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Harvesting Character

IT’S AUTUMN AT BYU-IDAHO. A TIME OF WARM DAYS AND CRISP NIGHTS. WHILE THE CAMPUS HUMS WITH NEW LIFE AND DIRECTION, THERE IS AN EVER-PRESENT AWARENESS THAT A SEASON OF HARVEST AWAITS.


Since the announcement that Ricks College would become Brigham Young University–Idaho, a new direction for student participation has developed. An environment has been created and continues to evolve where students are actively engaged. They are given options and, more importantly, determine their own participation experience. The Board of Trustees identified “a year-round activity program designed to involve and meet the needs of a diverse student body.”

Students are encouraged to learn and expand their own experiences, and the opportunities are as abundant as the fields that neighbor the campus. Academic curriculum for the new university encompasses hands-on experiences through practicums and internships. Wards and stakes call students to give meaningful service to each other. Qualities of leadership are being further developed as students get involved in multiple activities on campus. Through their interaction and involvement, those who are wise discover deeper meaning to their curriculum of study and everyday life.

Finding out what is happening on campus is easier than ever. By browsing through the listings on the new Events Calendar on the university’s Web site at www.byui.edu, students choose activities directly tied to a field of study or just have fun doing something they enjoy. They stretch their physical muscles, gain experience in arts, enrich their lives through service and leadership, and encompass a social life as well. Flexibility and choice are fundamental at BYU–Idaho, where activities are a laboratory of real life situations. As has been often explained, the greatest teaching and learning moments are outside the classroom.

As abilities or interests increase, students become the mentor, coach, or teacher for others. Doing is the purest form of learning, and settings vary from offering learning assistance to coaching competitive athletics—complete with the mandates of running team practices, maintaining league game schedules, assigning equipment, and issuing uniforms. While helping others gain or refine basic skills, students are adding new dimensions to their own knowledge.

BYU–Idaho students enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to be involved as leaders and participants. Recent Homecoming celebrations featured a 50-lap relay with participants from all 64 university wards. While most university campuses in the United States have approximately 10 percent of the student body involved in intramurals, BYU–Idaho has triple that amount with nearly 500 additional students on the competitive level.

From the onset of each semester, new and returned students blend together quickly through interaction. New Student Orientation features activities, humanitarian service projects, and dances. The popularity of events such as Guitars Unplugged spreads quickly; the latest concert showcased 14 bands selected from a field of over 100. More than 4,000 students attended the outdoor concert in Viking Stadium. Professional entertainment broadens students’ experience, as seen at another recent concert by “1964 the Tribute,” which portrayed the Beatles and added a touch of nostalgia to an enlightening Homecoming event.

As long as students remain curious and enthusiastic, there is sure to be something new on the horizon at BYU–Idaho. The seeds of activity, involvement, and diversity they are planting within themselves today will ripen into traits of character and leadership for tomorrow. The true harvest comes when students graduate and move on to further bless the lives of those around them. SM



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