Friday, December 6, 2013

Sanity On Campus

Need Sanity? New business delivers at BYU
The Salt Lake News - published December 6, 2013

Inspired by the popular startup, Caffeine on Campus, a group of five launched Sanity on Campus, a business that offers another commodity not typically found at the Lord's University: saneness.

"We saw that there was a modest demand and absolutely no supply," Jeff Blackburn, a sophomore studying biology and part of the team behind the sanity service, told The News. "I know personally there have been days when I've just come out of a church history class, or my religion professor was explaining evolutionary theory, or someone at a ward mix and mingle claimed he was one of the Three Nephites, and I just had to have some sanity. In every case I had to walk to the nearest off-campus convenience store before I could find anything that was remotely not nuts."

After two weeks, the new website, sanityoncampus, received over 5,000 hits. Nevertheless, the young entrepreneurs don't expect to become millionaires. For now, they are limiting their inventory to some basic services for that small niche market of the BYU student body who are tired of acting completely bonkers.

"The demand isn't big enough for the Office of Student Life to bother changing its whole system," Blackburn explained. "We aren't pushing for BYU to make changes in what they offer as far as sanity goes. Nor are we attempting to change the longstanding LDS cultural tradition of en masse delusion. We hope people see us more as an extremely fast delivery service dedicated to keeping our small client base from totally cracking up."

Currently the groups' extremely fast deliveries are limited to: birth control - attractive underwear - intelligent political commentary - alternatives to ranch dressing - marriage proposal solutions that don't require video equipment, Donny Osmond impersonations, or a football stadium card section - and finally, a sympathetic listener who doesn't object when an otherwise reasonable person rants and screams and drops the F-bomb.

So far, the Sanity on Campus team has not had any pushback from BYU. Other student efforts -- including an online petition urging the school to allow students to gather daily for "ten minutes of rational conversation" -- have fallen short. Last October, a student carrying a book on mitochondrial DNA was chased off campus by BYU security.

12 comments:

  1. This was great!

    Mitochondrial DNA? As in the pesky evidence that neutralizes the Book of Mormon's claims about Native Americans? I love it.

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    1. Yes, it would be that pesky evidence. :)

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  2. Haha! I love the other things they deliver. I'D go to that school... :)

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  3. Thanks, Donna. I check your blog out at least weekly just to keep my own sanity. And yes, I'll buy your book eventually. Loved the Girls of the 4th ward.!

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    1. Thanks Kevin! It means the world to me that you like WG and The Girls. I hope you enjoy False Prophet.

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  4. You know I was quite the rebel rowser back in my day. (This was back in the 70s and early 80s.) For sanity at BYU I would put on a pair of blue jeans and walk across the lawn totally ignoring the 'keep off the Lord's grass' signs. And sometimes, when feeling particularly rebellious I would walk while the national anthem played. bwaaahaaahaaa

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    1. JJ, we were there at the same time! Once I jaywalked and a BYU Security guy snapped at me through clenched teeth: "WAIT until I tell you to cross!" Also a guy who sat the classroom from me that I'd never spoken to previously walked me out of class one day and proposed marriage. God, what a crazy place.

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  5. And did your Bishop haul you into his office and browbeat you over your reasons for refusing the marriage proposal? That was me- also in blue jeans
    (for which I was "written-up" and finally put on probation for...) Oh how the zoo could have used a little sanity when I was there...

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    1. No, anon, he didn't--obviously shirking his duty. But, right after the stranger proposed to me, I got away from him, stopped in a bakery to buy a cookie, and then as I was leaving a guy hiding in some bushes whispered "Pssst!" to me. It turned out he had hidden his fiancé's ring in a creme puff he'd just purchased, and he wanted me to deliver it to her nearby house. To be fair, it's not really all that sane off campus either. You need to get at least 50 miles away.

      Too funny that you were written up!! Now it's on your permanent record!! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  6. I went to a Lutheran oriented college. Our sanity was often in question, but it couldn't hold a candle to BYU. Even though it was strongly discouraged we could at least smoke, drink, and do some drugs if the occasion called for it.

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    1. As you know, I have some knowledge of your alma mater. (My daughter was a Carl.) And you're right, it was way liberal compared to BYU. Although, I bet both schools served a lot of Jell-O in their cafeterias. :)

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