Brian K. Evans, administrative vice president and chief financial officer of BYU, spoke with students about their BYU experience at Tuesday's devotional in the Marriott Center.
The devotional will be rebroadcast Sunday, Oct. 21, on BYU Television at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on KBYU at 6 a.m.
Because the tithing funds of the Church cover the vast majority of funds necessary to maintain Brigham Young University and educate students, students participate in a two-way contract between themselves and the university. "After all," Evans said, "the scriptures teach where much is given, much is required."
Evans pointed out that not only is every student essentially "on scholarship," but many donors have also contributed to the university and their education. He asked students to consider the many buildings on campus built by donor contributions, including the Lee Library addition, the Student Athlete Center, the Joseph F. Smith Building, and the new Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center.
Evans offered the example of a sacrifice made by Dining Services to illustrate how various departments at BYU have the best interests of the students in mind. Dining services recently created a new teaching and learning fellowship for a faculty member. They created this position at the expense of department personnel, choosing to redistribute the workload rather than hire another person. This sacrifice, which has also been made by a number of departments across campus, is made to bless the lives of students and improve their education.
Because so much is give to them, Evans said, students have a responsibility to fulfill their end of the contract. How do they do this? Evans offered four actions students can take in return.
First, Evans said, students must be grateful for the many gifts they have been given. Evans discouraged an attitude of entitlement that can occasionally be found on campus, and urged audience members to "be quick to express appreciation and to use the two most powerful words in the English language: 'Thank you.'"
Students should also take full advantage of the opportunity to attend BYU. Evans encouraged them to be involved. "To the extent you are able, attend a lecture outside your major, join a club, provide service, be active in your ward, take a campus job, attend a performance or a game. Get involved," Evans said. By doing this, students will find their BYU experience more enjoyable and satisfying.
The third thing that students can do is to "be the kind of person you said you were when you requested entrance to BYU." This means living up to the standards of the Honor Code. Evans said that living up to the standards students agree to when coming to BYU is a matter of personal integrity.
"At BYU, we make hypocrites of ourselves if we do not behave the way we say we believe," Evans said.
Finally, students should stop to help and lift fellow students. Evans pointed out that there are those at BYU who may be struggling physically or academically, who may be lonely or depressed and encouraged students to invite and include others in their activities.
"Let our campus be an inclusive community, not an exclusive fraternity," Evans said.
Writer: Alexis Plowman