Archive for April, 2011

1. Sleep on the Quad or Old Main Hill
2. *no longer possible
3. Become a true Aggie one more time

One of my favorite articles that I ever wrote was last year when I was an assistant editor on The Statesman feature’s desk. I pulled a “ride-along” with 2 officers of the USU police department after a basketball game.

There wasn’t a lot of action, it’s Logan after all, but the experience was great. One of the things I love about my job is the times I get to peek behind the curtain and cruising in the back seat of a black and white really changes your image of a police officer. Sidenote* in my 4 years at The Statesman I’ve had many opportunities to work with USUPD and they are a great group of individuals. Easily one of my favorite organizations on campus.

So, we’re riding around trading war stories and one of the officers mentions how there’s always someone on campus – walking around, playing frisbee, sleeping on the quad. When he said that my interest was piqued.

“Do you make them leave?”
“No,” he said, “there’s no curfew on campus. As long as your not a disturbance you’re fine.”

Hearing that my mind immediately seized upon a desire to camp out on the quad and ever since then I’ve been trying to do it. You would think it would be easy, but convincing your friend to set up camp when their beds are literally less than a mile away is no simple task. Not to mention, Logan is a frigid wasteland for most of the school year.

So, with the end approaching we bundled up and headed to the quad. Trevor brought his 9-man tent that he scored for free in a “finder’s keepers” snag and we all sat around snacking, chatting, and playing the odd game of Quad-quet (croquet, wait for it, on the quad).

When we finally called it a night the wind was howling (of course it was) and rustling the tent like crazy but with nine people in one tent it didn’t get very cold.

The major hiccup we had was when a group of (presumably) freshman jumped on the tent siding and in the process kneed my friend Dave in the eye. He and his wife called it quits, an unfortunate casualty of the quad.

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*note: The subject matter of this post may be foreign to individuals unfamiliar with Utah and Mormon culture.

*note #2: I am a practicing member of the LDS faith and believe that the overall doctrines of the LDS church – like most organized religions – contribute to a happy and fulfilling life.

The other day I was at a dinner party when the subject of Monogamy came up. A brief discussion arose on whether being in a monogamous relationship forbids a person from kissing individuals other than their significant other or merely outlaws extra-relational sexual activity. The overriding sentiment was established that yes, MONOgamy precludes a single romantic partner regardless of the spectrum of physical intimacy.

Having arrived at a conclusion, the question of Monogomy in regards to the LDS Law of Chastity (LoC) was presented. To clarify, the LoC is a doctrine in the LDS faith that condemns sexual activity occurring outside a legal and lawful marriage. There are other stipulations – about modest dress and comportment – but for simplicity sake we will leave it at that: for Mormons, abstinence only.

My friend’s questions, then, was what the church’s stance would be on LDS individuals who “make-out” with multiple partners. Promiscuous chastity, if you will. I replied that while local leaders may council against such a practice there is nothing doctrinally “wrong” with it and those individuals would remain in good standing with the church.

He replied “That’s bull—-“

After more thought on the subject, I can’t help but agree. Not with the church’s doctrine, but with the hypocrisy with which members of the church turn up their noses at their sexually active peers.

Let me illustrate using two real world examples (names have been changed).

My friend Whitney is in a committed, healthy, loving relationship. She and her boyfriend have been dating, faithfully, for two years including long periods of time when the two were geographically separated. Whitney is sexually active. Whitney’s family is LDS but understandably in recent years Whitney has distanced herself from regular church activity while still remaining respectful and cordial to church members and their beliefs. Were Whitney to desire a return to full activity in the LDS church she would be required to undergo a process of repentance that while simple and straightforward is nonetheless emotionally taxing.

My colleague Sarah, on the other hand, is not sexually active (to the best of my knowledge). She holds a leadership position in her local LDS unit (or ward) and attends weekly church services. Sarah is not sexually active and yet uses her sexuality as a tool for manipulation and deceit. She is perennially pursued by multiple male individuals who are led on by her allure and an illusion of obtaining a meaningful relationship. Some of these men she kisses, careful to stop before the elusive and ambiguous Mormon “naughty” line, others she does not, stringing along with false promises and half truths until they no longer serve an advantage in her life.

I know, because I was one of them. I would also note that while I am referring to a specific individual the scenario is not an isolated incident. Many (not all, mind you) attractive “active” LDS young women act in the manner described above.

Were Sarah to desire it, she could walk into her Bishop’s office tomorrow and, with little more than a smile and a handshake, obtain a recommend (a document signifying LDS worthiness) to enter any of the hundreds of LDS temples around the world.

Now ask yourself, which scenario is truly the best? I suggest that the average non-LDS parent would prefer their 20+-year-old daughter to be in a committed and responsible, albeit sexual, relationship as opposed to a series of shallow, meaningless (and let’s not kid ourselves, quite physical) romantic trysts.

The problem occurs, though, in that many contemporary Mormons view the LDS doctrines as a series of Do and Don’t Do bullet lists and give little thought to the principle behind them. Yes, Mormons believe in abstaining from pre-marital sex, the issue is black and white. They also, however, believe in being chaste and responsible in romantic relationships. Too many young LDS adults (again, I’m not talking about teenagers. They’re gonna go hog wild no matter what) view the LoC as a “License to Play” as long as the clothing stays on.

It’s hypocrisy, as I see it, in it’s purest form. I’ve picked on women in this scenario but there are plenty guilty men. The difference I see, however, is that having participated in the culture from some time I see men mistreating women out of immaturity, irresponsibility, and (pardon the expression) douchebaggery. I see (LDS) women mistreating men, however, under the guise of “righteousness.”

Frankly, I envy my sexually active friends who always seem to be in a rewarding relationship and who never seem to have to put up with this garbage.

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3. Become a true Aggie one more time
4. Clean the sink (again)

20. Pull an all-nighter
21. Toilet paper someone’s apartment

I spent Saturday night walking around the the track in the Fieldhouse and singing Karaoke with Emily. Not a bad way to fight against cancer. Check out the video I made at

As for number 3…a gentlemen doesn’t speak of such things.

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Flash Mob

This wasn’t on the bucket list, but it’s definitely one of the most memorable things I’ve done all year. We did this to get the word out about Relay (for which I raised $109 baby!)

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24. Eat in the Junction/Marketplace
25. Bike down the Old Main steps
26. Crowd Surf

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat at this spot, on my bike, staring down all 124 steps of Old Main Hill.

Biking down steps is not altogether difficult, it’s actually quite fun. The problem here comes with the length of the descent, in that gravity tends to accelerate objects moving down a slope, creating the need to break, which creates the possibility of flipping your bike over, especially when bouncing up and down. Making matters worse, the “flat” sections between flights are actually quite slanted and the entire thing ends in a steep 8-stair that dumps you out into the middle of an intersection where oncoming traffic does not have a stop sign.

So, I did it today. There were a few pedestrians that looked at me with a mixed expression of “who is this idiot” and “please, don’t hurt me in the process” but I made it down fine. I went a little slower than I’d like. I might have to do it again for pride. The problem being that biking down there means it takes longer for me to get home. Ohhh, the price of greatness.

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I like Death Cab. Their music has always had a sort of nostalgia-inducing effect on me. Back in high school when the O.C. was in its first and (only decent) season I got my first taste of the indie rockers and then freshman year in college brought me “Soul Meets Body.” The Sigma Alpha Eta boys (what we called our apartment, yeah, we thought we were cool) had an unwritten soundtrack (tracks included: Nightmare of You “Buried in Your Backyard” and The Academy Is “Slow Down” among others) and SMB was track one, or at least would have been if we had ever actually made the CD (much like the T-shirts we were “going” to make).

Over the years, Death Cab has produced a steady flow of decent hits as well as the occasional Epic (I freaking dig “I will possess your heart” in all of it’s non-radio ready 8 minute creepiness).

So, when I got word that the video for their latest single (“You are a tourist”) would be shot live in one take I was both intrigued and skeptical. Bands that I like had produced similar “experimental” videos with mixed results (thumbs up on “This too shall pass” by Ok Go, thumbs down on “Pork and Beans” by Weezer) and I usually err on the side of simplicity.

That said, “Tourist” turns out to be a pretty slick vid. I dig the visuals, I appreciate the background dancers and the song itself is pretty catchy.

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Every semester USU puts on a fashion show featuring clothes made of recycled items: things like newspapers, bedsheets, curtains, puzzle pieces, old vinyl records. I had actually never been able to go but this year got to play paparazzi.

Above is the winning dress “Vouge Couture” modeled by Elizabeth Horne made from old copies of the Vogue Magazine.

Dresses were seperated into decades categories. Personally, I thought the group of dresses from the 1920s were the best, but that might just be my love for the flapper/great Gatsby era talking.

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