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Local Issues

The online wilkboard

The Wilkboard has traditionally been the place for BYU students to buy and sell housing contracts, cars, and just about everything else--now it is finally online and it is FREE!

It is a brand new site--in fact, starting tomorrow and continuing for the next three months will be an advertising campaign to generate traffic to the site and to the ads posted.

For BYU students and Provoans in general, take a minute and list ads for much more exposure--it takes less than a minute to register, and you can add many high quality pictures!

Suicide and Depression in Utah

This article details a growing problem in Utah: teen suicide. Utah's suicide rate is substantially above the national average. I think there are some unique factors that exist in Utah culture that could potentially contribute to suicidal tendencies and the depression that usually causes them.

Studies show that 90% of young people who commit suicide suffer from mental illness.
According to the Utah Youth Suicide Study, only 3% of Utah suicide victims were using psychotropic medications when they died, and only 2% were active in public mental health treatment.

The fact that LDS people get depressed, just like those from every other walk of life, is not new or groundbreaking. But how we perceive and deal with depression is definitely worth discussing.

The ridiculous price of textbooks

At the start of every semester an old argument resurfaces here at BYU: the ridiculous price of textbooks. Each semester there are angry letters to the editor casting blame at the BYU bookstore, the greedy professors, and whoever else is capitalizing on this business. And every semester the bookstore pleads innocence, trying to prove that they are trying to help the students. These issues are recycled at least twice a year.

I am graduating this semester, and so I will pass on a bit of advice to you BYU students (and probably UVSC as well) who have semesters still to go.

1. You are going to sign up for your classes way in advance, so why not take a trip to the bookstore and find out what books you're going to need a month or so before the semester starts? Just the same as buying your books, but instead just copy down the ISBN number and note the edition. This takes about two minutes per class.
2. If the cards posted on the shelves in the bookstore do not indicate future terms, email your professor. Professors are required to send out book order requests WAY in advance. This has long been a suspicion of mine, that the bookstore intentionally does not list necessary books until shortly before the semester starts, maintaining a corner on the market.

Utah County HS site hits net, looks for writers

UC Haven, a new website to hit the web, has attracted many high school students from all around the county. The site was created to attract high school students from all over Utah County and give them the ability to communicate with each other through forums. The site offers alot more than just forums however. It includes local sports information, info about each school, lists of free stuff, and most popular, by teens and adults, is the funny videos section. The website is continuing to grow and is looking promising. It's also looking for utah county students who are interested in writing. Being a writer is very laid back and easy to get on. To find out more about the website, visit

Is your neighbor a sex offender?

I found this link from the abc news website and I decided to look up sex offenders in Provo; I was shocked to find 58 offenders in a 3 mile radius around my house! Can you believe that?! After looking over other towns in Utah, it seems that Provo has an extraordinary amount of sex offenders living here. What is even more disturbing are the amount of these offenders living next to elementary schools. If you do a search in Provo, you will find them gathered around the schools in groups. Just crazy.

Thank goodness this site is there for us to search. I wonder why Provo has so many more offenders here than any other city in Utah?

Update: UTA actually listened!

UTA Press Release
UTA to Postpone Proposed Temporary
$.25 Fuel Surcharge until June 2006

In its regular monthly meeting today, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Board of Trustees supported a recommendation to postpone the implementation of a temporary $.25 fuel surcharge until June 2006. UTA General Manager John Inglish suggested postponing the increase due to technical and logistical difficulties to implement the surcharge by Jan. 1.

What does this mean? No quarter increase. The Ed-Pass contracts are up in June, which means that they can re-negotiate the extra into the new contracts. Expect the price of the pass to go up (or tuition, for UVSC students), but expect that it'll be less than half of what you WOULD'VE paid, had this gone through.

Interestingly enough, they listed the fact that violating the Eco-Pass contracts was an issue... but second to "How will people figure out how to put an extra quarter in the TRAX ticket machines?"

UTA decides to modify their end of the bargain

Today I was surprised to open that fine piece of journalism we call the Daily Universe and see this in the paper. To summarize, Utah Transit Authority is planning on charging students an extra quarter per ride to compensate for high gas prices, beginning in January.

Now, I realize that gas prices have hit everyone pretty hard. Especially those who need to commute. But... revising a price the students already agreed on? I, for one, weighed the pros and cons with getting a bus pass. I chose an apartment that sits along one of the bus routes, away from campus (also, most freshman and other loud and annoying students), knowing that the bus was free. Of course, the week after I signed my year contract, BYU announced bus passes were not free, and would cost $60. I didn't really care for that change, especially not seeing any logic, whatsoever, in giving out free Y-passes, but $60 is not unreasonable in terms of bus usage for a year.

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