Sunday, March 15, 2009


Doesn't that picture just look epic? The Wii could be seven stories high for all you know (lowly beggars and peasants that you are). Actually it's not. It's about six inches high. And we know this firsthand because (we are lofty aristocrats and)....

We Won a FREE Wii on Saturday!

It's kinda funny to juxtapose this post with my last one because we actually won the Wii at a BYUSA event. Yeah I know. Does that make me a hypocrite? If so, oh well. I have a free Wii and you don't.

We decided to go to the "Unofficial Spring Break" BYUSA activity on Saturday just to get free dinner and act goofy. Well, we got much more than dinner (and really good Gelato). We ended up (through the help of others and ourselves) having about 70 tickets in the raffle for the Wii by the end of the night, so the odds were stacked in our favor (the only way Tappens win anything, Henry informed me). We were really just happy to win out over all the Freshmen there (99% of those attending were Freshmen, please see previous post about how this is not an infrequent occurrence) since we have been at BYU way longer and entered many more contests without winning than they have.

I'm still in shock. We've joked for months about how Henry wanted some kind of gaming system and I would always say no. Now it's just funny that we have a Wii and are still using my hand-me-down TV that has a smaller screen than our laptops. Hey, it still works though. We'll get a nice TV for Christmas, if I can get a job.

This is the culmination of my BYU career. I would have been fine graduating without getting married, but graduating without getting something expensive for free through BYUSA and tithing money? That would have lead to clinical depression.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

BYUSA Elections

I feel like ranting a bit about the upcoming (March 2-6) BYUSA elections. For anyone who doesn't know what BYUSA is, it is the on-campus "student service association" on BYU campus. This is actually different from a student government, but perceived in much the same way.

Election season is annoying. It is especially annoying when it is pointless. Here are reasons why BYUSA elections are pointless/annoying:

  1. The only people who vote are friends of the candidates. Other people don't care (as shown by the usually very low voter turnout).
  2. If for some reason another person who is not friends of the candidates votes, they are voting a) based on their surface perception of the candidate (a face put on for election week most of the time) or b) based on their platforms (many of which they will be powerless to act on) or c) lame advertizing based on "colors" and bribes.
  3. Platforms are ridiculous. Most candidates are trying to get people's attention with platforms that will affect everyone, but most of the time these are parties. Other times they are vague and unspecific and won't get done.
  4. Some good platforms are included, but these will be incorporated whether or not the candidate wins because usually the losers end up as "executive VPs" anyway. They stay in the system and still work for BYUSA!!!!!!
  5. BYUSA is only good at putting on parties for Freshmen. They have not significantly influenced campus in any other way. If this is untrue, I would really like to know.
  6. BYUSA is not there to represent the students, it is not a student government, so stop having elections to make it seem like one.
  7. BYUSA president and co-president have their tution paid for. This seems odd to me. And it's a fact you don't usually hear about, I only know because my former roommate was in BYUSA.
  8. Resume builder? Future politicians? Ugh.
  9. People don't actually care about BYUSA any time of the year except elections. That means that NO ONE NOTICES WHAT THE PRESIDENCY DOES = POINTLESS.

Ok. I don't want this to seem like I am actually against everything about student leadership or BYUSA. They have a role to play. They should represent the students. They should try to improve campus in novel ways that other non-student administrators may overlook. Innovation is the key.

I am actually the president of my college student council (Life Sciences). We get some things done, although most of the time we hit dead ends honestly. We try to spend a lot of effort researching what the students want, but it is always so difficult to get feedback. We have lofty goals but sometimes we have to look for smaller ways to contribute. I was appointed to my position by the former president, VP, and advisor after having served a year on the council.

I think that BYUSA should have a similar system. The presidency should not be decided by the student body because that gives them a false sense of actually being represented and having their views considered. The presidency should be chosen by SAC (student advisory council) and BYUSA non-student leadership. That way we can get leaders who can impress a wide-range of students (members of SAC come from all colleges) and who can get things done and work well with administration (as shown by how they have worked with the BYUSA non-student leadership - they have more insider knowledge anyway).

And best of all, no annoying "color" campaigns across campus.

Especially the week of the Hunger Banquet ( that I'm trying to advertise the same week :)