Monday, September 10, 2007

Follow up

Current mood: contemplative

OK, so no sooner did I post my last blog did I get a response from Kent State the very same day that I had been re-accepted (big surprise there...) AND that the late registration fee had been waived! So, all last week I got my schedule set and I also planned for next semester too. As it stands now, since I have to take 30 credits these next two semesters, I figured I might as well make something of them, so I'm going to have a minor in Political Science along with a BA in Music. I'll then go into the Master of Arts in teaching program.
I finalized my schedule before leaving Friday morning to go to my brother's wedding in DC, so I have 15 credits and 6 classes. Half my classes are Political Science and the other half music as I really don't have much to do to finish my BA in Music. Basically I just have to fill in the parts that I didn't have to take when I was a Music Ed major and that's a whole 9 credits or something.
For those who may be interested, I sent my formal termination notice to BYU-Idaho last week in a brief e-mail to everyone I dealt with over the three-week ordeal.

Here is the e-mail:
"After much thought and prayer, I have decided to terminate my relationship with BYU-Idaho. There will be no deferrment, no postponement, and no delay in my education at BYU-Idaho; it is simply over as I have already transferred to another university where I will continue my undergrad work and begin a masters program. I can no longer be associated with an organization that does not view or respect me as the adult I am simply because I am not married yet. While I, as much as anyone, want to graduate and move on with my life in that regard, I cannot just sit back and allow myself to be subject to the treatment I received at the hands of BYU-Idaho's administration, particularly from a school that touts itself as the "Lord's University." In being denied I have not been given sufficient reasons as to why the University's housing policy MUST be applied even outside of Rexburg and have been treated as some kind of unruly teenager in the process. This is a far deeper issue than simply not "getting my way." Had the University been able to supply some sort of logical arguments on their behalf, I may have been convinced to go ahead as originally planned as I have in other instances regarding policies and rules that I did not agree with. Unfortunately, the arguments that "it's policy" and "it's been that way for xx years and isn't going to change" aren't arguments at all; they are excuses for a policy which cannot be defended.
The bottom line is that BYU-Idaho has many policies and cultural ideas that are simply that: cultural ideas that are not doctrinally based principles. They are customs brought with the pioneers from 19th century America that the rest of the nation moved past, yet these customs and ideas persisted in the isolated western settlements and have been confused with gospel truth simply because they have been around for generations. There is no doctrinal support for the idea that someone is not an adult until they are married or turn 30 and thus should not be able to choose his or her own housing and should be treated like a child. Yes, marriage is important and something I am working towards, but my adulthood and maturity are not determined by when I have that opportunity.
I hope one day those at BYU-Idaho and in the Rexburg area will be better able to see the difference between the "foolish traditions of their fathers" and true gospel principles and have the courage to question why a policy is in place and be prepared to change or adjust it if necessary. Until then, BYU-Idaho is little more than a modern incarnation of the Pharisees, who were so concerned about rules that they didn't even know where they came from or why they did them, yet they still vehemently defended them.

Kent, Ohio"

Sent 4 September 2007.

The replies I got were actually pretty graceful. My former advisor Kevin Brower said:

"The decisions you have made over the past few weeks must have been extremely difficult. I do wish you well and hope to hear of your success often."
It's worth noting that Kevin Brower was very much of a support to me, though we didn't have contact until right after I got my final rejection from President Clark. It's because of him I don't utterly despise BYU-Idaho right now.

Even the secretary to President Clark sent me a short e-mail that said:

"Thank you for letting us know your plans. All of us who have been involved with and followed your situation over the past few weeks wish you well in your future endeavors."

So really, I guess we depart in relative peace. I don't absolutely HATE BYU-Idaho, though I have a very low opinion of their administration now and I have always had a low opinion of many of its policies and the culture. This experience has just cemented what I already knew. I had always hoped I was wrong about those people, but I was totally right. At least things are working out here and seemingly for the better. These first few days back have been interesting and weird too...being back at Kent State and all. I've also been comparing the two schools and looking at things I wish KSU did that BYU-I does and vice versa. So, time to move on and enjoy it! I will say I'm REALLY excited to have FREE access to KSU sporting events and the KSU Wellness Center again...I really missed those while I was at BYU-Idaho!

Oh, in case you were wondering, my brother's wedding to Heather Aamodt was WONDERFUL as was the reception in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The only thing was it was pretty hot and humid that day, but thankfully we didn't have to stay out TOO much! Look out for some of the pictures that I'll be posting soon!


Nari; September 10, 2007
Terrific letter! :)
I was going to ask how the wedding went...I'm glad all was well.

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