Home Opinion Campus decision makers should listen to students

Campus decision makers should listen to students

This semester, Student Activities announced men’s and women’s recreational basketball was removed from the intramural program.

While the organization is keeping coed and competitive programs for both men’s and women’s basketball on the schedule, students shared their feelings about the decision.

“The recreational & social activity of college students lives and breathes on campus,” said Peyton Dunnaway in a Facebook comment. “Off campus, there’s no quality facilities geared to handle a massive population of adult men & women who want to organize sporting events and release pent up stress and energy.”

We as a Scroll editorial board urge the decision makers on campus to consider the concerns of students and their extracurricular activity more broadly.

This process of the school “simplifying” their offerings in activities and changing began when the university announced the discontinuation of Student Associations.

When Scroll approached the university in September 2017 about the announcement, officials responded by saying the university would be focusing “more on retention and on completion from now on.” Statistically, one in four freshmen who start their education in BYU-Idaho does not finish it. Additionally, they said only 58 percent of students were graduating at the time.

In an email response to a student, Student Activities Advisor Ryan Hansen said the President’s Executive Group has directed Student Activities to “reduce” and “simplify” their offerings. While the decision was ultimately made by student activities, over the past semesters, administrators on campus have been cutting back or “simplifying” their offerings.

This was the same published reason, Badger Creek was closed in December 2017.

How does a university expect to retain students without popular extracurricular offerings?

We at Scroll know education is important. We believe the process of learning involves much more than books. Students need time to relax and participate in activities such as student associations and a wide selection of intramural offerings.

The school offers Academic Societies, which focuses on students’ educational endeavors and not hobbies or other interests students find to escape from the constant demands of university study.

“I’m tired of not getting any real explanations from the President’s Executive Group about big decisions on campus, ” said Mikelle Pouwer in the comments. “They need to ask the students more questions before changing everything.”

BYUI does have a Student Representative Council, which says their mission is “to represent students to the administration, encourage relationships between students and administration, and work with peers to develop disciple-leaders.”

Representatives sit in on 20 administrative councils to “ask questions and bring a student perspective to ensure all decisions are made in the best interests of the Student Body.”

Students have spoken, even creating petitions stating their concerns with the choices being made but are often ignored and responded to continue in an effort to “simplify” the university’s offerings.

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