DE CEM BER 2011
8:00 p.m. Muse Music Cafe: Open Mic Night $1
7:30 p.m. A Jon Schmidt Christmas @ Peery’s Egyptian Theater (2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, UT)
All Month: Savior of the World @ the Conference Center Theater, SLC. Tickets are required and can be obtained online or by calling 801-570-0080
7:00-9:00 p.m. FHE at the Education in Zion Exhibit (Atrium of the JFSB Building)
8:00 p.m. Muse Music Cafe: Open Mic Night $1
8:00 p.m. Muse Music Cafe: Open Mic Night $1
Christmas First NBA games of the season
11:05 a.m. Devotional Elder Tad R. Callister
7:00 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. Buffalo @ Marriott Center
7:00 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. Cal State San Marcos @ Marriott Center
7:30 p.m. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey @ SCERA Center for the Arts (745 S. State Street)
7:30-10:00 p.m. Final Chill Free prizes, hot chocolate, J-Dawgs, win a date with a basketball player or courgarette @ WSC Ballroom
7:00 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. Weber State @ Marriott Center
8:00 p.m. Muse Music Cafe: Revolution Sessions
8:00 p.m. Muse Music Cafe: Christmas Dance Party!
Last day of Classes
7:00 p.m. Women’s Basketball vs. Southern Utah @ Marriott Center
7:00 p.m. Republican Presidential Debate on Fox News
BYU Reading Day Donny Osmond’s birthday
9:30 p.m. Muse Music Cafe: John-Ross Boyce & His Troubles album release party
12:00 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. Utah @ Hunstman Center, SLC
7:00 p.m. Republican Presidential Debate on ABC
8:00 p.m. Holiday Symphony with Cirque de la Symphonie @ Abravenel Hall, SLC
12:00 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. Baylor @ Marriott Center
Christmas Eve Stephanie Meyer’s birthday
New Year’s Eve
3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ EnergySolutions Arena
3:00 p.m. Women’s Basketball vs. Utah @ Marriott Center
1:00 p.m. Women’s Basketball vs. Nevada @ Marriott Center
Joseph Smith’s birthday
8:00 p.m. Muse Music Cafe: Christmas Benefit Show
8:00 p.m. Video Games Live with the Utah Symphony @ Abravenel Hall, SLC
2:00 p.m. Women’s Basketball at Utah State
4:00 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. San Diego @ Marriott Center
12 Student Review
How blue is
really? An exclusive look at the most Democratic and Republican majors on campus.
Written by Hunter Schwarz
Design by Nick Smith
A basketball commemorating the inauguration of Democratic President Barack Obama is proudly displayed in a professor’s office. photo by sean mcgrath
BYU HAS A REPUTATION FOR BEING CONSERVATIVE, BUT according to data exclusively compiled by the Student Review, it is actually slightly more politically balanced than other universities. The Review searched Utah and Salt Lake county public records to find the political party affiliation for more than 600 professors and administrators across 24 majors. Nationally, professors tend to be Democratic while Republicans make up a small minority. The opposite is true at BYU where 47 percent of professors are Republican and nearly 14 percent are Democratic. One percent are members of third parties including Libertarian, Green, Constitution and Independent American. The remainder are unaffiliated. National data, published in The Forum in 2005, was based on a survey of 1,643 faculty members from 183 four-year colleges and universities. The study showed Democratic professors to make up half of the faculty, Republicans 11 percent and the remainder unaffiliated or members of third party. The data for BYU included professors, assistant professors, associate professors, adjunct instructors and emeritus professors. While information for the vast majority of professors in each major was available, some was not obtained either because the professors lived in other counties or there were multiple people
with their first and last name and no address or middle name was available to identify the correct individual. In addition, information was obtained for administrative officers, deans and other administrators. Collectively, they skewed even more right than professors, with 64 percent Republican, 5 percent Democratic and the remainder unaffiliated. While BYU professors tend to be Republican, Church history professor Richard Bennett said it is due to the conservative community the university is located in. “The faculty comes from the community,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a reflection of our doctrine as much as it is our demography.” Provo was named the most conservative city in the country by the nonpartisan group Bay Area Center for Voting Research, and last year, the Daily Caller ranked Utah County among the most conservative counties. Even in a conservative town like Provo, however, few places are as Republican as the Tanner building. Three of the most Republican majors are housed here. Finance, where 75 percent of professors are Republican, tops the list. Management follows with 73 percent and accounting with 67 percent. “I think that in finance, for example, most people believe markets tend to work reasonably well,” said finance professor Michael
14 Student Review
Professors' political party affiliation National average vs. BYU
Democratic 13.8% BYU
Unoffiliated & Other
39.2% BYU Although the Democratic professors are in the minority at BYU, they make up a larger percentage of the faculty than Republican professors do nationally.
Pinegar. “If you believe that, you tend to be Republican.” Statistically, sociology is the most Democratic major with 36 percent, but Democrats are still outnumbered by Republicans. Some Democratic students say having conservative professors has influenced their education. “I left BYU because I felt very marginalized,” said Kate Hoffmire, a senior studying history. Although Hoffmire has since returned to BYU, she left when a guest lecturer made her feel publicly disrespected. She talked about the way she was treated to the professor after class, but felt further attacked. “That day, I called my parents and said, ‘Mom, dad, I’m leaving BYU’.” Hoffmire spent a semester at the liberal University of Wisconsin where her father worked. Since returning, she has taken care to select professors whose political ideology are more closely aligned with hers. Alex Hairston, a senior studying communications, said having conservative professors and classmates has quieted his comments in class at times. He wonders about the effect a professor’s political beliefs has in the classroom. “I worry whether professors’ political leanings come into play in the educational process,” he said. Other students say they do not feel professors’ political views negatively affect their education.
“It depends on the professor really,” said Danielle Stockton, president of the College Republicans, majoring in political science. “I haven’t noticed anyone pushing their views. Roughly half of my political science professors have been Democratic.” Political science is the second most Democratic major, and the only one with more Democratic professors than Republican. However, both are outnumbered by unaffiliated professors. Unaffiliated professors make up a large portion of many other majors. Economics is the most unaffiliated major with 70 percent, followed by history at 51 percent, English at 50 percent and political science at 48 percent. The percentage of unaffiliated professors at BYU is higher than the national average - nearly 38 percent at BYU compared with 34 percent nationally. Although some unaffiliated voters do vote non-partisanly, The Tanner building houses three majors with the highest percentage of Republican professors. research shows that many have a definite photo by sean mcgrath political leaning. According to national data, three fourths BYU professors tend to be Republican, doesn’t feel marginalized here. of professors consider themselves lib- but some students say professors’ po- “At BYU, [professors] never pushed it eral, 25 percent more than are registered litical party affiliation plays less of a role to a point where it interferes with my Democrats. This suggests a large portion in the classroom here than it does at other education or where they’re pushing an of BYU’s unaffiliated professors might con- universities. agenda,” he said. ▬ sider themselves conservative. Miles Marsala transfered to BYU from email@example.com “Although the number of declared indepen- Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., twitter: @hunterschwarz dents has risen over time, the percentage of Marsala, a senior majoring in French StudSpecial thanks to Kelsey Hansen, Derrick people who actually vote in a partisan way ies, said he had professors at Pima who Lytle, Hunter Phillips and Boston Schwarz hasn’t shrunk,” said Adam Brown, a politi- were “very openly liberal” and frequently for assistance in compiling data. cal science professor. “Many of the people challenged students’ beliefs. who don’t consider themselves members “I’ve had very little of that at BYU,” he said. of a party still vote as if they were.” Marsala, who identifies as liberal, said he
Most Republican majors
Most Democratic majors
1. Finance 65%
1. Sociology 36%
2. Management 73%
2. Political Science 33%
3. Accounting 67%
3. American Studies 27%
4. Mechanical Engineering 67%
4. Psychology 26%
5. Exercise Science 65%
5. English 23%
Most unaffiliated majors 1. Economics 70% 2. History 51%
More information To see complete data for the 24 majors surveyed and see how your majors stack up, go to thestudentreview.org or scan the QR code with your smart phone.
3. English 50% 4. Mathematics 50% 5. Political Science 48%
The list of most Republican, Democratic and unaffiliated majors do not include majors where there is data for less than 10 professors.
mor mormon rmon mon stories
give said the little â€”audioâ€” stream
16 Student Review
New study shows link between wearing leggings with short skirts & international terrorism by erik mccarthy
University of Florida recently released a new study suggesting a strong link between wearing leggings with skirts that don’t extend to the knees and international terrorism. Researchers found that a shocking 67 percent of those who wear a combination of leggings and skirts with hemlines extending two inches or more above the knee have sympathetic feelings for one or more international terrorist groups. Furthermore, those whose hemlines exceed the two inch disparity between skirt and knee were proven 42 percent more likely to be recruited into terrorism themselves. This study is especially relevant to BYU campus due to a heated controversy that has scoured the campus over the past few years. The debate centers on the idea that wearing leggings underneath a shorter skirt does not make the outfit “modest.” With the release of the new study, the debate has become even more passionate. Jared Gilbert, a junior from California majoring in chemistry, was surprised by the results of the new study. “I use to think that the Letters to the Editor section in the Daily Universe was mostly a platform for self-righteous expression,” Gilbert said. “You know, a place where people with nothing better to do can judge and complain about those who don’t conform to their standards of appropriate dress. Boy, was I wrong.” Megan Larson, an English major from Orem, has long believed
photos by michele doying
that wearing leggings with skirts that don’t extend to the knees contributed to the fall of Rome and is now threatening the foundations of our society. “I’m not sure why people are so surprised,” said a confused Larson. “The Honor Code has long prohibited form-fitting clothing. That is why I not only refuse to wear leggings, but jeans and T-shirts as well. I find muumuus best hide my form and protect my country.” Larson then went on to explain the difficulty this new research adds to her life. “I’m bummed that not only do I have to report them to the Honor Code office and write a letter to the Daily Universe expressing how offended I am, but now I have to report them to Homeland Security to get them on the No-Fly list,” said Larson. “I just don’t have that kind of time.” In the past, students have poked fun of BYUSA’s ad campaign to dissuade students from combining shorter skirts with leggings, but students are now coming to appreciate the authority BYUSA has claimed in Honor Code interpretation. “I remember hearing about a boy who would stand outside of a classroom and record how many of the girls that would leave the classroom were dressed immodestly” recalls Jen Wilson, a sophomore from Oregon. “I thought he was such a sanctimo-
Bathroom small talk
cartoon by wes hotchkiss—for more visit thehotchkiss.tumblr.com
nious creep. Now I realize that without sanctimonious creeps like that, the terrorists win.” However, Jane McDonald, a nursing major who commonly wears leggings with an above-the-knee skirt, expressed frustration. “I am sick of people obsessing about the outward appearance of their fellow students,” McDonald told the SR. “Most universities debate important and relevant issues like the crisis in Somalia and human rights, but so often we’re stuck on the hemline,” McDonald said then added, “Death to America.” Some students have decided to protect their campus and their country by creating a camp at UVU to detain those who are now being referred to as “knee-leggers”. Mike Swaine, the leader of the movement to construct the camp explained that the threat “does not end with those knee-leggers. The Cougarettes, the swim team and the cross country team also have dangerous ideologies about revealing clothing.” In an interview, Swaine explained further saying, “Sure their immodest clothing is functional, but as far as I understand, we should avoid even the appearance of evil.” Amidst all of the controversy, one thing has become certain: while the Lord looketh at the heart, the BYU student body will not stop looking at the hemline any time soon. ▬ firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
From Provo to NYC
Daily Show staffer Jenna Kim Jones by derrick clements
photo courtesy jenna kim jones
They’ve hit politics, Broadway and the hotel business. Now, even The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has been hit by the Mormons. Provo native Jenna Kim Jones is living in New York as The Daily Show’s script production assistant by day, and a stand-up comedian by night. “Getting laughs is a little bit addictive, and I know I’m not supposed to be addicted to stuff, but this is pretty good,” Jones said. After seven years of work in the entertainment industry, she’s still a faithful Mormon. If she spent less time performing stand-up at bars, you’d expect to find her face on the cover of Ensign magazine. “I get a lot of chances to bear my testimony, but I do it in a way that’s much more my style,” Jones said. “You know, I can joke, we can laugh, and it’s not too heavy.” After graduating from Timpview High School, Jones went on to graduate from NYU in television and comedy producing, and is the only Latter-day Saint working for The Daily Show. At work, it’s her job to make sure everybody has an updated version of the script all day, along with several other tasks including taking note of all the swear words during each show’s recording. When she started, Jones kept a list of the words banned from TV, but today, the cheat sheet is mostly irrelevant. “Well, I just know the list,” Jones said. “It’s all the words I don’t say.” She said she feels comfortable being both a comedian and a Mormon, and finds that most of the skeptics of this nontraditional combo are Mormon guys with an interest in dating her. “In the past, I’ve dated people who don’t really understand it, and they think, well how can you be around that and feel okay?” Comments Jones has received over the years include: “It doesn’t seem like your
priorities are really straight” and “This is a cute hobby, but this isn’t like a real thing for you, right?” “I used to get more garbage like that, but I don’t really give people like that the time anymore,” Jones said. She hasn’t had to defend herself and her faith as much as she has had to explain it to a curious audience of co-workers and writers. In general, she said her coworkers are respectful and polite regarding her faith, though the topic often comes up now more than ever in the midst of what is quickly becoming called the “Mormon Moment.” “One of the correspondents Aasif Mandvi and I have done stand-up together, and we did a bit where we compared religions,” Jones said. “We did ‘Muslims vs. Mormons’ and he and I wrote jokes about each other’s religions and kind of just shot them back and forth to each other in like a 4-minute little bit. It was a lot of fun and was a big hit.” For Jones, being comfortable in her religious skin came after talking with friends in college. “I remember explaining the story of Joseph Smith for the first time my freshman year of college and thinking to myself like, oh my gosh, I really need to figure out if I believe this or I’ll sound like a crazy person, you know?” Jones said with a laugh. “It was a very big moment for me to be like, I need to really have a testimony of what I’m talking about so that I don’t, like, freak people out. So I got that, and I do believe it, and I have no problem being Mormon and a comedian.” More challenging than being a Mormon comedian, Jones said, is being a female comedian. “It’s definitely a man’s world,” she said. “I’ve had shows where they don’t address me by my name. They just call me the tits of the show. Or they’ll get my name wrong, or instead of calling me Jenna Jones, they think it’s funny to call me Jenna Jameson. I just get on stage and I’m like ‘Jenna Jameson? I’m sorry that you thought she was coming here—I know, she’s hilarious! This must be so sad for you.’ I usually play it off. But ... yeah.” For those interested in seeing Jenna Kim Jones live, she will be headlining at Wiseguys Comedy Club at Trolley Square in Salt Lake City on Dec. 30 and 31. In the meantime, her hilarious tweets can be found under @jennakimjones and @TheDailyShow. Want to listen to the whole interview with Jenna Kim Jones? Visit thestudentreview.org. ▬ email@example.com twitter: @derrific
Fictionist releases major label EP
photos courtesy of matt clayton by hunter schwarz
When Provo-based band Fictionist was selected to participate in Rolling Stone magazine’s “Do You Wanna Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star?” contest, they seemed destined to prove Utah has more to offer musically than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and BYU singing group Vocal Point. The band competed against 15 other acts for a chance to be on the cover of the magazine and land a recording contract with Atlantic records. Week after week, they outlasted the other bands thanks to the votes of loyal fans. They were eventually eliminated, however, after making it to the final four. OK, so they didn’t make it as far as fellow Utahan and American Idol runner-up David Archuleta did in his competition, but how many Americans can still remember the name of the guy who beat him? Exactly. Winning isn’t everything. While Rolling Stone contest’s winners, Canadian band Sheepdogs, became the first unsigned artists to grace the cover of the magazine and got the recording contract with Atlantic, Fictionist isn’t that far behind. Being featured in the Student Review might not compare to Rolling Stone, they still managed to impress Atlantic and get a recording contract without winning the contest. Their first release for Atlantic, a self-
titled EP, hit iTunes digital shelves Nov. 15, and their full-length album, which they are working on now, is expected to be released next year. “We’re just really into the writing process,” said lead singer Stuart Maxfield. “I honestly think we’re a couple songs away from a world class album.” The band came up with their name after drummer Aaron Anderson had a dream about a band called Effectionist. They considered other similar options including Typist and Journalist, but settled on guitarist Brandon Kitterman’s idea for Fictionist. Fictionist works. It’s memorable and has an air of mystery and romance about it. It sounds like the name of a real band. “It’s because we are a real band,” Maxfield said. It’s also a name that works well in an age of digital branding, something they took into consideration: the URL for fictionist. com was available when they picked the name, and they all but own the first 20 pages of a Google search. Their Google ranking has proved helpful now while they continue to grow their fanbase, but by this time next year, with their debut major label album out, they might not even need it. ▬ firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @hunterschwarz
18 Student Review
Best day: November 11, 2011 There was perhaps no luckier day of the year than 11/11/11. If you forgot to make your wishes at 11:11, you’ll have to wait another 100 years before you can do it again.
Biggest Surprise: Pixar producing a movie that wasn’t amazing
Best new store opening in Utah: H&M It’s about time!
Endangered TV show most worth saving: Community
Just watch the show and prevent its premature cancellation. There’s no way you’ll regret it. Thursdays at 7 on NBC.
As 2011 winds down, we look back on the best and worst of what the year had to offer. From Rebecca Black to Google Plus, planking to 11/11/11, it was a year to remember. Head to thestudentreview.org to relive more memories and join the discussion. by the Student Review staff
THE YEAR IN REWIND Worst movie: Jack and Jill
Theory: Adam Sandler was paid handsomely by Kevin James to make Zookeeper look good for awards season. The only way to make that movie look good would be to make one of the worst films of the last decade. Challenge accepted.
Most ironic trend: Planking
When haters made fun of planking, they didn’t realize the plankers were too. It was all a joke.
photo courtesy of slworking2
Best Charlie Sheen news story: All of them
And with a sitcom deal signed for FX, Sheen looks like he’ll keep his violent tornado of truth rolling into the new year.
Best pop album: “Born This Way” Lady Gaga Lady Gaga still managed photo courtesy of Interscope to sound like herself while drawing on influences like Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, New Order and Whitney Houston to create an LP that sounded like the Spark Notes to the history of pop.
Biggest mockery to the institution of marriage: Kim Kardashian’s Fairytale Wedding
photo courtesy of Glen Francis
Just because something is too complicated for you doesn’t make it “just like Inception.” It’s been a year and a half. It’s time to overuse something else.
Most unnecessary movie: The Lion King 3D
You saw this movie 17 years ago. You’ve owned it for 15. If you’re dumb enough to believe in a Disney Vault, you were dumb enough to stand in line to see this classic with a new generation of crying children.
Best PR for Mormons: The Book of Mormon Musical The irreverent play took home award after award and generated an astounding amount of positive interest in the LDS Church.
Biggest failure: Google Plus Sure, it was supposed to take Facebook down and revolutionize social media— but maybe it’s better off being left as a reminder that not even Google can compete with Facebook. And if they can’t do it, nobody will!
Pop culture event it was okay to cry about: Steve Carell leaving “The Office” Even if you stopped watching The Office when it “wasn’t good anymore,” you were as choked up as everyone else when Michael Scott walked into the sunset and out of our TVs forever.
Best Rapture Eve tune: “Till the World Ends” Britney Spears BYU students knew better when a Christian radio broadcaster predicted the world would end May 21, but they could still jam out to a Britney song about dancing away your last minutes on Earth before the Apocalypse.
Best pop song: “Rolling in the Deep” - Adele “Rolling in the Deep” not only went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, it also charted on the pop, adult contemporary, rock, dance, R&B/hip-hop and Latin charts. Talk about crossover appeal.
Happiest 90 minutes: The Muppets It’ll be a long time before there’s another movie that’s equal parts fan service and showing a new audience why something was amazing to begin with. That is, until The Avengers comes out in May.
Best reminder about the importance of Facebook privacy settings: Taylor Petty and Michelle Peralta Biggest affirmation of the institution of marriage: The Royal Wedding It was beautiful, it was amazing, and don’t pretend you weren’t up at 4 a.m. to watch.
Most welcome revival: Arrested Development
The deal Netflix made to bring back the greatest TV comedy of all time* won’t take effect until 2012, but the announcement alone made millions of fanboys burst into tears.
Longest lockout: NBA There were times it seemed like it would never end, but professional basketball finally returns on Christmas day, just in time for BYU students to unwrap their new Jimmer Fredette Kings jerseys.
photo courtesy of Keith Allison
Reality show personality Kim Kardashian and NBA player Kris Humphries were married for 72 days, but luckily it was long enough for E! to edit and air the two-night special of their $10 million wedding.
#1 reference to stop using in 2012: Inception
Best viral video: “Friday” - Rebecca Black Every time you’d get the song out of your head, that day that came after Thursday but before Saturday would roll around again and someone would inevitably play, hum or sing it. It was unescapable. Fun, fun, think about fun. You know what it is. Just be glad she isn’t climbing in your windows and snatching your people up.
Best summer jam: “Party Rock Anthem” - LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
LMFAO may be a duo of male Ke$has with dollar store synth and uninspiring lyrics, but they perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the summer and transformed shuffling from a dance move to a movement.
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