Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stirring the hornet's nest

I know I am probably taking my life in my hands but I have some questions I am hoping someone can provide me insight on.

1. Why do people who have never been to BYU or lived in Provo hate BYU? ( not just in a sports rivalry setting)

2. Why do these same people view it as a virtue to hate BYU?

I just had someone make comments the other day about the fact that people who want to go to BYU aren't listening to the prophet when he said go to state schools and participate in the institute programs, and they are just being "good mormon lemmings". These types of comments are usually followed by some sort of caveat about liking and knowing people who went to BYU but they just don't like the institution. That always feels to me like when a teenager will say something insulting and then follow it with "Just Kidding". Okay, I am stepping off the soapbox now, I am truly just trying to understand this phenomenon, any insight is appreciated.


Hillbillieclan said...

I'll start off by saying that BYU is a good school and has many good programs. Boyd K Packer also said within the last 15 years that it doesn't matter if you goto a 4 year school or a tech school, as long as you get an education.

My love to hate BYU attitude is in part because I went to USU. But also, I have friends that went to BYU that have the attitude "holier than though" just becuase they went to BYU. Just because you went to the church's school doesn't make you a better person. Another reason is that a friend of a friend went to BYU inorder to chase a football player. The athlete wound up being one of the top punt returners in the nation at the time. The young lady chasing him got pregneant while there in Provo. Instead of kicking the ball player off the team for not following the standards of the school, one of the coaches went to the young lady and told her that she needed to leave town till after the baby was born and was a few months old. I probably could give more reasons, but those are the my main beefs.

Hope all is going good for you guys. Regan and I will be in SV next week. We plan to go to Logan for a day. Hopefully we can get together.

Hillbillieclan said...

Oh yea, I'm sure it wasn't the prophet's intention to say that nobody should go to BYU. He was probably just indicating that to be a "good Mormon" that you don't have to go to BYU, that there are many as good as or better than BYU schools out there. It seems like a lot of people feel like that in order to be Mormon, you must goto BYU, that's one reason one they changed Rick's College to BYU Idaho, just so people could have that "BYU" on their diploma.

I think the whole BYU thing is more for those kids that didn't grow up in a predominently mormon community, so they could goto a school where they are finally surrounded by other members and can feel of their great spirits and love for the gospel.

Darcy said...

I don't have any comments about BYU, but I am really excited to have your blog, so we can see keep in touch a little better. Thanks!

Katie said...

Girl, I hear it all the TIME here in Ohio! I think the big reason though, at least for here, is that the parents feel like their kids are SO far away. That's okay. We still fly our BYU flag right next to our Buckeye one!

Bonnie said...

I can't afford to send my kids to a state school-- thus BYU
(Erica's Mom)

Bonnie said...

Erica's comment:
I grew up with friends who HATED BYU becasue of the UTAH mormons. When I went to the Y I had to agree that some of the kids from Utah were niave spoiled brats. I hated being from "the mission field" and frankly rolled my eyes at the NEED to be hyperfashionable up to date and always looking terrific.
Now that I have lived in utah for 15 years I feel sory for people who have never expeirienced having a friend with similar beliefs who wasn't LDS, who show their self worth in how well they "take care of themselves" and who take offence at jokes about Utah culture.
I love my neighborhood, friends and living in Utah-- just not the stigma that goes with it.

Mark said...

This is Sara, not Mark, but I had a couple comments. One, I think part of the reason for the GA comments in the first place is that so many many LDS kids apply to BYU, many more than they can accept. They want those kids to realize that they can be strong Mormons if they choose another school, that they can build up and participate in good Institute programs where they are.

I, as a non-Utah Mormon, did want to go to a school where I was surrounded by people of similar beliefs, after growing up being ridiculed for defending them in word and action. I struggled a little with the Utah Mormons attitudes, with still not fitting in, etc. And my parents don't have a good view of Utah Mormons from some of the things that have been said to them by former Utahns who moved back East, and acted as if they were better for coming from the Headquarters area.

I think a lot of the hatred though is reflex, ignorance, generalization, habit, etc. Like you posted, they haven't been there, don't know more than a few anecdotal cases to support their theories, and they have a higher expectation of BYU students because of the Honor Code and such, than of the average college student--referencing Hillbillieclan's comments about the girl and the football player and the coach.

Totally off the subject, in finding your blog today I typed in your names in the wrong order, and ended up with another Elizabeth and Brad, who included a child or one on the way, and was in for a shock, until I realized it wasn't your blog.

Hillbillieclan said...

You want "anectodal generalizations haven't been there." What about Jim Mcmann (former BYU and Bears quarterback). Didn't follow the rules, got to play, once his career with BYU football was over, he got booted before he could graduate. I grew up in California, very low member rate. I thought about following older sister to the Y, but woke up. I lived in Logan and loved Cache Valley. I've driven through "happy valley" many times to see the holier than though people the snub their noses up to others that don't dress right or want to live there.

Isn't Zion where ever there is a Stake of the curch? Anyway.

Hillbillieclan said...

This is the wife this time - It isn't the students that I'm holding to a higher standard, it's the school. Yes, people make mistakes, and part of that is taking accountability for them. If someone breaks the rules and gets a reprieve, then someone else should get the same treatment. Let's face facts, that doesn't happen anywhere. The high profile students always get the better treatment. A church owned school shouldn't make that mistake, they should hold ALL students to the same standard, which all students have to sign the code of conduct in order to attend classes.

I grew up in Rexburg, trust me Ricks (aka BYU-I) was just the same. Athletes got away with murder and the average Joe got the shaft. Girls were expected to be the epitome of the "Molly Mormon". Many girls, and boys, left the school because they wouldn't, or couldn't conform to the cookie cutter image that many demand. Upon leaving there they would find success and happiness at a state run school elsewhere, to forever have their opinion of all Utah/Idaho mormons to be negative. This is unfortunate because it often times is the only chance for that person to be with so many that share the same beliefs, yet we can't be more excepting of each others individuality.

Having grown up in "happy valley the smaller" and now living in the "mission field" I am much happier living there. The expectations to live your standards are still there without the demands for perfection that seem to be found in communities with a highly consentrated LDS population.

As for the antecdotal story that my husband first related, he KNOWS the girl and the PLAYER personally. This wasn't something that was just picked up by a friend of a friend of a friend. (Brad can actually vouch for this story). The story of Jim McMahon is published fact, read the book And They Came to Pass.

Having said all of this, I don't HATE BYU, I'm more apathetic. I just don't care one way or another.

nelsonville said...

I don't hate BYU at all. The Utes had a better football team this past season though. ;o) Love ya girl. I had so much fun visiting with you at Chelsey's reception. We'll have to keep in touch.