Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

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2015 Stance Mocktail Party


Sign the Petition: Represent Women on BYU Campus

Sign the petition. Join the cause. Represent Women on BYU Campus!

To sign the petition, go to this link below:

Why should you sign?

This cause is the result of two intersecting realities.

  1. The time has come for a prominent campus building to be named after a woman. Take a look at BYU’s campus map. Our buildings serve as monuments to LDS leaders: prophets, businessmen, scholars, scientists, and pioneers of every kind. We honor their legacies in stone.
    Unfortunately, only two buildings are named after women: The Caroline Hemengway Harman Building and Amanda Knight Hall. If neither of these places sound familiar to you, you’re not alone.
    The Harman Building houses BYU’s continuing education program. The vast majority of BYU graduates (in fact, nearly all of them) never pass through its doors. Amanda Knight Hall, a former women’s dormitory, served as a language training center prior to the construction of the MTC. Since 1999, it has “temporarily housed several academic groups during construction and remodeling of various campus buildings”. In everyday parlance: A really nice storage unit.
  2. The second reality at hand is the need for more women in STEM fields. A 2011 report by the Department of Commerce found gaping gender disparity in STEM majors, and even then, women with STEM degrees are less likely to work in related occupations than their male counterparts. Ultimately, only 25% of STEM jobs and 7.5% of patents are held by women.
    We can support women in STEM by honoring those who paved the way. Research conducted at BYU has emphasized the importance of role models vis-à-vis women and STEM: Women whose mothers majored in STEM were 83% more likely to major in STEM themselves (regardless of whether their mother made a career of it).


While there are many Mormon women whose names and legacies deserve honoring, we have a created a shortlist of four: Martha Hughes Cannon, Ellis Reynolds Shipp, Romania B. Pratt Penrose, and Jane Manning James.

The first three women were STEM pioneers during the 19th century, yet not every campus building is named for someone noteworthy within that building’s purview (Harold B. Lee, for example, was not a  librarian, nor was J. Williard Marriott a basketball player). In light of that, the fourth woman on our shortlist is Jane Manning James, a prominent black pioneer in early Church history.

Martha, Ellis, Romania, and Jane are just four of many, many Mormon women whose stories are crying out from the dust. Let’s honor a foremother.

Let’s honor a role model. Let’s give the Life Science Building a proper name.

BYU/UVU Food Drive

web-art-1By Rebecca Hamson

The holiday season revolves around food in our society, yet there are so many people who have hardly any, let alone the excess that the rest of us are blessed with. Brigham Young University has teamed up with Utah Valley University, Community Action Services, and Food Bank to collect food and monetary donations for those living in impoverished circumstances in the Utah Valley.

The goal is to raise 60,000 dollars and 300,000 pounds of food. To reach this goal, there are events going on for the rest of November. There are also bins for non-perishable food drop-offs located throughout BYU campus and throughout Provo. The bins will be out until November 30. Money can be donated at businesses throughout BYU campus and at local businesses. The cashiers will most likely ask if you want to add an extra dollar to your total cost to donate to this cause. Every dollar donated can be made into five meals or fifteen pounds of food thanks to Community Action Services and Food Bank and their resources and influence. So, donate to a good cause this holiday season to benefit those that are right here in our own community.

A Season for Courage

2013_pacheco (1)by Cody Phillips

When the basketball court inside Brigham Young University’s Marriott Center morphs into an enormous stage—makeshift orchestra pit included—you know something memorable is about to happen.

Production crews and performers alike spend countless hours each fall preparing for BYU Spectacular a colorful and rousing display of talent held in conjunction with Homecoming.

In previous years, I’ve been lucky enough to perform in this outstanding show as a member of the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble. This October, however, instead of taking the stage in a traditional Hungarian costume, I sported a black shirt, black pants, and black shoes—the traditional wardrobe of the technical crew.

My job was to run around with a camera on my shoulder, getting close-ups of the dancers, musicians, and singers so that the entire audience could look at the big screen and feel as though they were seated on the front row. Shooting video for live projection is a fast-paced, exhilarating task. I love it. But this year, after the adrenaline of trying to find the perfect shot had worn off; I walked away from the Spectacular with a burning desire to follow the example of the everyday heroes that were spotlighted as part of the show. Each of them had a unique story, but they all demonstrated courage in the face of some formidable obstacle.

Rebecca Pedersen overcame family struggles and personal fears to develop her talents as a singer and to go on to win the prestigious Metropolitan Opera competition. Taylor Morris courageously made peace with the feelings of guilt that haunted him ever since he fell asleep at the wheel, causing an accident that took his sister’s life. Kathy McGregor fought the battles that come with being an outstanding single mother after she lost her husband to cancer. World-renowned classical/crossover vocalist Nathan Pacheco (this year’s guest performer) spoke of the courage he had to muster when he decided to follow his dreams and become a professional singer.

I’ve got to admit that tears began to form in my eyes a few times throughout the show. (That’s a bit problematic when you need to be able to see clearly through the camera’s viewfinder.) I couldn’t help but feel inspired by an invitation that Nathan extended before singing his final song. He encouraged the young people in the audience to follow their dreams, to follow the spark that dwells within each of them until it becomes a glowing flame. As the last notes of that finale resonated throughout the basketball-court-turned-concert-hall, he and the other performers stood as living evidence of the great heights we can reach when we let courage light our way.


BYU Merit Badge PowWow

 By Rebecca Hamson

Twice a year, Brigham Young University hosts a Boy Scouts Merit Badge PowWow which offers over 30 merit badge classes. Approximately 3,000 boys register for each session, and BYU students have the opportunity to volunteer as the merit badge counselors. This upcoming PowWow, which will be held on October 19th, will be my fourth. Obviously the service aspect is the most important reason to volunteer, but the free t-shirt is a great perk, not to mention the delectable breakfast complete with muffins, doughnuts, and chocolate milk. Possibly the best breakfasts I eat the entire school year.

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Top 5 Places to Eat in Provo/Orem . . . After Hours

by Alissa Holm

Every college student has experienced that moment: You’re starving. It’s midnight. Everything seems to be closed. So what do you do? Eat another bowl of cereal? Run to McDonalds and get a McDouble? Beg your roommates to make you food? Well, you don’t have to do any of these.

There are so many more options in the student-filled Provo/Orem area that can cater to your late-night cravings. Here’s a list of the top 5 places to eat in Provo/Orem . . . after hours.

Photo Credit: kadluba via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: kadluba via Compfight cc

1.)  Guru’s Café Guru’s is a local and fun restaurant. They’re open until 10pm on weekends and are sure to provide a fun atmosphere for you while you eat.

My recommendation: The cilantro lime quesadilla with a side of sweet potato fries. You will not regret it.

2.)  The Awful Waffle Just because the restaurant’s name has the word “awful” in it doesn’t mean it actually is awful. The Awful Waffle makes gourmet Belgian waffles, crepes, pizzas, and paninis—all until midnight on the weekends and 11pm on weeknights.

My recommendation: The Brussles waffle with raspberries and Nutella sauce.

3.)  Sammy’s Café Sammy’s is a Provo favorite, notorious for its picture-filled walls, delicious pie shakes, and moustache obsession. And, they’re open until midnight every night.

My recommendation: The cheesecake pumpkin pie shake. The best combination of cheesecake and pumpkin that you’ll ever taste.

4.)  In-N-Out Burger I grew up in Idaho, so I hadn’t had an In-N-Out burger until my freshman year at BYU, and it immediately earned its place as my favorite burger. In-N-Out is open until 1am on weekdays and 1:30am on the weekends. While you’re at it, be sure to check out their secret menu, found here:

My recommendation: A regular cheeseburger with a chocolate shake. Can’t go wrong.

5.)  Roll Up Crepes This restaurant produces both savory and sweet crepes—made to either fill you up for a meal or indulge your sweet tooth. The names of their crepes are sure to keep you entertained as well—they have everything from “Awkward First Date,” made with bananas and ice cream, to “Just Friends,” made with caramel apples, cinnamon, and granola, to “Honeymoon,” made with mixed berries, dark chocolate, and almonds.  Oh, and they have sandwiches and paninis as well. They are open until 1am every night.

My recommendation: The Bachelorette—which has raspberries and white chocolate.

Want more reviews on Utah County activities? Like our Facebook page.

Learning from Jazz

by Brittany Bruner

Some people say that I’m stuck in old traditions because I love old things. I love elderly people; vintage clothing; classic movie stars like Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn; and old jazz music.

I especially love old jazz music. It has the ability to set so many moods, and the rhythms and sounds are just cool. I grew up listening to jazz, and one of my fondest memories as a child is when my dad would drop his voice, add some grovel, and do his best imitation of Louis Armstrong. Nothing gets better than Louis Armstrong.

Last week, BYU had an awesome opportunity for students to hear from some well-respected jazz artists, Loren Schoenberg and Jonathan Batiste. These two incredible artists were visiting from the National Jazz Museum in Harlem to participate in a lecture titled “Jazz and the Art of Civic Life,” put on by the new Humanities Center. One of the goals of the Center is to present interdisciplinary lectures. Thus, the presentation would be an “informance” meaning that there would be jazz playing and lecturing.Jazz photo

Since I am an English major, firm lover of intellectual lectures, and avid fan of jazz music, this event was perfect for me. I made sure to attend, and I was not disappointed. The music was incredible, and the lecture was informative.

These are some of the things that I learned about jazz music and how it can affect civic life.

Teamwork in Communities

In order for a community to function well, every member must work as a team. For example, Schoenberg and Batiste needed some other jazz artists to play with them to complete a full rhythm section and enrich the music. A student from BYU’s jazz band Synthesis played the bass, and a high school student getting ready to apply to Juilliard played the drums. Schoenberg and Batiste  invited another student they had met an hour earlier to play the piano with them when they found out he was trained in jazz piano. Schoenberg played the saxophone and Batiste played the melodica, which is like a harmonica with a keyboard. Someone would start playing something, and then all of the members of the band would join in.

It was complete improvisation, like all great jazz, and it sounded beautiful. And when someone made a mistake or there was a shift in mood or key, the others worked with mistake to create a new sound or rhythm.  That’s when the magic happened.

Batiste described mistakes in jazz as opportunities because the mistakes led the band to new and exciting territory. The people in the band needed to have done their outside work in order to play with the band, but when they came together they worked as a team and invited the audience into their world of jazz.

Individuality and Leadership in Communities

Good leaders do not seek to be the shining star in every situation. They allow their individuality to shine with the rest of the group. In jazz, if one of the members decides to play louder than the others or at a different tempo, it messes up the whole piece. Rather than shining individually, the person ruins the music.

Good leaders also know when to take the lead and when to back off. Every member in the jazz ensemble knew when to take the lead and the others followed. Some would think this would thwart individuality. However, each part could still be heard, and each part was impressive because it was distinct, but still blended well with the group.

This is a good life application. Shining as an individual does not mean that one has to beat everyone else or be better than everyone else. It means knowing when to shine alone, when to shine with other people, and when to let others shine. In good jazz, nobody demands the spotlight, and that’s why the music is so great. Everyone has the opportunity to be a great musician, and the music is amplified when they come together. When these musicians worked together, they produced a great show.

Jonathan Batiste is scheduled to perform with his band at BYU in October, so keep a look out for him. This is a concert you won’t want to miss.

For more information on the two artists and on the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, check out the following links:

Now go listen to some jazz!

My Brother’s Mission: What I Did Not Expect


by Arianne Glick

Whatever I expected to happen when my brother left on his mission, I didn’t expect this.

I expected it to be about the same as when I left home for college: an increase of distance and a decrease of contact.

I expected that I would miss him, but I also expected that I’d be too busy most of the time to dwell on it.  I expected that he would change a bit, and that the time would fly by.  I expected that this would be his “best two years,” and I expected that the spiritual growth he gained would impact the rest of his life.

What I did not expect was the pain that I would feel every time I wanted to call him and tell him a funny story.  I did not expect that, even with an increasingly busy schedule, memories of him would pop into my head no matter how inopportune the timing, or that my new favorite question would be “How’s your brother?” because of the free brother-bragging license it provided.  I did not expect that my favorite letters from him would not be the ones that detailed profound spiritual experiences, but rather the ones where pieces of the old him were visible. I did not expect that the first 6 months could feel like 6 weeks and 6 years, or that the first Christmas he was gone would be my best because I got to talk to him and my worst because the conversation had to end.

I expected that it would be a little tough when my brother served a mission.

I did not expect it to be excruciating, eye-opening, heartbreaking, and wonderful. And I did not expect that his spiritual growth would push similar growth in me.

My brother is my only sibling.  He’s always been one of my best friends – even during the times that I thought I might hate him.  He’s my brother, my younger brother, my only brother.  I have always expected myself to be his example, the one that he looked up to.

I never expected that I would be the one looking up to him.

But I’m starting to realize that my expectations never come close to what God expects for me, and I’ve never been more grateful for anything in my entire life.


Infertility: Do You Have a Story?

by Alissa Strong


Today by chance, I came across a blog. The author is a girl totally unknown to me, although we attend the same university. Her story piqued my interest specifically because it involves a topic that is almost the elephant-in-the-room in not just our university but in society.


This girl is twentysomething years old and suffers from infertility.


This topic has been on my mind lately, as over the past five months I have encountered a number of people who have experienced infertility in one form or another. It has been eye-opening to meet these people and hear their stories, because so often in the dating-, marriage-, and family-centric bubble of Utah Valley, surrounded by singles and couples in their late teens and early twenties, one rarely stops to consider these questions:


What would happen if I could not have children?

Would this impact my dating relationships?

What would my identity be if I couldn’t be a mother or a father?

Even if I can have children, what do I do or say around those who can’t?


Stance for the Family is a journal, magazine, and blog for all families—regardless of their makeup. Because of this, I want to hear from and write to this group of families and singles who may previously have felt a family-themed journal has no relevance to them.


If you or someone close to you has dealt with or is currently dealing with infertility, we want to hear from you. Single, married, religious, agnostic—we want to hear your stories. If you have a story to tell, please email Alissa at We will not publish anything without first requesting your consent. But this is an issue that so many unknown faces of our community need to hear about—whether it affects them personally, or whether they simply need help knowing how to support someone else going through this trial. Your story, no matter how small, may be just what someone else needs to give them hope.


Adaptive Aquatics: A Fun Way to Serve

by Jaden Anderson 

Looking for a new and unique way to serve right here on the BYU campus? How does splashing around in the pool and singing Disney music with goggle-eyed kids sound? Well, that’s what you’ll find every Thursday and Friday morning from 11am to 11:45am at the Richards Building pool. Here, student volunteers can come spend some quality time with local special education children in an interactive program called Adaptive Aquatics.

Adaptive Aquatics is a chance for disabled children in nearby schools to swim and receive some much-needed one-on-one time with volunteer BYU students each week. Students can help children develop their cognitive, motor, and social skills. There are also gym activities available for those kids who cannot swim or would rather not. The children come from Alpine, Orem, and other elementary schools throughout Utah County. They each have disabilities ranging from learning and speech impediments to Cerebral Palsy and Down syndrome.

Many BYU students have become involved with the program through Y Serve and report that they love the time they’re able to spend with the kids. According to the directors of the program, an average of 80 students with disabilities and 70 BYU students come to swim each Thursday and Friday. The directors estimate that around 300 or 400 volunteers come throughout the semester.

If this sounds like something you’d love to participate in for just one hour every Thursday or Friday for a semester, email with your name and student ID for an Honor Code check. To get a glimpse of what Adaptive Aquatics is like, check out the video below or visit


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