At the moment, one of the goals in my life is to get into the University of Washington. This has been somewhat of a life-long dream of mine – ever since I was a kid, I felt a tug towards UW instead of BYU. I chose to go to BYU anyway, and though there were…struggles, I guess I came out a better, more wise, more experienced, more compassionate person, and I ended up finding my True Love down there so all’s well that end’s well.
Though I still hold a little bit of angst towards BYU, I actually really admire BYU-I. According to my friends, their student government actually has teeth. They have instituted a program that requires every student to get a laptop and all textbooks are now electronic. Yeah, their rules are kind of harsh (no shorts, no flip flops, that kind of thing), but everybody there just seems so…happy. I have never met anyone who has come out of BYU-I with a bad experience. I came home my first first summer at BYU and my BYU-I friends would only gush about how much fun they had up there in the frozen tundras of Rexburg. I wondered what they were doing there that was so right – BYU left me frazzled and exhausted. My dad is Rick’s College alumni and when he heard about my troubles at BYU he wanted me to transfer to BYU-I. I didn’t, and I’m kinda glad because I met my wife later, but after I got married, I considered transfering up there at one point. I’m actually pretty sure I would have probably done pretty well.
So yeah. I actually like BYU-I. A lot. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it pretty well.
Which is why I cry for BYU-I. What an unfortunate name. Brigham Young University – Idaho? Really?
The problem is that damnable suffix. Why did you have to rename it after the original Brigham Young University and then suffix it? Why did BYU-I become a satellite school?
We have a satellite school here. It’s called the University of Washington – Bothell. I live close to Bothell. I once mentioned to my mother that I thought maybe I should apply there. She laughed. A lot. Because it’s a satellite school. If people see BYU or UW on your resume, they think, “Oh, nice.” When they see BYU-Idaho or UW-Bothell, they think, “What, they didn’t get into the real school?”
Which is a shame because BYU-I is a real school. It’s a pretty decent school. It’s not the same stature yet as BYU, but give it a time and I have a feeling that someday, they’ll surpass it for a lot of reasons that I won’t go into yet.
We have plenty of prophets, guys. Couldn’t we have renamed it something else? Named it after another prophet or another dead famous person that happened to be Mormon? It started out at Ricks College. Why not Ricks University? Why not Joseph Smith University, or Hyrum Smith University, or Pratt University or I dunno, something besides a name that is already taken? I’m not sure what was going on in the meeting when they decided on the name, but I can’t help but wonder if some greedy BYU representative saw it as a power grab, to make sure that no other Mormon school would ever rise to challenge their supremacy in the Western Inter-Mountain Region.
I just hope they throw off the shackles of BYU soon. Otherwise, they’ll never really be taken seriously. And that makes me really sad for some reason.