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Columbia University paper dogs BYU's reading habits

from the ned-flanders-comparisons dept.

The Daily Universe is running a story about the recent mocking we received from the Columbia Spectator in their article BYU's Reading List Pairs Sex, Religion, which says that visiting the BYU Bookstore "is like entering an alternate universe."

Check out this excerpt:

BYU’s non-fiction best-seller list is a subtler expression
of Utah’s culture. Titles include Near Christianity [note the funny misspelling] by
C.S. Lewis, Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson,
and—the only best-seller shared by Labyrinth—Reading
Lolita in Tehran
by A. Nafisi. Most of the other books on the
list concern marriage and child rearing—for example, The
Act of Marriage: the Beauty of S*xual [word changed to avoid being blocked again by BYU's filters] Love
, a guide written by
Tim and Beverly LaHaye to help couples have better s*x [ditto] while
upholding traditional marriage values. This makes sense when you
look at the breakdown of the campus: more than 35 percent of
BYU’s 40,000 students are married with children. But it is
still surprising that while New Yorkers are trying to understand
the cultural and political schism that plagues our country, BYU
students are learning about getting it on.

I especially appreciate their implication that we're nothing more than a bunch of ignorant Ned-Flandersesque fuddy-duddies who are too preoccupied with s*x [ditto] to pay attention to important issues. Somehow I think that's a little inaccurate.

Right on!

I think that there might be some merit with the Columbia Spectator article about the BYU Bookstore; however, I think there is a rather large and incorrect assumption that the paper's arguement is based upon: every BYU student buys and reads their books from the BYU Bookstore. Upon that assumption, it would be fairly simple to regard the rather lack-luster texts that are found within the BYU bookstore and draw the conclusion that all BYU students are ill served and ignorent to the rest of the world's issues.

However, a fair argument would actually look at the BYU library, rather than the BYU Bookstore, to base any conclusions on what BYU students actually read. I would argue that most students spend their time and most students get their material from the BYU library. I believe it is rather an egregious error to paint the whole BYU student population as reading text from "an alternate universe" whilst ignoring the fact the BYU has one of the best college librarys in the country. I would argue that this was an unfair and rather ignorent conclusion that was made by the paper.

Someone else

Columbia University has shed the light. You should belittle another culture in order to truly understand it. “But it is still surprising that while New Yorkers are trying to understand the cultural and political schism that plagues our country, BYU students are learning about getting it on.”

It is funny to see the evidence they produce to justify their ego-centric worldview. They treat the BYU bookstore as another Barnes and Noble, when in fact, the BYU bookstore’s aims are not to satisfy the greatest demand. Furthermore, how can you truly understand the political and cultural schisms in our country by marginalizing its religious implications?