I usually defend BYU, but I cannot in this case. I’m a senior at BYU, and all I can say is that I’m speechless. I am so glad that student yesterday directed their remarks toward the title IX officer so that this issue could bubble to the surface. It’s ironic that BYU is trying to protect its reputation by doing the very thing that’s getting the institution slammed by everyone.
The fear of reporting does not just apply to rape at BYU. Many students are afraid of confessing any sins to their bishops on campus because they don’t know if they will get reported to the Honor Code Office and kicked out of school or not. Yes, this fear can be “unfounded” because BYU and its bishops are usually very generous. However, the fear is still there and still real. It’s like the Joseph Smith Building is teaching repentance, and the Abraham O. Smoot administrative building is telling kids to keep things bottled inside… at least until after graduation.
Things need to change, and I’m grateful the issue has been brought to the forefront.
On April 18th, 2016 BYU made the following statement:
“We understand the concerns that have been expressed about the reporting of sexual assaults to our Title IX Office, and we care deeply about the safety of our students. We have decided to study these issues, including potential structural changes within the university, the process for determining whether and how information is used, and the relationship between the Title IX Office and the Honor Code Office.
“Under the direction of the university president, the issues will be closely studied. He will call on resources both inside and outside of the university to study all aspects of our process.”
- See more at: https://news.byu.edu/news/president-worthen-calls-study-title-ix-reporting-processes-and-structure#sthash.ShRnrEZq.dpuf
I’m grateful that the school has listened and is looking at “potential structural changes within the university”. I pray they will make wise decisions and needed changes.