Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Students protest Cheney's visit to BYU

The big story at all three papers over the past week has been concerning vice-president Dick Cheney's impending visit to Brigham Young University. If you have missed the details you can read all about it at The Deseret Morning News.

Surprising many in the red-to-the-core Beehive State is news that some at BYU are none to happy about the Cheney visit and are speaking out. Stories at The Daily Herald and The Salt Lake Tribune tell the story of faculty, staff and students up in arms about the controversial and "deeply partisan" VP speaking to graduates.

A Blog was recently created that allows folks to sign a petition asking BYU to schedule another commencement speaker.

For those embroiled in this mess, The Pipeline suggests looking at the UVSC/Michael Moore uproar from 2004 for pointers on how not to act in this kind of situation. May cooler heads prevail.


The Pipeline said...

More articles on the uproar over Cheney's visit:

Wednesday's Trib

Wednesday's Daily Herald

The Pipeline said...

An excellent editorial on the whole thing can be found in this morning's Trib.

The Pipeline said...

BYU's public relations department just might have finally learned from past mistakes, and is letting students opposed to Cheney's visit conduct on-campus protests. Read all about it in today's Des News.

Check out the photo too. They got all of BYU's hipsters in one place.

The Pipeline said...

Here is the letter that four BYU professors sent to the school's paper The Daily Universe:

Letter to the Editor in BYU's Daily Universe:

"We are deeply disturbed BYU has invited Vice President Dick Cheney to speak at Spring commencement. Invited commencement speakers should exemplify all that is "virtuous, lovely, or of good report." In our estimation, Vice President Cheney does not demonstrate these qualities.

From all indications, Cheney is responsible for the manipulation of intelligence used as a pretext for declaring war on Iraq, the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and domestic wiretapping. There is every reason to question Cheney's ethics including the conviction of his former chief of staff, Scooter Libby, Halliburton's financial gain from bloodshed and many other scandals.

Using a national cross-sectional sampling strategy, scholars now estimate 650,000 Iraqis have died unnecessarily as a consequence of the war. In our study of the Book of Mormon, we find no evidence God condones preemptive war. In fact, the Book of Mormon demonstrates the opposite: God rebukes nations that attack other nations without just cause. We feel Vice President Cheney does not embody the ideals taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nor Brigham Young University and inviting Cheney to address students at graduation violates long-standing Church and BYU policies regarding political neutrality and sanctions the actions of a prominent political figure that demonstrates questionable ethics. We should not honor such an individual.

We call upon BYU's administration to retract its invitation to the Vice President. It would be far more appropriate to have a general authority address students. We are not against Vice President Cheney coming to campus but feel the best venue would be a university-wide forum where prominent individuals from all parties (Libertarian, Democratic and Green among others) have an open exchange of ideas about future directions for our country, not commencement. We ask other concerned faculty and students to 1) urge the same 2) write editorials to local and state newspapers, and 3) identify additional ways of peacefully protesting Dick Cheney's visit."


Kirk Dearden
Department of Health Science

Ralph Brown
Department of Sociology

Marie Cornwall
Department of Sociology

Tim Heaton
Department of Sociology

Pretty ballsy when you consider that when BYU employees publicly disagree with school or church policy they usually get fired.

The Pipeline said...

Another Online petition drive can be found here.