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A question about BYU

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Sometimes I'll read something about BYU that seems to reference the fact that parents wrote the school and that that helped make a change. Or something like that. Since I attended a small, mostly-secular, midwest private school, the idea that parents would write to their child's university in protest doesn't make much sense. In my four years, I never once heard of anything like that happening at my school. So, my questions are:

1) Do parents of BYU students often (at least relative to other schools) write the school over school policy?

2) Are BYU alumni more likely to write to BYU about the 'direction' of the school than alumni to other schools?

3) Does BYU take parents' letters more seriously than other schools?

Of course, I am asking for generalizations. I really have no agenda here, just trying to understand part of BYU's relationship with the outside community. I'm particularly interested in the answer to #3. Anecdotes, feelings or hard data welcome.

6 Responses to “A question about BYU”

  1. Blogger Eric Russell 


    I would answer yes to all three. But without having served in the BYU administration, I don't really know, and I don't think anyone else does either.

    But I have heard, on a number of occasions, that policies have come from complaining parents. One fairly recent one was the new rule that you can’t make students watch R-rated movies for a class. I think there are a lot of members who, because of donations, tithing maybe, or simply religious affiliation, feel that BYU is their school and have beliefs as to the way it should be run. I think BYU should ignore these people, but like any business, they care about their customers.

  2. Blogger Jared* 

    I don't know the answers to your questions, but I think you'll find this Dialogue article by Paul Richards interesting. He formerly served as the director of Public Communications at BYU.

  3. Anonymous John Mansfield 

    The steps many schools take to curb problem drinking are aimed at concerns of parents, not students. To a lesser degree, that is also the case with their measures against sexual assault. BYU parents don't have as much to worry about with those two problems and can go on to other worries. They may also be more united as to what things worry them.

  4. Anonymous Susan M 

    Reminds me of an article I read recently:


  5. Blogger Susan M 
  6. Anonymous Sunbeam 

    I would agree that I think members feel more ownership of BYU. Personally, I DO feel more about BYUs decisions because they are interpretted as The Church's or worse, the Lords. For example, when BYU ran their College of Education into the ground and had an academically questionable president, I winced (and haven't quite recovered).

    BYU is not a normal university.

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