BYU t-shirt banning, an overreaching policy

Barbara Finlinson, Staff Writer, @bubblestweets

During the student body election debates last Tuesday, presidential candidate Tyler Brklacich, of Team Rise, mentioned he’d like to ban students from wearing BYU t-shirts on campus. In the words of Ace Ventura: “Alrighty then.”

In my opinion, a student body presidential candidate who may or may not in the future be in control of millions of UVU dollars should have more important issues on his mind. This is college. I think most of us are at least trying to act like adults.

Whether you like BYU or not, you should be slightly alarmed to hear a student body presidential candidate express the desire to dictate what you can or can’t wear. This is UVU and the last time I checked we are located in the United States of America, where freedom still reigns and people can choose to wear what they want. Or can we?

Last week it was reported that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that bans students at a northern California high school from wearing t-shirts with the American flag on them during Cinco de Mayo. If that surprises you, rest assured you aren’t the only one. Fox News quoted the mother of a student affected by the decision stating: “This is the United States of America. The idea that it’s offensive to wear patriotic clothing, regardless of what day it is, is unconscionable to me.” Many people were outraged over the ruling. The Appeals Court upheld the ruling to try and curb the violence that has erupted in the past on that day due to the shirts.

But this is UVU, there isn’t any violence going on between students who outwardly show support for their school. Actually, maybe there is. You’d know it first-hand if you happened to attend the game on Thursday night between UVU and NMSU where UVU dominated in overtime with a victory of 66-61. Fans rushed the court after the game and a brawl ensued. Security personnel and coaches did their best to curb the violence and news reported no injuries, but it was clear the rivalry brought heated emotions. Could sports be the real issue?

Many of those BYU t-shirt wearers are in it for exactly that, the sports. They don’t necessarily love the schools, but they are die-hard fans of the team. I’m not sure I know of a single sports fan that would enjoy being told they could not wear their favorite team on their clothing. Do you know one?

Whether said in jest or in all seriousness, I would like to know how Team Rise would enforce such a rule. I can see it all now. There would be husky security guards stationed at all entrances policing clothing and checking bags for paraphernalia from other schools. When an offending party was found, they would be asked with force to go home and change.

Okay, maybe it wouldn’t go down quite like that, but I’d like to hear exactly what team Rise has in mind. I sent a shout out to Tyler for an interview on the subject. So far my attempts at communication have not been answered.

This is why it is important to pay attention to the issues at school elections. This is why you should attend the student body election debates. This is why it is important to vote. We have rights. This is America. If you don’t know that, go and read the First Amendment of the Constitution.

George Orwell, a famous journalist, novelist and critic, once said: “Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”

Tyler, don’t turn this into a dictatorship. Let us not force the people to wear clothing that supports UVU. We should, instead, make UVU so amazing people wouldn’t have the desire to wear the shirt of another campus while in these grand old halls. I think it’s possible.


3 thoughts on “BYU t-shirt banning, an overreaching policy

  1. I attended BYU about 10 years ago. Whenever I went to the BYU testing center, I always wore my UVSC polo. I had picked the shirt up at DI, and it turned out to be a lucky charm for me. I did get some pretty strange looks from other students in the testing center.

    The only up side to UVU banning BYU clothing on UVU’s campus would be that it shows that UVU is more self righteous and pretentious than BYU.

  2. My question is what about shirts from other institutions like Utah State or the University of Utah? Is Tyler simply targeting the closest example or is there an epidemic of BYU shirts at UVU? I imagine the abundance of BYU paraphernalia is due to the fact that they are the closest major Div.1 school to UVU. I also imagine there are quite a few students at UVU who at one point chose to attend BYU or are attempting improve grades enough to apply to the school…much how SLCC is to Utah. I’m not comparing UVU to SLCC, but in terms of registered students supporting a local major university, I imagine UVU and SLCC are in the same boat. Then again, maybe this is all just about an underlying hatred for the LDS religion being masked by a pseudo-pride in one’s school and attempt to appear politically correct while attacking a differing religion. Just curious.

  3. I agree that BYU shirt banning is an overreaching policy, but, come on, is that really going to happen? Of course not. It is silly to think that a Student Body President has that kind of power. Obviously his comments were wrong and politically motivated, or perhaps made in jest. Most of the article’s points work. However, it is obvious that the Student Body President doesn’t control millions of dollars, as you suggest; that would be incredibly irresponsible. The UVUSA facilitates student activities at the recommendation of the Student Life administration and the students. Their budget is not exclusively theirs. And obviously, as the author states, the student body president couldn’t issue or enforce that kind of rule. Maybe Vlad Putin could, but he’s not in Orem, Utah, for now. The “Wolverine Pride” article makes more absurd claims: See http://www.uvureview

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