BYU t-shirt banning, an overreaching policy

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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.