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HappyJackWagon

Changes to BYU Admissions Policy

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Apparently BYU has been instituting these changes for the past couple of years, striving to move away from "activities checklists" and reliance on GPA and ACT scores (only).

The article discusses how BYU is looking to find people who better align with the school's/church's mission. That makes sense.

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Letters of recommendation from a seminary teacher and a core-subject teacher are also new requirements.

I find this interesting and a bit disappointing but I'm curious what your thoughts are. I've heard the question asked many times, "Does BYU require seminary graduation?" This new approach doesn't really answer that question but it does require a recommendation from a seminary teacher. I'm assuming it's in addition to a standard ecclesiastical endorsement and it seems like maybe it's a bit redundant, or maybe BYU isn't as trusting of the bishop's endorsement. I don't know. But basing college admissions on a student's engagement in seminary at one point in time during that student's senior year doesn't seem all that helpful. 

 

https://magazine.byu.edu/article/beyond-checkboxes-byu-admissions-changes/?fbclid=IwAR15MwtGDGSE2DuHeP9FtEaNCSnph7hB6OWRcqwMaDFSk6PqHFheaeLzXtI

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

If you are not attending seminary I am confused why you would pick BYU.

Why would anyone pick BYU when the Lord's university is the University of Utah?

Also, if one desires to attend seminary then I suggest Nashotah.

ETA: This is not necessarily a shot at BYU so much as it is a shot @Garden Girl and her misguided loyalty to BYU "sports" teams.

Edited by Valentinus
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41 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

If you are not attending seminary I am confused why you would pick BYU.

My question too.  BYU is a religious school.  Why wouldn't the scholarly religious activities of those who apply be considered?  

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Apparently BYU has been instituting these changes for the past couple of years, striving to move away from "activities checklists" and reliance on GPA and ACT scores (only).

The article discusses how BYU is looking to find people who better align with the school's/church's mission. That makes sense.

I find this interesting and a bit disappointing but I'm curious what your thoughts are. I've heard the question asked many times, "Does BYU require seminary graduation?" This new approach doesn't really answer that question but it does require a recommendation from a seminary teacher. I'm assuming it's in addition to a standard ecclesiastical endorsement and it seems like maybe it's a bit redundant, or maybe BYU isn't as trusting of the bishop's endorsement. I don't know. But basing college admissions on a student's engagement in seminary at one point in time during that student's senior year doesn't seem all that helpful. 

 

https://magazine.byu.edu/article/beyond-checkboxes-byu-admissions-changes/?fbclid=IwAR15MwtGDGSE2DuHeP9FtEaNCSnph7hB6OWRcqwMaDFSk6PqHFheaeLzXtI

 

37 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

If you are not attending seminary I am confused why you would pick BYU.

I have a brother who chose to go to a private somewhat secularized college, and decided he hated it. So he visited BYU, and decided to go. He loved it, and reactivated in the Church. A seminary requirement would have kept him out. If BYU had not admitted him, I probably would not have an active sibling out of my four siblings. 

While his experience probably does not reflect the goal of BYU, insularizing the school will definitely lose opportunities for the school and the student body. On the other hand I can understand the Church not wanting to subsidize a non-members education who is simply looking for a cheaper education. Nevertheless, if there are that many kids getting turned away, perhaps the Church should start a new campus back East. SWVU  is an expensive option. Maybe it is time for the Church to start a campus in Independence - Joseph Smith University.... 

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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

Because early morning seminary is stupid. (Sorry - it just is. I learned nothing from the time and all it did was make my own studies harder since I was more tired)

But there are other reasons such as being in a small ward/branch that doesn't really offer it. Of course there's independent study seminary. I wish it was easier to get here in Utah rather than having to go the seminary route at High School. I should also note that it's a problem for those going to private school or home school even in Utah.

Your experience with early morning seminary isn't everyone's though.

I loved early morning seminary (but early morning seminary for me was 7.  I know here in Utah they meet at 6, which seems crazy to me!).  Our teachers were really good and I learned a lot of the 'surprises' that people talk about finding out about and losing faith over during early morning seminary.  :pardon: 

Edited by bluebell
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13 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Sadly, there are many more such people out there.

She is publicly declaring her hope for the deaths of Pres. Nelson and Pres. Oaks, whether through a car crash or some other means.  She is actively and publicly wishing for harm to come to these men.  Not just harm.  Death.

What she said is vile.  Inexcusable.  Even . . . evil.

If a husband were to publicly declare that he hopes his wife will die in a car crash, calling him a "nominal" husband would a pretty tame response (as opposed to, say, "awful," "depraved," and/or "evil").

I invite you to ponder the miles of difference between "someone who didn't attend seminary" and "someone who is publicly declaring her wish for two leaders of her religion to be killed."

Thanks,

-Smac

You called the non-seminary goer "nominal".

I haven't excused or defended the woman's hope for the death of church leaders. That is pure ugliness.

So you are the one conflating the 2 different versions of "nominal" you are proposing.

There is no way for the church to control the faith life of BYU students/grads, either during or post education. The church may now consider me to be a "nominal" member but I sure wasn't when I served my mission, attended BYU, married in the temple, served in multiple church leadership positions for decades. Yet, here I am. "Nominal". Placing that label on people isn't helpful, especially when arguing that someone who didn't attend seminary is "nominal" when you don't know the circumstances. I suspect the people in the examples you shared are not members at all, any more, but if they are, maybe they like being labeled "nominal".

If you couldn't tell, I find "nominal" to be quite judgmental and offensive.

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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

Because early morning seminary is stupid. (Sorry - it just is. I learned nothing from the time and all it did was make my own studies harder since I was more tired)

My wife attended early morning seminary for all four years (in Washington State) and speaks with much gratitude for the experience.  She learned a lot, and valued the experience in part because of the difficulty of having it in the early morning hours.  She sacrificed for it, and it had more meaning for her in the end.

Meanwhile, I attended all four years of "Release Time" seminary in Utah, and my experience was . . . pretty meh.  Much of that is attributable to my attitude, though.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

You called the non-seminary goer "nominal".

No, I didn't.  You did.

Quote

I haven't excused or defended the woman's hope for the death of church leaders. That is pure ugliness.

You suggested her remarks are somehow on par with someone else being a "non-seminary goer."

Whatchoo talkin' about, Willis?!

Quote

So you are the one conflating the 2 different versions of "nominal" you are proposing.

Malarky.  I referenced "nominal members of the Church who, upon graduating, turn around and bash BYU, the Church, its leaders, its members, etc. for any and every grievance under the sun."

Nothing in there about "non-seminary goers."

Quote

There is no way for the church to control the faith life of BYU students/grads, either during or post education.

I agree.  I don't think the Church is interested in such "control."

But the Church is interested in fostering the faith of its members.  People who despise the Church, who publicly (though often anonymously) slander and disparage and insult it while at the same time exploiting its good will by getting an excellent education subsidized by the Church and the Widow's Mite, are not behaving well, and perhaps should not be given the privilege of attending BYU, and whose slot at BYU could instead be given to someone who will not spit upon the religious group providing and subsidizing their education.

And yes, I think such behavior renders them "nominal" members, since adjectives like "devout" or "observant" or "sincere" don't seem to fit.

Quote

The church may now consider me to be a "nominal" member but I sure wasn't when I served my mission, attended BYU, married in the temple, served in multiple church leadership positions for decades.

Oh, brother.  Again, I referenced "nominal members of the Church who, upon graduating, turn around and bash BYU, the Church, its leaders, its members, etc. for any and every grievance under the sun."

You then came along and suggested that a "non-seminary goer" might be construed as "nominal."  I didn't say that.  The Church didn't say that.  You did.

Quote

Yet, here I am. "Nominal".

I don't understand.  You are describing yourself as a "nominal" member, and the point of that is . . . what?

Quote

Placing that label on people isn't helpful, especially when arguing that someone who didn't attend seminary is "nominal" when you don't know the circumstances.

What a lot of crapola.  You referenced "non-seminary goers" as "nominal."  I did not.

Quote

I suspect the people in the examples you shared are not members at all, any more, but if they are, maybe they like being labeled "nominal".

Then why are you White Knighting for them?

Quote

If you couldn't tell, I find "nominal" to be quite judgmental and offensive.

I referenced "nominal members of the Church who, upon graduating, turn around and bash BYU, the Church, its leaders, its members, etc. for any and every grievance under the sun."

This, in your view, is "judgmental and offensive?"

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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3 hours ago, RevTestament said:

.......... Maybe it is time for the Church to start a campus in Independence - Joseph Smith University.... 

A lot of small schools are closing down, going bankrupt, and can be had on the cheap.  Might be nice to have a small liberal arts college named for Joseph Smith.

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1 minute ago, Robert F. Smith said:

A lot of small schools are closing down, going bankrupt, and can be had on the cheap.  Might be nice to have a small liberal arts college named for Joseph Smith.

Actually, I'll credit you for the idea of JSU - ha - although I'm sure there have been others with the thought. Yeah, SVU is essentially LDS according to what I know, but is still quite private, officially unaffiliated school, and somewhat expensive. It is kinda out in the boonies though, so I think some other place would be better. I figure perhaps there is no time like the present to get started on the New Jerusalem... :) hence my suggestion of the Independence area. Nevertheless, my personal guess (Unresearched)  is that there will be more schools available further East. That is essentially what Duke did. He bought Trinity College, and then built a whole new campus to the west, and made it one of the preeminent universities of the nation. Rather than trying to make the main BYU campus bigger or limit students more, I think the Church would be better off starting a new University back East - buying a pretty little liberal arts campus is not a bad way to start. I would have considered BYU if it was closer - at the time I wanted to attend a school within one day's driving distance from home.

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Posted (edited)

By way of additional information, here is an open letter which Jaclyn Foster addressed to Pres. Oaks and published in January 2018: https://medium.com/@j_n_foster/dear-president-oaks-325606c1eb1c .

In her open letter she describes in some detail how she contemplated suicide because Pres. Oaks made some remarks at a press conference about LGBT issues (available here: https://tinyurl.com/y5quz442).  His remarks were calm, doctrinal, and reasonable.  

And his remarks made her contemplate suicide while her baby slept in the next room.

I'm not sure how it is that some brief and temperate remarks made by Pres. Oaks in January 2018 resulted in her publicly wishing for his death in August 2019.

As for what she demands of Pres. Oaks in the letter, well, read it yourself and draw your own conclusions.  I hope that Sis. Foster finds a way to sort out her feelings.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

Your experience with early morning seminary isn't everyone's though.

Not saying it is. But it's also hardly unique among people wanting to go to BYU. If you had a great early morning experience fantastic. Assuming everyone will seems deeply problematic.

Further of those saying it was good I wonder how many would have also gotten a lot from independent study plus maybe a weekly class. (My weekly class sucked too - partially because the students knew much more about the scriptures than the teacher)

The question is for people doing independent seminary (or who for whatever reason didn't do seminary) what this means about getting into BYU.

24 minutes ago, smac97 said:

As for what she demands of Pres. Oaks in the letter, well, read it yourself and draw your own conclusions.  I hope that Sis. Foster finds a way to sort out her feelings.

For the record I find it deeply problematic to discuss someone in this fashion when they aren't even on the list to defend themselves. This is someone who made a random tweet not a public figure. I've no idea what issues, if any, she is dealing with. But if you think she's dealing with issues I'd wonder if you think this is helping with those issues or making them worse? What would the Christlike thing be to do? 

I disagree with a lot of her views, but I've also had quite enjoyable discussions with her. However I find deeply problematic the idea we should contribute to Twitter outrage mobs for individuals with little influence. It hurts them and is at best a distasteful type of virtue signaling (IMO).

Edited by clarkgoble
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Posted (edited)

Getting recommendations from seminary teachers has been a thing for a long time, at least since 2011 when I applied.

When I was a student I had a job where I helped prospective students calling in asking about the application and we would occasionally get questions about whether seminary was a requirement to get in. We were told to tell them that it wasn't a requirement and that they would take into account their whole situation (like if they were a non-member or recent convert) and that if they wanted to there was a section of the application where they can explain their situation. It's interesting that they would be emphasizing it more now, like others here have said I'm not actually sure that it corresponds so well to qualified students as they think.

It's also worth noting that if you have (I think 12) credits from another university, you fill out a different application and you don't have to submit anything from high school including seminary.

Edited by mapman
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4 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

.  I don't know that I would call people who served missions and were married in the temple "nominal" member

Commitment in the past doesn’t mean commitment now and it is not unknown for kids to go on missions for other reasons besides belief and desire to share the gospel or to get married in the temple because they believe in the covenants (their future spouse wants to, family wants it)...though I would assume with missions that happens less with women due to lower levels of expectations. 

It is not unusual for posters on various exmormon forums to claim they are nonbelievers, but they are being ‘forced’ to go on a mission or to BYU as their parents won’t pay for school or a new car otherwise or just because they cannot figure out how to work the family dynamics well enough to feel able to be open about their disbelief (which I think is very sad, I can relate some because I dropped physics, which was my dream, and went into electric engineering, which I wasn’t interested in because of wanting to please my dad more or less as his reasoning was I couldn’t get a job in physics, which was false as being female companies would love me to meet quotas, but I didn’t think to question his knowledge...it is very hard to go against what parents want for us because they love us and think it is a better life).

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Sadly, there are many more such people out there.

She is publicly declaring her hope for the deaths of Pres. Nelson and Pres. Oaks, whether through a car crash or some other means.  She is actively and publicly wishing for harm to come to these men.  Not just harm.  Death.

What she said is vile.  Inexcusable.  Even . . . evil.

If a husband were to publicly declare that he hopes his wife will die in a car crash, calling him a "nominal" husband would a pretty tame response (as opposed to, say, "awful," "depraved," and/or "evil").

I invite you to ponder the miles of difference between "someone who didn't attend seminary" and "someone who is publicly declaring her wish for two leaders of her religion to be killed."

Thanks,

-Smac

I’m sorry this is more than a bit overwrought. Was her comment distasteful? Yes. Did she say she wished them dead? No! She said their deaths would be good for the church (and they will die eventually, likely within the next few years). There is a huge difference. Have you established that she even wants what is good for the church? To the contrary she seems to dislike the church, so it sounds like she wants them to live long and healthy lives. 

To my knowledge, death is the only way a president of the church has ever been removed from office. If President Nelson passed away tonight (May he live forever!) President Oaks would be the next president of the church. If someone honestly believes that those two men are bad for the church, the only way they can be removed is by their passing. 

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I applied to law school at J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.  I was not accepted.  While that may have been for the best (I doubt I would have graduated from law school if I'd gone anywhere but where I did: Is that a good thing or a bad thing? :huh::unknw:), as long as students are admitted to BYU who, thereafter, thumb their noses at BYU and at its sponsoring institution, those of us who, potentially, lose out on a spot that, potentially, may go to someone like that are entitled to wonder.

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Whatchoo talkin' about, Willis?!

Please don’t do that. 

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1 minute ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I’m sorry this is more than a bit overwrought. Was her comment distasteful? Yes. Did she say she wished them dead? No! She said their deaths would be good for the church (and they will die eventually, likely within the next few years). There is a huge difference. Have you established that she even wants what is good for the church? To the contrary she seems to dislike the church, so it sounds like she wants them to live long and healthy lives. 

To my knowledge, death is the only way a president of the church has ever been removed from office. If President Nelson passed away tonight (May he live forever!) President Oaks would be the next president of the church. If someone honestly believes that those two men are bad for the church, the only way they can be removed is by their passing. 

Keep trying to put lipstick, rouge, eye shadow, and perfume on that pig, Seeking Understanding.  Dress it up all pretty, talk nicely to it, and call it Penelope.  Maybe you can persuade people that Penelope really isn't a pig.  Good luck.

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2 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Keep trying to put lipstick, rouge, eye shadow, and perfume on that pig, Seeking Understanding.  Dress it up all pretty, talk nicely to it, and call it Penelope.  Maybe you can persuade people that Penelope really isn't a pig.  Good luck.

If you bothered to read what I said (a problem I seem to have you), I called the comment distasteful. I also called smac’s response overwrought (which it was). I note that you didn’t engage the content of the post at all (again typical for my interactions with you!). Did I miss where she “wished” someone dead? For two people with a law degrees, you two seem to miss a lot of nuance with words. 

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32 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

... For the record I find it deeply problematic to discuss someone in this fashion when they aren't even on the list to defend themselves. This is someone who made a random tweet not a public figure. ...

If we followed that standard, about 95% of contributions to the Board would have to be disallowed.  Ms. Foster, it would seem, is just fine with the idea of courting publicity when it suits her purposes to speak ill of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of its leaders, while shunning such publicity when it does not.  Your mileage may vary, but I don't think she can (or should be able to) have it both ways.

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      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      Section name: Explain Doctrine _
      Instructions: Write your answer on a piece of paper. Compare your response with the correct answer received from your teacher. After self-grading the explain-doctrine question, bubble in your answer sheet.
      Self-grade your answer for each question:
      a. Yes, I explained this in my response.
      b. No, I left this out of my response.
        29. What is an example of a truth that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why the truth you chose can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        30. What is an example of an ordinance that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why the ordinance you chose can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        31. What is an example of priesthood authority that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why this authority of the priesthood can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        32. Share your personal thoughts on the importance of the Prophet Joseph Smith. (1 mark)
    • By Five Solas
      Got back home last Sunday after 8 days in London, England, celebrating my 10-year wedding anniversary with my wife.  Our three kiddos stayed at home with her parents—which was awfully generous of them.  (Other guys may complain about their in-laws, but not I.)  It was a great trip, perfect walking weather, peak tourist season not yet started. 
      We stayed at The Grosvenor adjacent to Victoria Station, which meant we had pretty near the whole city within ~ 30 minutes via the Underground (and Buckingham Palace within a six minute walk).  And I’ll share one small observation with the board for any discussion:
      Aberrant theology notwithstanding, the Jehovah’s Witnesses work pretty dang hard.  
      A number of times we saw them working the street.  And unlike Seattle where they will occasionally occupy a corner & smile gently at passers-by—here they seemed to be anxiously engaged with the vast diversity of humanity that occupies greater London.  Yes, we saw a lot of old churches and even a new one that could have been an Acts 29 plant.  But in all our time, we never once saw any LDS missionaries. 
      Recently there was a thread about religious persecution in contemporary Russia.  And this has hit the JW’s hard—because they’ve worked vigorously to establish themselves after the fall of the Soviet Union and have built quite a presence (~100K active worshipers in Russia).   But on that same thread, we couldn’t even figure out how many LDS stakes there are today in Russia (somewhere between zero and three).  Some other stats were tossed about along with an LDS “Locator” app which, among other things, pointed the user to what could have been a boarded-up McDonald's.  After nearly three decades since the fall, LDS here don’t know or seem to care (but a few certainly enjoyed discussing/debating political aspects of Russia).  It’s a stunning contrast to all the fevered speculation when I was growing up (70’s – 80’s) about the missionary/membership opportunity for the LDS Church if Communism were to fall. 
      I realize it’s all anecdotal, and with a life-expectancy assumption of 110 for lost members, we can expect the LDS Church to continue to claim modest membership growth into the foreseeable future (loosing track of people makes *much* better numbers than knowing who actually dies or quits). 
      The question I have is this: Have we entered a period of retreat and retrenchment for the LDS Church where the focus will shift more to Utah and adjacent states (plus perhaps a few parts of the “third world” where record keeping and independent verification of membership will conveniently not be possible).  Even at the national level, we appear to see an example of retrenchment with BYU’s divorce from USAF ROTC.  And on the front page we have a thread about whether “slowing growth” makes any difference to the LDS Church and its adherents.  And again, the LDS here don’t seem terribly interested or concerned. 
      What do you think?  Has Mormonism peaked?  Any will LDS really care if it has?
      --Erik
      ______________________________________________
      You left
      Your tired family grieving
      And you think they're sad because you're leaving
      But did you see Jealousy in the eyes
      Of the ones who had to stay behind?
      --The Smiths "London"
    • By Five Solas
      Thinking about BYU losing the US Air Force ROTC program it has hosted, almost since the inception of the Air Force (as a separate service from the USAAC).  Although some will play down the move to UVU – I think this could prove a watershed moment for BYU and for LDS.

      For over half a century the Air Force played by the rules of the LDS authored “Honor Code” at BYU and found officers willing to work within its constraints.  In return, BYU supplied thousands of competent officers. 

      And whatever the exact equation of costs vs. benefits for Air Force officer recruitment/training, one thing is certain: The LDS Church and its flagship university aren’t as valuable as they used to be.  They used to be worth accommodating--and now they're not.  LDS influence stands diminished. 

      A couple years ago, Daniel C. Peterson wrote an article that was perhaps prescient—

      Growing up in the fifties and sixties, it was easy to assume that American society respected Latter-day Saints. We might be out on the theological fringe, regarded as a bit quirky, but American civic religion was at least theoretically pretty much on our side. For example, Americans seemed to honor ideals of faithful, heterosexual marriage, with fathers taking the lead and mothers caring for children. Society was, in other words, largely in sync with, and supportive of, fundamental, practical Mormon values. In fact, Mormons seemed quintessentially American — which, in the postwar era of the Pax Americana, benefited our church not only in the United States but in Europe and Japan.

      Today, though, Mormonism and Western society seem to be parting ways in crucial respects.

      What do folks think?  Is the Air Force ROTC departure from BYU related to a broader trend Peterson wrote about in 2015?  
      --Erik

    • By SeekingUnderstanding
      http://news.byu.edu/news/news-release
      This looks to be a huge step forward and I applaud BYU for it. It will be interesting to see what exactly an amnesty clause looks like.
      Duplicate topic
    • By HappyJackWagon
      I'm very proud of BYU today. The advisory committee worked quickly to make their recommendations and BYU has accepted all 23 recommendations though some of them will be phased in gradually. Among the immediate changes will be that survivors of sexual assault who report to the Title IX office will receive amnesty for other violations of the honor code that occurred near the time of the assault. This will encourage more victims to step forward and report their assaults which will in turn help BYU get rid of the perpetrators and provide greater security on campus and among its students. This is great news.
      https://news.byu.edu/news/news-release
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