Thursday, December 01, 2005

Please Schedule Your Protest With the Dean of Students

From BYU's Newsnet:

University Police were called to disband a dozen students protesting the Iraq war, Wednesday, during a Student Honor Association-sponsored activity honoring the military.


Associate Dean of Students Jonathan Kau arrived at the request of the Student Association to tell the demonstrators to disband because they were imposing their dialogue on others.

“They didn’t have the right to be there,” Kau said. “They were detracting from the ROTC and honors group. It was never intended to shut them down just for the protest’s sake but more because they were disrupting the legitimately scheduled event.”


“Their cause was important enough that they didn’t have to follow the rules,” Kau said. “That doesn’t justify it in our minds.”

University policy requires permission from the Dean of Students for all events of public expression. According the Dean of Students Web site, “Brigham Young University encourages responsible non-disruptive public expressions as part of its intellectual climate.”

If I were still a student I'd be tempted to contact the Dean of Students and schedule a war protest.


ambrosia ananas said...

"Imposing their dialog on others," huh? Gee. That's so strange. Normally, one has to practically *beg* protestors to talk about their cause or share their thoughts. I mean, you have to get tickets to attend most major protests these days. And I like that he doesn't say that they *think* their cause is important enough--it *is* important enough. And still BYU will shut down a peaceful protest.

It's fascinating to me that BYU thinks the first amendment doesn't apply here.

Thanks for sharing, MFob. Nothing like BYU and the DU for a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. It's not that bad. If they REALLY want to protest, if they REALLY want to be heard, if they REALLY feel their cause is important, then they will do what it takes--maybe scheduling with BYU is what it takes. Most people who are the protest type are obnoxious anyway, but if you want to have an intelligent dialogue about it--that would be interesting and more affecting (and I assume they're looking to affect).

Just had to disagree with the usual "BYU is so closeminded" attitude. I think that most often there is usally a good explanation for why BYU does things the way they do (I didn't say *always*).

Anonymous said...

I have to agree w/anonymous. If you had put a lot of planning & work into scheduling an event for a particular purpose, would you want any group showing up that might 'ruin' your event by distracting from your planned purpose?

B.G. Christensen said...

Anonymous--You certainly demonstrate the epitomy of openmindedness with a comment like "Most people who are the protest type are obnoxious anyway." Especially Gandhi and MLK Jr. Those obnoxious bastards.

Sarcasm aside, I will agree that BYU *sometimes* has a good explanation for what they do. It's just that far too often the true underlying reason is a desire to silence any viewpoints that might threaten the ordered sterility of campus.

Anonymous 2--No, I wouldn't want anybody ruining an event I'd put a lot of planning and work into, but I would acknowledge that in an open space such as Brigham Square, they have the right to do so. Or at least should have the right. Sometimes order has to be sacrificed for free speech, but I'd much rather have that than sacrifice free speech for order.

Cricket said...

Especially Gandhi and MLK Jr. Those obnoxious bastards.
I have just gotten back into my chair after rolling on the floor with laughter. Thank you for being the one to point that out, and in such a poetic manner.

They were detracting from the ROTC and honors group...they were disrupting the legitimately scheduled event
Isn't that part of the point in a protest?

Brigham Young University encourages responsible non-disruptive public expressions
Again, disrution is part of the protest tactic isn't it? If there's nothing going on during the protest, that draws a large crowd then it's just a group of people hanging out who all the same view on a topic.

And Last- University policy requires permission from the Dean of Students for all events of public expression PERMISSION?!?!
A)What if it isn't granted?
B)Can you imagine that catching on? "Dr. President Bush, we would like to ask your permission to protest the war. We plan to be located across the street from your vacation home..."

Cricket said...

That was was not supposed to say Dr. pres bush, (hanging head in shame) it was was supposed to say DEAR pres b....
But you you all prolly figured that out (I hope)

Tolkien Boy said...

I have a protest group that meets every Tuesday night. We call ourselves the Protesters.

You should come visit sometime.

Anonymous said...

will you post a blog to show what the heck FOB stands for or means!

Anonymous said...

I'm annonymous #1, and FOB, you did make me laugh out loud pointing out my hypocracy. But, I remain a hypocrite. I wouldn't compare those "protesting" BYU students to MLK or Gandhi, that is insulting if intending a true match for match comparison.

Don't get me wrong, I value free speech and the freedom to protest. BUT, I do have to say that I imagine (and I'm probably offending a dozen readers of this blog) most of the BYU student protestors as students who get a charge out of dramatically pointing out how individualistic they are from all the other mormons who go to school here. If it were on just about any other campus those protesting students wouldn't make me roll my eyes so.

It's just that my experience with the BYU self-proclaimed "I'm like the only liberal on this campus! And the only one who cares about recycling!" student is that the majority of the reason they protest is for drama and attention, and they don't even know much about the subject for which they advertize their "WOW" political views.

In truth, I'm anti-war in Iraq, but you won't find me protesting on a mormon campus in Provo.

Besides, BYU is a private university, private property. So go across the street, or down to the gov't offices on Center, or whatever. Do your thing in front of the Daily Herald if you really want to get the word out.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 again. And, I am a bad speller. ;-)

skyeJ said...

Ditto to private property. Ditto to they can tell the students to do whatever they want. They've got the (American Freedom of Religious Expresson) right to, as a private religious university. They can even KICK THE STUDENTS OUT for not following the "rules of protesting". Don't expect a place that dictates facial hair to not have rules about protesting. That's like being shocked that a vegetarian restaurant won't serve you a steak. Why not focus that indignant energy on something that really IS unjust?

Th. said...


Wow! Why all the anonymity, folks?

My other thoughts have already been shared by others.

Melissa said...

It might be fun for anonymous to hold a protest expressing his/her views about anti-war protests.

Passerby: What are you doing?
Man (pointing to sign): This is an anti-war protest protest.

B.G. Christensen said...

A few thoughts:

1. Anonymous #1, the fact that you are able to laugh when I basically attack what you've said raises my level of respect for you.

2. I agree, A1, that a lot of liberals at BYU feel a need to be loud about their liberal views simply because they're at BYU and want to be different. I have often worried that I tend to do this myself. At some point I realized that the majority of BYU students I hang out with are open-minded, so it's a little silly to act like I'm the only enlightened one on campus.

3. However, I think it's foolish to assume we know anything about this particular group of protesters' intentions. And even if they are merely protesting in order to feel morally superior, they should still have a right to do so.

4. Yes, BYU has every legal right to do whatever it wants, but legality is not the same as morality. Yes, BYU is private property, but there are several things that make it different from, say, someone's home. In the first place, who owns BYU? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Who is the Church? One could argue that the tithe-paying members of the Church and the tuition-paying students at BYU own BYU. The school is run and decisions are made by a Board of Trustees--this is a group of people who the collective group of individuals with propietary claim to the school trust to make policy. When they make stupid decisions, such as insisting that students must schedule a protest with the dean of students, they violate that trust. Therefore I, as a tithe-paying member of the Church, have a right to be indignant. Having said that, I didn't intend to come across so much indignant as amused.

In the second place, BYU is an institution of higher learning. For such an institution to be successful, the free exchange of ideas should be encouraged. Making students jump through hoops that are likely enveloped in flames doesn not encourage them to voice their opinions. No, BYU doesn't legally have to do anything, but if their goal is to produce thinking individuals rather than mindless drones, some of their policies are not very effective.

5. Th., by whom have your thoughts already been shared?

6. Yes, why all the anonymity?

Anonymous said...

Bravo FOB for posting such a conversation starter. Anon #1 here again. Why the anon? Because I'm a blog spy, and I don't want you to know who I am, though I could make up a secret identity name. BTW, you don't know who I am--we've never met or anything.

I've really enjoyed this string of conversation. ;-)

B.G. Christensen said...

Ditto, A1. (Of course, now I'm wondering if I really have never met you before or if you're lying just so I won't think you're really the person I think you are. Hmm... I suppose the best policy is to assume you're telling the truth.)

Anonymous said...

You folks have the most entertaining blogs!!! 16 comments and still going - good for a lot of thought-provocation, and laughs as well.

So MFOB, how do you know that I am not "really the person (you) think (A1 is)"? I feel like we're in a house of mirrors.

B.G. Christensen said...

A2--I'm actually fairly certain that you're not the person I thought A1 was, unless she has moved to Hawaii and started using aol. Remember, I see all. :)

Unknown said...

I have a small, okay a large, problem with people protesting during a military honors ceremony.

Yes, you may have a right to speak your mind freely but don't do it to hurt those whom cannot change matters. There is no valid reason in my mind to attack the military or people in the military. Attack the politians who order it, attack the men who cause it not the people who are willing to sacrifice their lives in an honorable time and manner.

Think about the people who were there for this event. Veterans of WWII(mostly, although a few Nam vets would probably be there as well), Cadets entering the Military in the near future, and the family and friends of those individuals.

These are not bloodthirsty men. Whatever your reasons to protest against the war may be that was not the time nor place to do it. All they accomplished was angering people, and if you really want your oppinion to be heard...try not to piss people off before you say it, it has an annoying tendancy to close ears.

B.G. Christensen said...

Asmond, while I agree that it's foolish to piss people off if your goal is to be heard, I feel like I should say, in the protestors' defense, they were not attacking military personnel or veterans. Their point was that we can best support our troops by bringing them home, not by sending them to kill and be killed needlessly.

Anonymous said...

It's really hard to be discrete about your identity when you live on an island, isn't it.