Letter to the Editor: Mormon Influences Rooted in Heritage

By Bart Gatrell, Senior, International Relations


This letter regards the Dec. 7 opinion column, “Trumpeting Tradition in the Faces of Oly Foes,” by Katie Hewitt.

Though I’m not from Utah, my parents claim residency here, so this is where I go.

When I enrolled in Fall 2000, I expected it to be similar to Brigham Young University. Boy, was I ever wrong. The only Mormon influence I see is, lo and behold, at the church across the street, off campus, where it belongs.

The comments made by some of my non-Mormon friends never fail to amaze me. They think that the no-alcohol policy on campus is a Mormon conspiracy. Trust me, I’ve been to four other colleges, and all of them have a no-alcohol policy.

As far as the argument that Mormons dominate the U, I have no idea where that’s coming from: Of my 13 professors and employers at the U, not one of them is Mormon. Of my eight roommates since Fall 2000, not one of them is Mormon. My employers at the Olympics, they’re not Mormon either.

True, Mormon influence is strong here, but hey, that’s politics for you. In some regions throughout the United States, it is the Democrats, Republicans, Blacks or Jews that have strong political voices too. Is that wrong? No, that’s democracy.

The bottom line is, as Hewitt said, that Mormonism is part of Utah’s heritage, deal with it.

If they don’t like it, then they should have thought of that before they moved here.

Bart Gatrell, Senior, International Relations