VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2012
2 Student Review
Staff EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Tamarra Kemsley Hunter Schwarz
COPY EDITORs Teresa Arroyo Jennifer T. Duque Shannon Sorensen
WEB EDITOR Derrick Lytle
DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Erik McCarthy
ART DIRECTOR Nick Smith
DESIGNERS Rachel Dabb Craig Mangum
PHOTO DIRECTOR Sarah Kay Brimhall
PHOTOGRAPHERS Heather Hackney Johnny Harris Felicia Lynne Jones Sean McGrath Gemma Grover Annelise White Margaret Wunderlich
CONTRIBUTORS Christopher Diep Berta Marquez Christopher Michaels Ben Miller Dustin Robinson Talmage Spackman Preston Wittwer
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.
Letter from the editor Dear Reader, We will be totally upfront with you and admit that we knew very little about what we were doing starting up a newspaper. You might have noticed. Our struggle is written, engraved even, on thousands of papers and the immortal Internet. We are immensely proud of everything we’ve done, don’t get us wrong, but we want to do better. This semester our goal is to increase the credibility of the Student Review. We are doing this by formalizing staff positions and hiring a greater amount of those with a journalism background to aid in fact checking. We are not, however, decreasing the number hired without a journalism experience—all are still invited to apply. Furthermore, we are revising our business model. Newspapers everywhere are going online in order to cut printing costs (see: the Daily Universe) all the while facing the other great dilemma
Letter to the editors Dear Editors, Thank you for running that article about religious freedom at BYU. I am a student in this exact situation. It may not be the popular thing to do here in Provo, but I no longer really do the whole Mormon thing anymore. I grew up in the Church and even served a mission, but as I’ve grown these past few years I’ve become more of an agnostic and don’t subscribe to any religion. I have nothing against the LDS church, but I’ve chosen a different way. Unfortunately, BYU doesn’t accept this change in my life. To be enrolled I needed an endorsement. I’ve visited with many school counselors, but since I’m officially “Mormon” on their books, only my bishop could do that. So I went back to church for the first time in over a year. The bishop would only give it to me if I participated in the ward. I explained my situation, and he understood but made it clear to me that if I changed my declared religion I would be forfeiting all the years of schooling I had invested at BYU (over 5 years). It wasn’t just a simple matter of having to pay non-LDS tuition: it’s like the school had a grip on my soul and they weren’t interested in letting me have control of it. I weighed the options, and in the end the smartest and easiest thing for me was to just go through the motions while I’m here at BYU until I graduate. It’s not worth the risk. I’ve loved my schooling here; it’s a great university. However, everyday I live a lie just to appease the honor code. I smile and show my face at church once in a while so I can keep my endorsement. I bow my head with others in class when a prayer is offered, but I’m not praying. In the meantime, my tuition is subsidized by good church members.
which is no one wants to pay for access to a news site. That’s mainly our fault as a news community, though. We were the ones who put it online for free in the first place. We are looking for those in the BYU community who enjoy innovation and business model planning. Let’s talk. Lastly, check us out online. We’re working harder this semester to update new content daily because we know how hard it must be to go an entire month without our witty, articulate voices. Absoultley tragic, we’re sure. With that said, here’s the fourth issue of the Student Review. Indulge. Tamarra Kemsley Hunter Schwarz
The opinions in this section are solely those of the author(s).
I understand the school’s desire for me to be a part of the Church, but if anything this annoyance has driven me further away. Living in Provo it’s hard enough to make friends and date when you’re not Mormon. I wish BYU would respect and appreciate what I believe. After all, isn’t this what religious freedom is all about? -Samuel
Note: The Student Review welcomes letters to the editors. E-mail all submissions to email@example.com. Please include the topic of the letter in the subject line of the e-mail. Letters should not exceed 300 words and may be edited for length, clarity and style.
Tweet, tweet: What you said about the SR
Dylan Ellsworth @lemhiboyscout tweets: “Off to get my copy of the @YStudentReview. That’s a good way to start any morning” Geoff Openshaw @TheShippingLane tweets: “Woo hoo! My major at #BYU was the only one with more Dem professors than GOP ones. ow.ly/7OZPZ @ystudentreview @hunterschwarz” BYU Political Review @BYUPolitics tweets: “Great original research on #BYU prof political affiliations in @YStudentReview thestudentreview.org/2011/12/05/how… props to @hunterschwarz” Haley Bissegger @haleytaryn tweets: “@YStudentReview great 3rd issue! Loved it!”
Taylor Veater @smalltowntaylor tweets: “@YStudentReview loved the 2011 wrap up!”
Caitlin Mitchell @cmacmitch tweets: “By far my favorite issue of the @YStudentReview. Good work.”
Police beat by ben miller Tuesday, police beat that tool who took up 3 parking spaces with the brand new truck his dad bought him for Christmas.
Corrections Only the BYU-I testing center had a policy against “skinny jeans.” After university administration discovered that, the policy was changed.*
sAfter years of investigation, police found and beat the guy who started using “flip” as a replacement for the f-word.
Friday, police preemptively beat that kid who will accost you every time you come to campus once the BYUSA elections start.
.Thursday, police beat the pretentious kid who argues with everything the professor says in class. Tuesday, police responded to multiple reports of a student making obnoxious political comments and assuming that everybody else shared his views. They promptly beat the offenders. Thursday, police beat the girl who sneezes on the necks of people in front of her in the testing center.
“Farewell to Feminism”: The WomanStats Project did not lose its funding as a result of the closure of the WRI (Women’s Research Institute), and did apply for and receive monies from the new Women’s Research grant initiatives, as well as winning the Emmeline B Wells Award. WomanStatsBYU is now under the direction of Professor Chad Emmett. *BYU-I still officially bans shorts, flipflops and overalls (and we understand why overalls are banned) on campus. We would appreciate a press release confirming or denying a rumor of BYU-I now banning Naked juice.
Wrapping-up 2011, presenting 2012 by christopher michaels
photo by sarah kay brimhall
Last September’s sport article argued that the women’s volleyball team had too much ground to make up and not enough time to do it. Well, they proved this sports writer wrong. The reason? Jennifer Hamsen. She finished the season with a hitting percentage above 300 and earned All-American honors. The team ended with a record of 21-9, good enough for third place in the competitive West Coast Conference. The women’s soccer team performed well but found themselves too far back in the WCC standings to get an invite to the tourney. What’s more, the team will lose McKinzie Olson, Jennie Marshall, Auna Doria and Lauren Anderson Cosby heading into next season. Football was a season of drama, but altogether the team pulled it off with a bowl victory and a 10-3 record. While the
news of Jake Heaps’s departure hit many hard in a personal way, it looks like Riley Nelson will be able to handle the load just fine. With football in the past, all eyes are on men’s basketball. Jimmer has earned a spot with significant playing time in Sacramento and the Cougars have displayed that they can function without him. What is more exciting is how talented the team is, especially for their age. Matt Carlino, DeMarcus Harrison and Anson Winder are all getting good playing time as freshmen. The team lacks the single star player and instead has a whole cast of talented athletes capable of taking over a game when needed. Who knows? The men’s basketball team may be underway in making history all over again. ▬ firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Student Review
Mali Mormon: Yeah we can by ben miller
While Mitt Romney is likely to win the Republican nomination, there is much discussion about whether a Mormon could ever be elected president. After Robert Jeffress’ remarks in early October in which he called Mormonism a cult, Slate Magazine published an article calling anti-Mormonism “the prejudice of our age,” and the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker wrote a piece “The Shameful Bias Against Mormons.” USA Today later reported that “religious discrimination remains an obstacle for Mormon political candidates” based on the fact that over a fifth of Americans say they would not vote for a Mormon. On Jan. 5, the Marrietta Daily Journal quoted Georgia state representative Judy Manning as saying, “I think Mitt Romney is a nice man, but I’m afraid of his Mormon faith.” She then added, “It’s better than a Muslim.” Speaking of Muslims, even as religion remains a hot issue in the American presidential race, Yeah Samake, a Mormon convert, is running for president of the African nation of Mali where 90 percent of the population is Muslim. Samake was born into the small village of Ouelessebougou, where he and his family lived in such deep poverty that Samake recalls how his mother would tie the stomachs of Samake and his siblings to ease the hunger pains constantly plaguing them. Samake’s father, nevertheless, was determined to provide a better life for his children. “My dad sent us to school so we could break the cycle of poverty,” Samake said in an interview. School expenses for all the children was a major reason the family could not afford enough food, but, according to Samake, his father said, “My family will starve, but my family will not know the darkness of illiteracy.” After completing school, Samake worked as a volunteer teacher in his village until an American family sponsored him to come to New York for an American education. There, he came in contact with LDS missionaries and was soon baptized. Samake later attended BYU where he earned a master’s degree in public policy and met his wife, Marissa, a fellow BYU student from India. Samake eventually started the non-profit Mali Rising Foundation, which focuses on building schools in Mali. Still, Samake’s felt the need to return home and serve his countrymen. Despite having a secure job and comfortable home in Utah, Samake decided to move his family back to Mali and run for mayor of Ouelessebougou in 2009. He won in a landslide, and now, after mak-
ing Ouelessebougou one of the ten most prosperous cities in Mali, he is running for president. Samake is the first non-Muslim to run for president in Mali, but his religious differences don’t concern him. “I don’t think it will affect my chances,” he said. “It was not a problem when I got elected mayor. 86 percent of the people voted for me knowing that I am not [Muslim].” Religious tolerance is a unique characteristic of Mali, which is one of the two functioning democracies in the Muslim world. According to the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report, the Malian constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the government enforces these protections. For example, the report states that before making decisions on potentially controversial issues, the government consults a “Committee of Wise Men,” which includes leaders of various faiths. Although recently there was a kidnapping by a militant Muslim group in the northern part of the country, these instances are rare. “In reality, I do believe religion is not a divider in Mali,” Samake said. “We live peacefully, side by side, with different religions, different ethnic groups.” For example, even though only one percent of the country’s population is Christian, Marissa Samake’s blog said in December the “Christmas trees and decorations deck the storefronts and hotels through Bamako,” Mali’s capital city. Michael Yei, director of the international division of the Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah, said, “the Muslims you tend to see [in Mali] are what we in the U.S. would consider moderate Muslims.” Yei has done humanitarian medical work in Mali and assures that “religion has never been an issue.” Apparently, religion is simply not a part of politics in Mali. Djiba Soumaoro, a Malian who just came to America this month to start school at UVU, said that in Mali, people refrain from talking about religion in an effort to be sensitive to people of other faiths and that many people “think all religions are good.” When asked if he thinks Samake’s Mormonism will affect his chances of being elected, president Djiba, who is Muslim, said, “Not at all, because usually people don’t care about religions. They want to see what you can do for them.” And, according to Djiba, Samake has done a lot for his people. “I’ve met some people in Ouelessebougou who haven’t voted for so long, but they said that because Samake is running in the
photo by derrick lytle
presidential election they are ready to vote this year because he has been doing a good job in the area,” he said. He said people respect Samake for returning from the U.S. and as a result “a lot of people want him to be president of Mali.” Samake similarly believes the service
he has rendered to the Malian people will override any concerns about his religion. Samake said, “They saw my love for my hometown, they saw my passion in serving the people. It is not about what religion you belong to. It is about your willingness to serve your country.” ▬
This I believe by talmage spackman
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” —Matthew 22:37-39, KJV We don’t often get something as definitive and clear cut from Jesus whose tendency was often toward enigma. For this reason I believe this passage of scripture is worth a closer look. I recently read a phrase that has stayed with me. The takeaway quote centered around “building a bigger us.” I think a lot about what it means to be a community. What do we see in a person that makes us distinguish between “us” or “them”? Why do we let some in, and rule others out? We all do it. I’ll readily admit I tend to judge people with Southern accents; people who express what, to me, sound like over-simplified political or religious views; and artists who seem to me more caught up in themselves than their art. I judge these people unfairly, but I do it as naturally and instinctively as catching myself when I trip on a shoelace. But that word natural, we all know, has been termed an enemy to
God. But he’s also enemy to himself, and to whatever “us” of which he is a part. At BYU, or really anywhere, “building a bigger us” is something we should be consciously doing, anxiously engaged in. For those of us in the majority, I think we sometimes imagine the afterlife as a place where white people hang out on clouds wearing robes and playing trumpets, and nobody challenges what we think, or doesn’t like playing the trumpet, because we’re all exactly the same. But God didn’t intend his Kingdom to be homogeneous— it never could be. We are surrounded by people who are different from who we are, racially, politically, religiously, and otherwise. Yet each of these people could sing “I am a child of God” and it would be as true as the words of any prophet. If we ever really want to love our neighbors as ourselves, I believe must expand our definition of “neighbor.” We must learn to reach across whatever differences exist to see the divine, beautiful individuality—and by extension divine siblinghood—of those we might absent-mindedly call “other.” Otherwise, we risk throwing our lot in with the publicans. Then, what reward have we? ▬
BYU Grad’s blog post about Snuggies goes viral by jeffery scott
Bloggers, listen up. You’ve spent hours tirelessly transcribing your life on a virtual platform, documenting those lists of reasons why you love your spouse on his or her birthday and posting those “poetic” and deeply personal thoughts with interchanging fonts. And while some of you only blog to share your life with close friends and family, many of you secretly (or blatantly) dream of creating that one blog post that will get other bloggers blogging about your blog. If you find yourself in the latter group, then look no further than recent BYU graduate Eli McCann. McCann’s blog, called It Just Gets Stranger, had a typical following for several years of a few friends and some family. Then came that one golden post. That golden post received over 100,000
views in less than 4 days. The magic subject? Snuggies. The post shares how one day McCann received a text from a stranger named Jane who mistakenly believed McCann was a friend named Amanda. Jane suggests in her initial text that the two of them go “halfsies” on home decorations while Eli, pretending to be Amanda, argued for Snuggies. He did this through 41 texts. About the experience, McCann describes the sudden rise to fame as an uncomfortable one. “When it became extremely popular over the course of just a couple of days, I was excited at first and then totally freaked out,” McCann said. “All of a sudden strangers online were either praising or criticizing me, even about things like typos and gaffes
in blog posts from 2008.” One commenter went so far as to tell McCann that he was a “a huge jerk,” saying, “I am sure everyone who read this thinks you are so cute and clever, but actually you are just mean.” Since the post went viral, McCann has been spotted in public a few times — which, according to him, is “really, really strange, and sometimes less fun than I would have expected.” One woman from Canada e-mailed him and eventually redesigned his entire blog. Advertisers and newspapers have even contacted him. His own cousin told him how she discovered the blog only after her high school Spanish teacher read it to each of her classes one day. Even an acquaintance working for Jet Blue in NYC told him that it was read recently at a cor- photo by sarah kay brimhall porate Christmas party and that a copy of it was printed and posted on every floor of maybe my gross miscalculation in this area the building. is the reason I’m still single.” McCann said what surprised him the Since that blog, McCann has found himmost was seeing how many girls left com- self with a growing responsibility to keep ments on his blog asking him to a) be their up the site. roommate, b) date them, or c) let them “I was only blogging occasionally before have his babies. the Snuggie post went viral,” he said. “Now “I would have thought a blog post that the expectations are a bit different, which includes pictures of me wearing a Snug- is exciting, but it’s also sort of daunting if I gie and Venetian mask would have had the want to try to keep up—which I do.” ▬ exact opposite effect,” McCann said. “But
Collegeprowler.com rates BYU the hottest campus in the nation
photo by gemma grover
According to collegeprowler.com, Brigham Young University ranks number one in the nation for friendliest guys; BYU-Idaho is third. On the website, BYU students can sign up for a free account and put their two cents in by answering surveys and submitting reviews. Such grassroot results form the basis for the website’s ratings. Not only are BYU men nice, however, according to collegeprowler.com BYU guys are supposedly immensely attractive, placing first again. Katherine104’s review claims, “Boys here are great. Whatever your preference, you can find any type you want (hipsters, preps, jocks, sweet shy boys, EVERYTHING). Most of them are complete gentlemen and lots of them know how to show girls some good, clean fun.” A female with the screen name dcrisanto’s comments that “everyone who goes to school here is freakishly nice and courteous and social.” Given the encouragement from LDS Church leaders to value women, the nice
bit may not be all too surprising. President Boyd K. Packer has said, “While the husband, the father, has responsibility to provide worthy and inspired leadership, his wife is neither behind him nor ahead of him but at his side” (Ensign, May 1998, 73). Men and women are encouraged to act as equals. And, as it turns out, BYU women were also ranked the friendliest girls in the nation and BYU-Idaho girls fourth. Not, bad. But wait, there’s more. The friendliness of BYU students is not their only virtue. BYU ranks number one in where students feel safest. Lieutenant Arnold Lemmon, public information officer for BYU Police, said he wasn’t all too surprised that BYU came first in the safety department. He attributes it to the uniqueness of the student body. “There are very few alcohol and drug cases,” Lemmon said. “So, we do not deal with the negative externalities related to those cases.” Lemmon then explained, “We follow the broken windows concept that Mayor Rudy Giuliani used. We take care of the little
by christopher diep
things. For example, we have a zero tolerance policy for retail theft.” Still, in the end Lemmon said, “Overall, the biggest factor is the character of the students.” Another part of the honor code includes the LDS dietary guidelines referred to as the Word of Wisdom, encouraging students to exercise and eat healthily. The result? BYU tops the lists as one of the most drug-free campuses, best schools for non-drinkers and least underage drinkers. So what does this mean for for you and I? In short, welcome, teetotalers! Grab a can of de-caf soda and go spend a very safe, clean night on town with some of the most attractive men and women in America. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to find anything to do, check out the HFAC—BYU’s performance venues are number one in the nation according to the same polls. And, who knows? Maybe one day soon we’ll be known for our brains as much as our alleged beauty. ▬
6 Student Review
Let’s go (to another state) Cougars! by preston wittwer
In 1875, Brigham Young purchased the beginnings of what would become a selfnamed university. The site he chose for the school was located in the heart of rural Provo, Utah. Years later, many consider this to be a bad move. In an effort to appease the growing concern over the university’s location—largely for reasons having to do with winters many feel to be too cold for their taste—school officials announced this week finalized plans to relocate the entire institution to a different state. According to university spokesperson Andy Swanson, the move should take place in the next two to three years. “After the relocation plan was approved by the board of trustees, a task force was organized to find the new site for BYU,” Swanson said. “They are in the final stages of narrowing down the list of candidate locations to three or four cities.” The university first began considering
a change of venue after monitoring comments and complaints on popular social networking sites lamenting the drawbacks of BYU’s current location. The intensity of complaints, they noticed, always increased after students returned from long holidays. “In an attempt to avoid similar complaints in the future, the decision was ultimately reached to have the student body make the final vote on where we move,” Swanson said. “Students will be able to cast their vote in a texting poll that will take place at the next men’s basketball.” Donna Traeger, a retired BYU statistics professor, was a member of the task force that toured the country looking for an ideal alternative to Provo with a specific list of variables based on student complaints. “We wanted to be as exhaustive as possible in our search,” Traeger said. “We looked at important factors like humidity levels, the way people pronounced the word ‘milk,’
the proximity to the ocean, the length of winter and average snow fall, the number of Wendy’s restaurants and the per capita number of individuals who wear socks and sandals simultaneously.” One of the biggest complaints students have had with Utah over the years is the driving conditions. April Perkins, a 19-year-old freshman from Mesa, Ariz., believes that adding tens of thousands of drivers from across the nation to somewhere like Mesa would have absolutely no affect on the driving situation there. “It is like people literally don’t know how to drive here,” Perkins said. “And I’m not one of those people who doesn’t know how to use the word ‘literally’ correctly.” Mark Wyatt, a 22-year-old Provo native majoring in accounting, attended the public forums held late last year when the plan was brought to the student body for discussion.
“I love my city, but I think this might be a pretty good idea,” Wyatt said. “The more I heard both sides of the debate I’m convinced that Brigham Young might not have known about places like Southern California when he said Utah was ‘the right place.’ It makes you wonder, you know?” A few of the locations the task force have considered include Scranton, Pa., Anaheim, Calif., Truth and Consequences, N.M., Tampa, Fla., Paradise, Mich. and Atlanta, Ga. The university plans to announce the finalized list as soon as the task force returns from their trip to Forks, Wash. ▬
Student Athletes get a leg up in the classroom by tamarra kemsley
Between national praise and pressure, daily practice and frequent traveling, many BYU athletes face a tough task trying to graduate. In fact, as reported in the Daily Universe last fall, only 63 percent do. To help out, BYU offers athletes academic support including personal tutors and academic advisers available for free and upon demand. This, of course, affects the thousands of students who compete in the same classes with student athletes, though to what degree often remains unclear. For this reason, the Student Review sat down with a number of athletes from several sports to clarify what goes on behind-the-scenes when student athletes seek academic help. As a member of the BYU women’s swim team, Kim Welch has to be at practice by 6:15 a.m. The practice typically runs just over two hours, and then it’s back to the pool by 3:00 p.m. for another two hour practice. Due to the difficulty of managing her schedule, Welch said she is especially grateful for the priority sign-up offered to student athletes. “Starting the second semester of being on a sports team you can sign up first, even before grad students,” she said.
Welch also said she is grateful for her academic adviser with whom she frequently counsels with. “I love my adviser,” Welch said, “They are just as active as you make them. You can see them every week or just once a semester. They’re there most of the day and it’s mostly just on walk-in basis.” Other athletes have had less positive experiences with their academic advisers. Stacy Sohn ran track, field and cross country for three years before she felt she had to quit in order to put school first. Sohn felt like her adviser was not concerned about Sohn’s quality of education. “I am an International Relations major and when I showed her the classes I was signed up for she said, ‘Why are you taking hard classes? Why don’t you take these easy ones?’” Sohn said. “That was my freshman year and I never went back to talk to her.” Not long after Sohn’s experience, the same adviser retired. However, Taylor Stapley, who also runs track and field, said her experience with her adviser has been a positive one. When asked if her current adviser encourages easier classes Taylor wasn’t quick to say either way, though she did
say when she goes to class she’ll often see other athletes. “There was one American Heritage class held in Salt Lake that they encouraged us to take, and when I got there there were about 30 other athletes,” she said. “It was really easy to find a study buddy, but I never felt like any cheating took place between the athletes.” Jessica Mullen is the academic adviser for women’s basketball, gymnastics, softball and both men and women’s track and field. When asked if academic advisers promote easier classes among student athletes, Mullen said their main goal is to help the athletes find classes that work best for them. “I would say what we try to do is set up a schedule where they can be successful especially when they’re in season,” Mullen said. “I don’t know if there’s even such a thing as easy teachers or classes at BYU.” Futi Tavana of the men’s volleyball team argues there is little difference between talking to an academic adviser and referring to ratemyprofessor.com. Football player Romney Fuga agreed with this idea, saying that he chooses to use ratemyprofessor.com to pick his
schedule and that anyone looking for an easy teacher can find one on the website. Interestingly, Tavana said he always takes his hardest classes during volleyball season. “I always do better in season because my day is really structured and I’m more likely to get things done,” he said. Sohn, on the other hand, left track and cross country because she felt it acted as an academic handicap. “I couldn’t do internships or my study abroad,” she said. “I felt underexperienced.” Sohn also said she regrets how her many absences from being on a sports team led her to postpone many of her hardest classes. “I’m paying for it now,” she said. Perhaps the most controversial question of all, however, is whether or not teachers allow better grades for athletes to keep them eligible. Taylor said many athletes are prone to use what she called “the athlete card.” “They will tell their teachers ‘I really need help: I have to remain eligible,” Taylor said. “I feel like a lot of football players get A’s.” ▬ email: email@example.com twitter: @tamarranicole
Overheard at BYU: You never know who’s listening
e e e by ben lockhart - Since its creation in January 2010, “Over’heard” has become a place for Mormons in Provo to laugh at themselves, a place ewhere Latter-day humor includes the ,good, the bad and the ugly. Mostly via word ,of mouth, the page has garnered more than -18, 000 likes. e For one thing, the site reaffirms many of ethe stereotypes and LDS faith in general. “There are a lot of cliché things that people say about BYU that you see has got some substance to it,” Brian Anderson, a senior at BYU who frequently peruses the page. “A lot of the urban legends and things like that are substantiated through it.” Marriage, awkward returned missionaries, marriage, reverence for local legends like Jimmer Fredette, marriage, naivety and marriage are some of the popular topics on the page that reach a cultural funny bone. “Sometimes we can get ridiculous,” said Jaenette Howes, a sophomore studying advertising. “All our conversations turn to marriage and we hate it, we wish it wouldn’t happen, but it happens.” Reposting to the page sometimes furthers the vicious cycle of perception and behavior, according to Howes. “The stereotype kind of backs itself up because everybody talks about [marriage] nso much as a stereotype,” she said. Howes said she is a fan of the page, how-ever, and its way of helping Mormons drop gtheir defenses and laugh at themselves. For a few laughs, check out some of ythese highlights from the past month. y Girl on freshman hill: Well, you know, I don’t want to become dthe harlot of Helaman Halls! s Submitted by Zoe Bateman
r s r
“I’ve been to Europe. Marry me.” Submitted by Tia Holloway Talking about having to take Physical Science as an upperclassmen: Guy: Freshman girls are like angler fish - they seem to have this nice shiny light, to lure you into a maw of drama and marriage-hunger. Girl: Have fun in class. I hope you get eaten. Submitted by Michael Murdock Roommate 1: Boys suck, can I just move to a lesbian colony? Roommate 2: I agree, just tell me when. Roommate 1: Though, I guess we can’t because I don’t think they would practice the church there ... and I believe in the church. Submitted by Kelsey Mostert Mission prep professor: If you’re out on a date and things start to get a little steamy, if you listen real carefully you’ll hear your kids say, ‘Mom, keep your hands off him, that’s not Dad.’ Submitted by Krysta Felix Professor: I like reading quotes because it satisfies my guilty pleasure of swearing. Let me read that again... Submitted by Becky Onnen Crews At Alpine Village, guy on the top floor speaking into a megaphone, “Dude! Get out of your car and walk her to her door!” Submitted by Rachel Chantry ▬
photo by margaret wunderlich
Mormons and Muslims have one more thing in common: A skeptic media by hunter phillips
TLC probably hoped for some controversy when the network premiered All-American Muslim, one of its latest reality shows. The show focuses on the ordinary lives of a group of families in Dearborn, Mich., all of whom practice Islam. The premise alone was enough to earn the show criticism from the watchdog group Florida Family Association. The FFA responded to the premiere in a formal letter to the show’s advertisers in which the group voiced their concern that the show’s portrayal of a “normal” Muslim family was inappropriate. It reads: “The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.”
Shortly after issuing that initial criticism, the FFA recommended a boycott of the show. Five weeks later, the boycott gained serious traction when Lowe’s pulled its advertising from the show. Spokespeople for the company justified the withdrawal as a decision meant to avoid controversy. Lowe’s social media pages erupted with comments praising the decision. However, many of the comments were considered so racist Lowe’s had to temporarily shut down its Facebook page. Today, the FFA homepage states that 101 of 112 businesses pulled their advertising after a record 1.2 million emails were issued from the FFA site asking the companies to remove the financial support generated through their ads. For the most part, TLC has refrained from public statements. ▬
8 Student Review
JAN & FEB
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 5:30 p.m. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration starting @ BYU Bell Tower and ending with program in WILK Ballroom. 7:30 p.m. The 39 Steps @ Hale Center Theater Orem (show runs until February 11. Check www.haletheater.org/ theater for show times)
6:30 p.m. FHE at the Education in Zion Gallery (atrium of JSB). 7:00 p.m. FHE @ The Museum of People and Cultures: Student Tour. 7:30 p.m. The 39 Steps @ Hale Center Theater
4:30 p.m. Super Bowl
Michelle Obama’s Birthday
11:05 a.m. BYU Devotional: Sister Julie B. Beck 7:00 p.m. Samuel Brown’s reading of In Heaven As it Is On Earth @ The King’s English Bookstore in SLC. 8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night @ Velour ($3 to watch, $2 to perform)
11:05 a.m. Campus Forum: Mark DeMoss. 7:00 p.m. Spelling Bee (Varsity Theatre) 7:30 p.m. Guest Artist Robert Brandt (vocal performance) Madsen Recital Hall, HFAC. 8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night @ Velour ($3 to watch, $2 to perform)
6:30 p.m. FHE at the Education in Zion Gallery (atrium of JSB).
11:05 a.m. Devotional: Michael Dunn, Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science
7:00 p.m. The Merchant of Venice. HFAC.
7:30 p.m. The Deseret Chamber Trio. Madsen Recital Hall, HFAC.
7:30 p.m. The 39 Steps @ Hale Center Theater.
Ronald Reagan’s Birthday
7:00 p.m. FHE @ The Museum of People and Cultures: Student Tour. 7:30 p.m. The 39 Steps @ Hale Center Theater Orem
8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night @ Velour ($3 to watch, $2 to perform)
11:05 a.m. Devotional: Tom Fletcher, Chemical Engineering 8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night @ Velour ($3 to watch, $2 to perform)
All day: Add Deadline All day: Winter 2012 Tuition Deadline 7:00 p.m. BYU’s Got Talent (Varsity Theatre) 8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night @ Muse Music Cafe ($1) 8:00 p.m. Jason and the Astronaut @ Guru’s Cafe (Free)
All day: 2012 LDS Film Festival. (SCERA Center for the Arts). Visit ldsfilmfestival.org for show times. 10:00 a.m. BYU Career Fair (WSC Ballroom) 7:00 p.m. The Merchant of Venice (Margetts Theater, HFAC). Until Feb. 4th. 8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night @ Muse Music Cafe. $1.
9:30 a.m. Opera Screening at Orem Library. (Free).
6:30 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. Loyola Marymount (Marriott Center) 7:30 p.m. Wheatley Lecture: Harold Brown (former Secretary of Defense). Madsen Recital Hall, HFAC 8:00 p.m. Unplugged! @ Muse 9:00 p.m. Salsa Dancing @ Salsa Chocolate (116 W Center St, Provo). $5.
7:00 p.m. John Allred @ Guru’s Cafe (Free)
7:00 p.m. Matt Costa Live @ BYU (WILK Ballroom)
7:30 p.m. BYU Hockey vs. University of Colorado (Peaks Ice Arena)
5:00 p.m. People’s Market 6th Annual Seed Swap at Community Food Co-Op of Utah (1726 S 700 W SLC).
8:00 p.m. The Event: The War on Winter (WILK). $3. Activities include dancing, photo booth, laser tag.
7:00 p.m. Men’s Volleyball vs. USC (Smith Fieldhouse)
8:00 p.m. Student Review party at Muse Music Cafe. $6.
“Life Aquatic” Artist William James’ Pottery @ Art at the Main. January 16 - February 11 200 East 400 South, SLC.
7:00 p.m. “I Was a Male War Bride” - BYU Motion Pictures Archive Film Series. Library Auditorium
11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The Merchant of Venice. (HFAC).
7:30 p.m. Dance in Concert @ BYU (HFAC).
7:30 p.m. Ruts and Weeds at The Great Salt Lake Guitar Company, 362 Center St., Provo.
7:30 p.m. Utah Crosstalk Concert (HFAC). Electronic music. Free.
Groundhog Day 7:00 p.m. The Merchant of Venice. (HFAC).
7:30 p.m. The 39 Steps @ Hale Center Theater Orem
7:30 p.m. Winterfest - Young Ambassadors. Conference Center Theater.
10 a.m. Ballet in Concert
7:30 p.m. A Night of Broadway @ SCERA Center for the Arts (Saturday also) 9:00 p.m. Salsa Dancing @ Salsa Chocolate (116 W Center St, Provo). $5.t
All day: 2012 LDS Film Festival.
7:30 p.m. Dance in Concert @ BYU (HFAC).
All day: 2012 LDS Film Festival.
7:00 p.m. Winterfest 2012 Choral Showcase. Conference Center Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Dance in Concert @ BYU (HFAC). 7:30 p.m. The Vibe: Move at Covey Center
7:30 p.m. “Blind Date” at Covey Center (a series of 4 short plays). $12 (Saturday also).
7:00 p.m. Winterfest 2012 Choral Showcase. Conference Center Theatre.
7:30 p.m. The Peking Acrobats @ BYU. de Jong Concert Hall, HFAC. (Saturday also).
8:00 p.m. Apt CD Release @ Muse Music Cafe
7:00 p.m. The Merchant of Venice. (HFAC).
7:30 p.m. A Night of Broadway @ SCERA Center for the Arts (Saturday also).
10 a.m. Ballet in Concert 7:00 Women’s Gymnastics vs. Denver. Smith Fieldhouse 7:00 p.m. Date Night at Education in Zion Gallery 7:00 p.m. “Princess O’Rourke” BYU Archive Film Series. Library Auditorium. 7:30 p.m. Winterfest - Young Ambassadors. Conference Center Theater.
ONGOING EVENTS “The Clothesline Project: Break the Silence” @ Woodbury Art Museum (2nd Floor University Mall). January 3 - March 3 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. Power of Teaching Lecture Series: Barbara Culatta (115 McKay Building).
9:00 p.m. Salsa Dancing @ Salsa Chocolate (116 W Center St, Provo). $5.
8:00 p.m. Eric Richins @ Guru’s Cafe (Free)
7:00 p.m. Men’s Volleyball vs. USC (Smith Fieldhouse)
7:30 p.m. Winter Choirfest @ de Jong Concert Hall, HFAC.
8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night @ Muse Music Cafe ($1)
All day: 2012 LDS Film Festival.
7:30 p.m. The 39 Steps @ Hale Center Theater.
All day: 1st Block Withdraw deadline
7:00 p.m. Grand Pianos live. Madsen Recital Hall, HFAC.
8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night @ Muse Music Cafe ($1)
7:00 p.m. The Merchant of Venice. (HFAC).
8:00 p.m. Karaokee @ Guru’s
7:30 p.m. The 39 Steps @ Hale Center Theater Orem 8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night @ Muse Music Cafe ($1) 8:00 p.m. Eric Richins @ Guru’s Cafe (Free)
The 39 Steps @ Hale Center Theater Orem (show runs until February 11. Check www.haletheater.org/ theater for show times). The Merchant of Venice @ Margetts Theatre, HFAC, BYU. January 25 - February 4. $4 (Child) $6 (Regular). Thanks to Eden Wen and her calendar blog covering everything that’s anything in the Provo area. Check out thecalendarowl. blogspot.com for more.
10 Student Review
Saratoga Springs mayor runs for Congress
photo courtesy love4utah.com
by hunter schwarz
Reaching out to politicians typically requires getting past their gatekeepers— communications directors, campaign managers, receptionists—but that’s not the case for Mia Love, congressional candidate for Utah’s 4th District. “Mommy, someone’s at the door!” Love’s son, 4-year-old Peyton, is her only gatekeeper this afternoon. She just got back from a five-mile run and apologizes, unnecessarily, for the state of her living room. For being a mother of three, congressional candidate and mayor of Saratoga Springs, Love keeps a pretty clean house. “I decided to run because all of the spending and the regulation,” she said as she cleaned the windows on her back door. “I realized what the future held for us … Society is going to leave a huge burden for our children.” Love announced her candidacy Jan. 5, which pits her against attorney Jay Cobb and state Reps. Stephen Sandstrom of Orem and Carl Wimmer of Herriman for the Republican nomination. If she makes it past them and wins the nomination, she’ll face incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson. It’s an uphill battle for a candidate with only 31 percent name recognition according to a December Dan Jones & Associates poll, but Love is confident she’ll catch up to the other candidates and win the race. “If I can make a difference, then I have an obligation to do it,” she said. Those she works with on the city council are sure of her abilities to connect with voters and win as well. Michael McOmber,
a member of the city council, got to know her two years ago while campaigning doorto-door, and admires her work ethic. “I’d be knocking doors and see her down the street,” he said. “Not everyone is willing to be out there doing that.” Love was elected to the city council in 2003 where she served for six years while Saratoga Springs’ population exploded. According to census data, it grew more than 1700 percent between 2000 and 2010. For a city experiencing such dramatic growth, building permits represented a revenue lifeline. That revenue dried up in 2008 with the crash of the housing market, leading to a $3.5 million shortfall. When Love was elected mayor in 2009, she had a lot of work to do. “She helped make the city secure again,” McOmber said. “She balanced the budget and lowered taxes.” For all the budget cuts Love made, she still managed to increase municipal services. In her time as mayor, she oversaw the construction of a public library and the creation of an arts council and literacy center thanks in large measure to volunteers and donations. “She loves her city and she’s very conservative in how she spends money,” McOmber said. “Her track record says it. It’s not rhetoric.” Love’s parents immigrated from Haiti to Brooklyn, N.Y. before she was
born—“legally,” she clarifies as she wiped down the kitchen table—with only $10 to their name. Her father “pulled himself up by his bootstraps.” It’s the example of her parents that propelled Love to “never take a handout” and “give back,” themes she talks about in her first campaign video posted on her website. If Love is elected to Congress, she’ll become the first black Republican congresswoman in history, something she seems to shrug off. When asked by reporters what role race and gender will play in the campaign she’s been known to respond by asking back, “Do you think anyone will notice?” “First and foremost, I consider myself a wife, a mother and an American,” she said. While aware of the historic nature of her campaign, Love believes the voters of Utah will ultimately choose her for her policies and work ethic. “It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get some work done,” she said. And if her work ethic in Congress is anything like her work ethic at home, she’ll clean house. ▬ email: firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @hunterschwarz
LIFE AFTER DIVORCE
by shirley grover and grant harper “THE PROBLEMS IN OUR MARRIAGE started slowly, but then snowballed into
something huge,” divorcee and current BYU student Chelsea Adams said. Adams is one of a number of BYU students or former students living in Provo who were once married and are now divorced. While the reasons are obviously personal and vary greatly from case to case, there are a number of common reasons for ending a marriage. “Sex, finances and family are the top three reasons for getting divorced,” said Nicole Trapp, a Provo divorcee. Others pointed to cultural practices surrounding courtship and marriage in the Provo area as contributing factors to their divorce—in particular, relatively short courtship and engagement periods. “I was in too much of a hurry,” said divorcee Bailey Cazinha. “I don’t want to relive my mistake.” Former BYU student and divorcee Becky, who asked that her last name be removed, said she left caution behind in her anxiousness to be married like so many others at BYU. “I was desperate to get married,” Becky said. “I just wanted to be loved and idealistic. Now I have some major life experience that helps me see red flags. It helps me see
FOR BYU STUDENTS
who good men are and what good men do.” James Beers is also a former BYU student and divorcee who felt he rushed into marriage too early. “I think I was socially immature,” Beers said. “I didn’t mature enough by the time I was looking for marriage.” Sean Trinniman, another divorced BYU student, shared his misconceptions prior to marriage, saying, “I did not anticipate the bigger things behind [marriage] that were manifested by those little idiosyncrasies ... the different styles of emotions people deal with, the different thought processes people have.” Still others felt an unhealthy sexual relationship made things difficult and became a source of dissonance. For many of the divorcees, when it came to the way society reacted to their decision to end their marriage they said they felt social dissonance or lack of understanding. Trapp emphasized the impossibility for those outside the experience of divorce to understand its true nature or necessity. “Unless you have been in that position of trying hard and praying to God on a daily basis, you don’t know and you have no place to judge,” she said. Persons involved in the decision of whether to divorce or not say can’t find
another viable option. BYU Professor Alan Hawkins, co-author of the guidebook, Should I Keep Trying to Work it Out: A Guidebook for Couples at the Crossroads of Divorce, said for those considering divorce, it is never an easy decision. “For the most part, people really wander through the wilderness and feel tortured by these decisions,” Hawkins said. Trinniman said he resisted the thought of divorce for a long time. “The first time it crossed my mind, I was like, ‘No, that’s not how it’s supposed to go,’ you know?” he said. “I thought a lot about it but I would push those [thoughts] out of my mind because I felt like I had to make it work. I owe it to my Heavenly Father and I owe it to my wife to try it.” In the guidebook Hawkins helped write, nearly half of all Utahans surveyed
responded “yes” when asked whether their marriage had ever been in trouble. While abuse and infidelity create heavy incentive for divorce, Hawkins said the majority of divorces are about other issues. “Most divorces are not because of those kinds of issues but because of feelings like: We’ve grown apart, we don’t love each other, this was a mistake and we’re not happy,” he said. “Those are the situations in which people need to be a lot more careful.” For those experiencing marriage difficulties, there are several resources including counselors at the BYU Counseling Center and marriage education classes. All those who were interviewed agreed bishops are not substitutes for marriage counselors. “I would recommend first going to counseling,” Trinniman said. “Ecclesiastical leaders are great, but I think it should
“My family didn’t know how to take [my divorce]. The time that I wanted to talk it out most, they weren’t there.”
12 Student Review
Lack of commitment: 73%
Too much arguing: 56% Infidelity: 55% Marrying too young: 46% Unrealistic expectations: 45% Lack of equality in relationship: 44%
Source: National Fatherhood Initiative Title: With This Ring Year: 2005 Note: People often give more than one reason, therefore the percentages add up to more than 100%
Lack of preparation for marriage: 41% Abuse: 29%
Percentage of respondents
photo by annelise white
be done secondly after going to a counselor because I don’t think all bishops are qualified necessarily.” A study published in the American Journal of Family Therapy shows 80 percent of couples see some improvement in their relationship after visiting a marriage counselor. “[Counseling] really helped us not waste so much energy fighting each other,” Trinniman further explained. “It helped us think more clearly.” Beers, on the other hand, did not seek out marriage counseling which, he said, is one of his greatest regrets. “I think that’s one of the things that I feel most guilty about,” he said. Returning to single life and dating is different for every individual. These challenges can include reactions of family and friends as well as ward members and ecclesiastical leaders. For Trapp, this was a difficult and painful issue. “My family didn’t know how to take it,” she said. “They didn’t know what to say. The time that I wanted to talk it out most, they weren’t there.” The situation becomes further complicated when children are involved, as was the case with Beers. “I felt very alone. I still get that pressure today that the father should just pay child support and the mother should nurture,” Beers said. “All I can say to the men who are involved is to be tough and be strong.” In general, divorcees in Provo said they often find themselves in frigid waters as they explore the dating pool at BYU and the surrounding Provo area. “After being divorced,” Adams said, “dating is a lot more stressful because I feel like men judge me because I was married
before. It never seems to matter that I am an active, temple worthy member of the LDS Church.” In advising others on what they can do to avoid premature marriage, many focused on the need to take time to feel secure individually before including someone else as a part of one’s identity. Also, many reported feeling that the period of time following a divorce can be a productive one. “Don’t be afraid to be alone,” Beers encouraged. “Work on yourself. Be willing to see what about your divorce was your fault and work on that.” Others said it was important to look for the positive in life. “Look for the good that Heavenly Father puts in your life after the divorce,” Trinniman said. “Make yourself proud of you again. Do the things that you want to but you didn’t get the chance. Take a little time to get yourself back on your feet.” Becky cited the scriptures and her relationship with God as a safety net during the process. “There are things that need to be changed within you so you don’t keep attracting the same people or being attracted to them,” she said. “Turn your heart to the Lord as much as you possibly can. Read your Book of Mormon every day. That will bring the spirit into your life.” Finally, Adams said she relied upon friends during the post-divorce phase. “I told things to my closest friend that I didn’t feel like I could tell to anyone else,” she said. “Don’t bottle up all the pain. Let out your emotions and you will heal faster." ▬
Media and sexuality by christopher michaels
Female sexuality in pop culture has taken drastic changes over the years, largely beginning with the advent of the talking picture. In 1932, a beautiful dame named Mae West found her spotlight on the big screen and instantly became a sex symbol of the time. She went against the social norms, displaying how a woman can not only compete in a man’s world but also conquer it. West would probably be the best known sex symbol of all cinema had it not been for the immortalized Marilyn Monroe. Monroe solidified her sexuality in 1950 where she played a mistress in The Asphalt Jungle. From there, Monroe built on what West had created: she used her sultry looks and suggestive movements to mesmerize audiences and gain international fame. Her escapades on and off screen completely changed American culture, and, in return, women began to realize the power they held in their own sexuality. Monroe was, as many have said, ahead of her time; yet the message she and West sent about independence, sexuality and female power quickly went from exclamation to exploitation. As the field of entertainment evolved, the realization came that female sexuality sold. In fact, it was Marilyn Monroe who graced the cover of the first Playboy magazine in 1953. Since these early pioneers of sorts, women have labored under the expectation to exploit themselves more and more. And the more that is revealed, the thinner the women become. What was once a swimsuit calendar for Sports Illustrated is now a no-suit calendar. Since the introduction of Playboy, dozens of other pornographic magazines have come forward (my last count was at least 30 not including soft-core magazines such as FHM, Maxim and Stuff). The list continues to grow and is countless in the digital world. The marketing media has convinced us sex sells and that women must be willing to show a sexual side in order to succeed in the entertainment world. This is perfectly exemplified in the Disney starlets. In order to be taken seriously, they try to shed their Disney image. Yet shedding their image literally means shedding their clothes. Miley Cyrus, Anne Hathaway and Lindsay Lohan are just a few good evidences. They believe to be taken seriously they have to lose the modest good girl act, show some skin and let their sexuality come through.
These girls have referenced starlets of the past; one went so far as to even mimic a Marilyn Monroe photo shoot in 2008. They believed they were going against the social norms of today and embodying what women are about. However, this is not 1950: the social norm has changed. These women are not going against it; they are falling in line with it. Their acts of seduction are not brave or inspiring; rather, they are cowardly and disheartening. It is for this reason that I bring praise to the real symbols of feminine beauty of our day—the ones who refuse to follow the social norms and declare their independence as women. Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame stated, “I find the whole concept of being ‘sexy’ embarrassing and confusing … What’s sexy about saying, ‘I’m here with my boobs out and a short skirt, have a look at everything I’ve got?’ My idea of sexy is that less is more. The less you reveal the more people can wonder,” Mailonline.co.uk. Watson is not the only celebrity beginning to take a stand for being who they are on and off camera. Taylor Swift, for example, is vigilant about keeping her behavior and attire in line as well. What is more impressive is that these stars are some of the most desired young stars of our day. They are attractive, no question there, but what society is telling them will kill their career is what has made these girls popular. Watson, despite all the media attention, has not caved to peer-pressure and neither has Swift. They are shining examples that real women can stand up for what they believe in. They are comfortable with who they are, rather than what everyone else thinks they should be. So next time you want to go against the social norm, embrace who you are as a woman: a person of value who is worth the wait. ▬ Thoughts or opinions? email@example.com
Utah ranked No. 1 place to put on lists to create buzz by hunter schwarz
Salt Lake City was recently named the gayest city in America by the gay and lesbian magazine Advocate. Using criteria like whether the city has openly gay elected officials, a WNBA team or softball teams that competed in the Gay Softball World Series, the magazine tallied city’s scores and divided it by population. Readers and commentators were surprised Utah’s capital and the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was No. 1 ahead of cities like San Fransisco and New York, and I assume that’s exactly the response the list’s creators were hoping for. It generated buzz for the magazine as people posted, tweeted and wrote about the list. At least Advocate made it look like there was some semi-logical reasoning behind their rankings, though. Provo and BYU did not receive the same courtesy they were ranked on lists last year. GQ named Provo the 15th worst dressed city in America and the Rogers and Littleton Guide to America’s Douchiest Colleges placed BYU No. 6. Both rankings might have had a point. Far too many people around here wear Hollister and American Eagle like its 2005 and alarm-system-selling, flat-brimmedhat-wearing, tanning-salon-loving Provo All-Stars are a common sight on campus. These explanations, however, were not the ones used by either publication to defend their lists.
It didn’t even seem like anyone from GQ or the Rogers and Littleton Guide had ever been to Provo, and their explanations played off stereotypes. Both made jokes about garments and both assumed we dress like Mormon missionaries all the time. “We are gonna give them a break for the obvious—the undies are divinely ordained—and skip ahead to the big picture,” said Andrew Richdale in GQ. “When you are selling one hell of a far fetched story, billowing short-sleeved shirts, monster-width ties, and painfully-visible undershirts don’t make things easier to swallow.” As Mormonism continues to grow and gain wider acceptance, we can expect it to play a bigger role in the pop culture conversation. I assume one day, the average American will have an understanding of Mormon missions and sacrament meetings the same way they do about things like Catholic confession and Mass. With that understanding and acceptance will also come jokes and stereotypes, something these list makers have taken advantage of. They use places like Salt Lake City, Provo and BYU as shallow symbols to poke fun of a religious minority. Sounds like the No. 1 laziest way to make a list to me. ▬ email: firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @hunterschwarz
cartoon by jon uland. visit mimeintheforest.com and follow on twitter @JonUland
14 Student Review
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Do we still love Britney? by dustin robinson
Is Britney still relevant? The use of the word “relevant” in pop culture is an oxymoron, after all. While on the rare occasion a celebrity will do something that really matters, most in the world of pop are just there to provide us with a mindless distraction— nothing more. I mean, hey, “We R Who We R.” So in discussing Britney’s relevance, we’re really talking about where she stands in terms of public consciousness. First, it should be stated that there is a crucial difference between current relevance based on current contributions versus overarching relevance based on past contributions. Take Madonna. In 1989, she’d sold a bazillion albums, signed a deal with Pepsi and was publicly condemned by the Vatican. Millions liked her and everyone paid attention to what she did. Now, who cares? Can you name the movie she recently directed? What about her last two singles? Madonna is not known for what she’s doing, she’s known for what she did. That’s the difference between current relevance and overarching relevance, and it is the former that we’re trying to figure out with Britney. The easiest way to determine relevance is to compare sales. Unfortunately, the music industry is rather reticent regarding such data. While sales are sometimes announced, the data isn’t consistent and detailed enough to use. Because of this, we’re forced to turn to other sources to settle the debate. With Twitter, Metacritic, Facebook and Youtube as our guides, we’ll be able to determine once and for all, until something changes, if Britney Spears is still relevant. We all still kind of love Britney Spears for telling us all she was a virgin as her nose grew longer and pants lit on fire, for inspiring some of Justin Timberlake’s amazing “I’ll teach you to break up with me” songs, and for cranking out some truly great, albeit trivial music back in her heyday, but that doesn’t mean she’s still relevant in the here and now. And believe you me, as hard as this is to hear, it’s equally if not more difficult to deliver. Cue Adele’s “Someone Like You.” ▬
Twitter Followers: Britney Twitter: 11,827,496 (12/16/2011) Katy Twitter: 12,940,203 (12/16/2011) Gaga Twitter: 17,017,880 (12/16/2011) Ke$ha Twitter: 2,482,189 (12/16/2011) Rihanna Twitter: 10,993,484 (12/22/2011) Ranking: 1) Gaga 2) Katy 3) Britney 4) Rihanna 5) Ke$ha Analysis: Twitter is more for members of the media and pop culture junkies than it is the average music consumer. Hence, the difference between Ke$ha and everyone else. Facebook Fans: Britney FB: 15,633,655 (12/16/2011) Katy FB: 36,811,452 (12/16/2011) Gaga FB: 45,715,650 (12/16/2011) Ke$ha FB: 17,078,495 (12/16/2011) Rihanna FB: 48,064,111 (12/23/2011) Ranking: 1) Rihanna 2) Gaga 3) Katy 4) Ke$ha 4) Britney Analysis: There’s a difference between “following” someone and “liking” them. A big one. Here, Britney was surpassed even by Ke$ha.
cartoon by wes hotchkiss. visit hotchkisscomics.tumblr.com for more.
Metacritic Scores (past two albums): Britney: Femme Fatale - 67 Britney: Circus - 64 Average: 65.5 Katy: Teenage Dream - 52 Katy: One of the Boys - 47 Average: 49.5 Gaga: The Fame Monster - 77 Gaga: Born this Way - 71 Average: 74 Ke$ha: Cannibal - 73 Ke$ha: Animal - 54 Average: 63.5 Rihanna: Loud - 67 Rihanna: Talk that Talk - 62 Average: 64.5 Ranking: 1) Gaga 2) Britney 3) Rihanna 4) Ke$ha 5) Katy Analysis: Critical acclaim for an album is about as good of a gauge of relevancy as it is of a motion picture or TV series. In other words: it’s not. Ask Arrested Development.
Student loses iPhone, has BYUSA presidential to be hospitalized campaign 2012 Last Tuesday, BYU junior Haley Anderson was found wandering the Harold B. Lee Library looking disoriented and shaky. Library officials first heard about it when Anderson approached the Circulation Desk looking nauseous and asking in highpitched tones whether anyone had seen her iPhone. Meanwhile, the struggling student continued to hold her hands and move her fingers as if she were texting on an invisible phone, a condition known in the psychiatric community as “phantom texting.” Due to her extreme anxiety, library officials immediately dispatched a number of employees to assist Anderson in her search. Once it became clear to Anderson that her phone could not be located, she began to have difficulty breathing, which is when she was rushed to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment. According to the American Psychiatric Association, Anderson was suffering from an increasingly common condition known as “Smart Phone Dependence Disorder,” in which a person experiences a psychiatric break from reality when separated from their mobile device. Anderson was released once it was determined that she was not a threat to herself or others, but her family remained concerned. Two days after her release they held an intervention—one Anderson said was very much needed. “I was really annoyed and defensive when I walked into my living room and found my parents, siblings, friends and uncle Buford sitting there expectantly,” she said. “I knew what they were up to.” Several ultimatums and emotional letters later, Anderson reluctantly agreed to go to therapy and to begin a 12-step program. “I realize now that I was in major denial,” she said. “I would use my money for a higher data plan instead of buying food. I had a closer relationship to my Siri personal assistant than to Jesus. I couldn’t have a face-to-face conversation without interrupting it to tweet, friend, poke, or text. I would constantly pat myself down to reassure myself that Janini, ahem, I mean my phone was still there. Janini was my phone’s name. I’m not supposed to say it anymore. It’s part of the recovery process.” Now that she is in recovery, Anderson reflects on the things that have helped prevent a relapse. “With SPDD you just have to take it one
by berta marquez
photo by gemma grover
day at a time,” she said. “There are days when I find myself fantasizing about the fun times my phone and I had together. I mean, we were inseparable. Now I have to avoid high-risk situations that could trigger a relapse.” Anderson said this mostly includes avoiding Apple stores and electronic stores in general. She said her therapist suggested she ask people to refrain from using iPhones in her presence. The APA has provided some guidelines for recognizing if someone is suffering from SPDD. If you meet five of the 11 criteria below you may want to consider getting professional help. These symptoms include: • You sleep with your phone • You have had multiple close calls while driving due to driving • Your smart phone has a name and a wardrobe including a variety of charms, cases and sleeves. You personally bedazzled a number of them • You use your phone to avoid eye contact or having to have a conversation with others • You get asked out to a dance and you find yourself wondering if there’s an app for that • The moment you begin to feel insecure, you reach for your phone • If your dorm were on fire you would rescue your phone, tweet about it, and then (and only then) consider retrieving your roommates • You decline invitations to activities where you might not get coverage, such as camping • You often experience phantom pocket vibrations • Your significant other feels jealous of how much time and attention you devote to your phone ▬
by grant harper
Wed., Jan. 11, 2011. 3380 Wikinson Center. BYUSA Potential Officer Interest Meeting. I prepared myself to throw open the door and discover masses of people lining the rows of the Little Theatre. I was ready to take on the throngs of aspiring leaders at BYU. I walked in and struck my most charismatic pose and paused. Was I early? I checked my watch: 3:59 p.m. So why were there only four people in the room? I walked toward the front of the room and found that two of the four (now five) individuals in the room were BYUSA’s own Elections Chair Thomas Montoya III and Elections Director Adrian Klemme. The presentation began. I listened intently and furiously scribbled on my engineering paper (It costs more, but it makes you look smart). Everything was sounding great. I was memorizing the hierarchical organization of BYUSA and I could almost see my beaming face emanating from the top of the pyramid on the screen. Then, the current BYUSA president walked in the room. Do you know his name? Well, neither did I, but I hung on to every word Ryan said. “I have been incredibly changed by BYUSA,” Ryan said. I thought to myself, “That’s all well and good Ryan. I’m glad it changed you, but how much did you change it? Listen up Ryan. After my presidency, I won’t have changed at all, but BYUSA will never be the same.” The presentation continued with the list of requirements: a minimum of 2 semesters of leadership experience? And one must be with BYUSA? If it weren’t for blue pancakes every fall semester I would not even be aware of the group’s existence. But even if I can’t submit my application the traditional way, I will still win the presidency. Doubt it? Read on. You may ask how I know the wishes of the BYU student population. The answer? The Reader’s Forum in the Daily Universe. Based on what you all have written—and I’m going to assume the Daily Universe represents all of you perfectly—I have established the following running platform. My 10 Campaign Initiatives: 1. Two entrances to the library. The 300 ft (measured by my loyal staff) journey from the snack zone to the headphone ringing security devices is all too far for dedicated tuition-paying, hard working, middle class students to bear. Construction will begin as soon as my victory is announced on March 1. I’m sorry Independent Study. You’re
being relocated to B-66 (the construction and pottery building in case you’re not familiar with it). 2. Mustaches will be outlawed (they make you look like an outlaw) and beards will be required. Men won’t have to invest half their savings in shaving cream, the stress levels of employees in the ID center will go down, and the scruffy look will increase dating. Win, win, win. 3. The Cougareat will be bulldozed. I know what you’re thinking. What about the conference rooms above it? Don’t worry, it’s all in the plan. We’ll sell tickets to the explosive demolition (complete with a fireworks display) and set up stands around campus. We’ll call it, “Fire in Earnest” and all proceeds will go to constructing new conference rooms equipped with ball pens—you know, the kind recently banned from McDonalds for safety reasons. 4. The duct that blows hot air outside the SWKT will be named for J. Golden Kimball. No explanation needed. 5. All Labs (especially the cadaver lab) will be open access. 6. Anything with wheels (that means you too, rolling backpacks) will be forbidden. 7. The grounds crew will be absolved from their mundane task of observing the already automatic circle of life (sprout, die, sprout, die) and will be hired to reshape all campus shrubbery into the busts of all the modern day prophets. 8. The mention of Graham Canyon ice cream will be punishable by death. 9. The tree of life sculpture will remain in the scrap metal yard (sorry civil engineers; I know that poster and plan took lots of hard work). In its place, a fire hydrant will be installed with the dual purpose of saving the SWKT from burning to the ground and as a memorial to Randy Bott in memory of his service as the “spiritual fire hydrant” of BYU campus. 10. The grassy area just north of the library will be gifted to the Quill and the Sword club as a “village green” in which they will be able to set up Renaissance camp in perpetuity. Campus. On Feb. 24 join me in Brigham Square to start a revolution. While the BYUSA-sanctioned candidates are engaging in their Q&A with “the student body,” we will organize a protest against the candidacy requirements in order to put me, your fearless leader, on the ballot. As Mickey Mouse, George Bush, Batman and Professor Kearl have been reported to say, I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it. ▬
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