3.07.2008

Mindy & her experiences with people down south ...


My cute friend Nikki {a BYU alum - as well as a Logan native} posted something on her blog {it's private, otherwise I would link you to it} about USU's disdain towards BYU. She also made a few comments how BYU doesn't have a rivalry with USU. She said BYU must rub people the wrong way because many schools BYU play feel like they have an intense one-sided rivalry with them and she doesn't know why.

So this post will hopefully shine some light onto the situation. It will be done respectfully. And any comments that are disrespectful to any school, will be removed. :) This is not a platform to create hostility. It will simply be my experiences with some BYU students.

BYU is a fine institution. With fine not meaning "eh" or "so-so" ... Meaning a wonderful place to obtain your education and to compete as an athlete. Some of the most amazing people I have ever been blessed to cross paths with have gone there, Nikki included. She was a swimmer there. I don't know if you know this, but to be on many of BYU's athletic teams, you kinda have to be a big deal. For example, to just walk-on to the BYU's cross country team you have to be able to run one mile in 5:40, jog an 800, run another mile in 5:40, jog an 800, and then run a third mile in 5:40. One word: Ouch.

I have spent many-a day-on BYU campus. I worked there for about eight months of my life as an EFY counselor. I then lived off campus in Provo for six months.

Experiences that I was blessed to have there are ones I wouldn't trade for anything. However, there are still moments of negativity when interacting with the people there.

When I have mentioned to BYU students that I was a USU student I have had responses {most of which were actually said with complete kindness and sincerity, which almost makes it more interesting to think about that people genuinely feel that way}:

1. "Oh," frown. "I guess that is a good school too." With the impression left behind that they felt sorry for me that I had to go there, as if something was wrong with USU or me for attending there.

2. "Yeah, it's really hard to get into BYU." With the implication that I got rejected from or could not have attended BYU had I wanted to.

When I get remarks like this I generally respond with, "I only applied to USU. That's where I wanted to go."

With almost always a response similar to, "Really!?" shocked and almost unbelieving that someone would not want to attend BYU.

3. The constant "jokes" I heard from BYU students that UVU {notice, not USU, UVU} was made up of students who couldn't get into BYU. Even if that was an absolute fact {which it is not}, it is demeaning and degrading to every person who has ever, currently does, or ever will attend UVU.

4. Any reference to BYU being or being like the Church. I know this one causes quite a stir. When I look at the facts: 1. Everyone is commanded to go to Church and 2. Everyone is accepted to attend Church, BYU simply is not and is not "like" the Church ... and dare I say it, it is not the Lord's university. Was it founded by righteous men who are led by the Spirit? YES. However, if it was the Lord's school as the Church is the Lord's, everyone would be commanded to go there. And everyone would be accepted.

Saying it is the Lord's school implies the others are not {otherwise the clarification would not need to be made}. Which to me, comes across belittling to every member of the faith who does NOT attend the Lord's university, because by default that makes every other university less than {if you believe God is the utmost, supreme Being of course His university would be the utmost, supreme university}.

I know I was supposed to attend USU. I know of countless others who were given direction to attend other schools. I think the Lord is just happy that we are getting educations somewhere. And He needs His children everywhere. Some are blessed to attend BYU. Some are just as blessed to attend any.other.institution.

5. As part of my grand exit from Provo, I had to go on a tour of BYU campus. :) Throughout the tour I was given random facts about BYU {go figure}. And because my tour guide was familiar with my situation, that I was an Aggie more than ready to return to the place where the sage brush grows, he would constantly be prodding me to see how USU compared to BYU. It was fun. :)

When I would give him the facts, he was shocked to say the least. Shocked to find out the USU was one of the top schools in the entire nation for engineering, space and aerodynamics, education {special education in particular}, parks and rec {just to name a few things}.

Now, I don't expect people to know random facts about every university. However, the attitude from the get-go from my tour guide was, "BYU is better than USU and I will show you why" ... and it is interesting, because for a school that does not have a rivalry with USU {and I openly admit, they probably don't}, many students/fan have an automatic assumption that BYU is better. Where as, if you name any university in the country at random, I would have no reason to automatically assume that my alma mater is better.

6. "BYU does not have a rivalry with USU." Again, probably a true statement. But pray tell, how does a statement of, "Enjoy your loss, USU. - Love your Big Brother" get onto a scoreboard if there are genuinely no feelings towards USU {I know, I know ... one student. He got fired}? But the fact remains, some BYU fans/students do have feelings towards USU. And it is okay to admit it. Because when you don't, it comes across as, "We don't care about you enough to have a rivalry with you." Yet, they will sure get up in our grill when they beat us.

Believe it or not, in our conference, USU is the school the ALL other schools have a rival with. And do you know why that is? Because USU plays back and has rivals with them too, even the schools who have only beat us twice in the last 27 outings. While I do not condone everything the USU student body does {as previously mentioned}, I do respect the fact that at no point do they have the attitude of, "We don't care enough about your school to get excited to play you." The only teams we may not be entirely excited to play are the random schools we have never heard of. But you better believe when/if they come back, we remember them, and are excited to play them again - we are excited to have a rivalry with them.

7. Speaking of an athlete who chose not to go to BYU, a BYU student said, "Well, their standards probably weren't high enough anyway." No further narrative necessary.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking with some of those things, "Wow. Those USU fans sure are sensitive!" Hahaha! And if one or two of these statements had been said to me once or twice and I was reading THAT much into it, then yes. I would be too sensitive.

But that is not the case {in fact, this only sheds light on some of things that have been said to me}. I have received {and I know my friends have received} these and other comments just like it, countless times. And when you can no longer number the times this attitude has been presented to you, what are you supposed to take from it than a constant belittlement and disrespect?

I think even more interesting is that many of these statements are made genuinely with no ill-intent, which almost even makes it worse, that those who are making them don't even realize that they have that attitude! Yet, it's there. Otherwise, the feelings some USU students, and students from other schools towards BYU would not be there. At one point, you have to take a step aside and say, "Why DO all these schools act like we are the biggest rival when they are not ours?" Experience has shown me that the problem generally lies within the one opposed to everyone else.

Case in point: USU doesn't like the University of Utah either {remember, we have a rivalry with everyone!}. Yet, the feelings aren't as strong. Because I have never once had a demeaning attitude from any U of U student. Not.once. Not once did I walk away from a conversation with them feeling as though they were consciously or unconsciously implying their school or they were better than my school/me. And if they chose to, they could because their football team has beat ours just as many times as BYU's has {everyone's football team beats ours!}. :) And their basketball team has consistently played against our team as well as BYU has. AND: the U of U made it to the championship game in basketball years ago ... and even more recently had the number one draft picks in the NFL and NBA {during the same year! If that isn't reason to gloat and rub it into people's faces, what is?}.

Any negative feelings USU students have towards BYU is NOT about us having "little brother-syndrome" {which is a term I did not even hear/understand of until a BYU student said it to me}, otherwise we'd feel that way about the U of U. It is NOT about being jealous about them beating us, when they do. Otherwise, we'd feel the same about Utah. It is NOT about us being jealous about BYU having a standout player. Otherwise we would have felt the same way about Alex Smith and Andrew Bogut. And we didn't.

In conclusion, I have the feelings I do towards BYU because on countless occasions I have been belittled, degraded and demeaned by some BYU students. Not all. Not most. But waaay more than I can easily list off the top of my head. This is not something I think about often or regularly. In all honesty, most of the time when I hear "BYU" I think either, "Fast runners!" or "Adam Ruri!" No lie. :)

Most of the time, I think it is just a fun rivalry. Yes, I like to play BYU. Yes, I like to beat BYU. Most {95%} of the time everything seems good-natured and fun. The negative thoughts resurface only in some instances where what appears to be arrogance from a BYU student presents itself. But even in those instances, if you know me at all, you know it is still light-hearted {I am just not a hater, not really in my nature}. I may joke about BYU losing, but really - am I going to be upset if they win? Heck no. Am I thrilled when they lose? No. :) That kind of emotion is kept in a very special place in my heart - where the sage brush grows. :)

I felt like I have been nothing but respectful in this post. I expect any comments that are left to be the same.

Please click here if you want to know what I actually like about BYU. :)

Peace, out and GO AGGIES! :)

4 comments:

Daren said...

While I disagree with some of the reasoning behind your feelings, I respectfully accept those as your feelings and have no problem with you feeling like some BYU students are arrogant elitists, because, frankly, they are. I have to say though, that they are a minority and you've had some bad luck with the run ins you've had. Additionally, I don't understand what the big deal is that BYU students don't consider USU to be a rival. Why is that insulting to USU? Ignore it and enjoy the good games they play against each other. I guess I'm too casual of a fan to get worked up over it...

Meg said...

I have noticed that almost every school that plays BYU hates BYU. I haven't noticed that about any other school. I never thought much about why. I think you have explained it quite well, though.

Erica said...

As a Cougar, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people (anyone) calls BYU "The Lord's University." It really rubs me wrong, for the same reason you mentioned here. The Lord does have a university, and it's called the Temple. And anyone who is worthy can learn in the temple.

Also, I'm really sad that you've had so many real life people tell you all those things--to your face! That is just crazy. I have the utmost respect for USU. It was enlightening reading your thoughts here. So, thanks for sharing!

Erin said...

Brave of you to post your reasoning, and interesting to read. Whenever I tell people I'm from Cache Valley, they've always responded positively (usually commenting on how beautiful it is, which is true! I'm proud to be from Cache Valley). I often get asked why I didn't go to USU. Well...because I wanted to go to BYU. Same as you wanting to go to USU. Makes sense to me. I'm not really into the sports so that rivalry hasn't greatly affected me, but I have learned to not bring up much about myself when I visit home. One Sunday my dad introduced us to someone at church saying we lived in Provo. He replied, "oh, that's too bad." I thought he would laugh and say j/k but he didn't. I still laugh about it, and I've had other similar experiences that have taught me to just avoid the subject altogether and keep the peace. So why am I writing this then? I guess it feels good to share my experiences too--and in a non-threatening environment (let's hope!). Thanks for sharing yours!

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