Pesident's Dinner 2016

2016-2017 Student Government President Cole Staudt gives his State of the Student Body address, April 14 in the Alumni Center. Staudt talked about his plans to add meditation spaces around campus, change the university policies around dead week and more. 

Student Government President Cole Staudt said Thursday he disagrees with the Senate's opposition to Brigham Young University (BYU) possibly joining the Big 12 Conference.

The resolution passed Wednesday states that BYU discriminates against LGBT students, staff and faculty, and therefore should not join the Big 12 Conference.

"The Big 12 stands for the acceptance of everyone, no matter their beliefs. I do not think we would be any better than BYU if the Big 12 schools chose to reject them because of their beliefs," Staudt said in his statement. "The conference should see BYU’s bid to join us as an opportunity to work with BYU to create a more inclusive campus while still respecting the beliefs that many members of the Church of Latter Day Saints hold.”

BYU resolution

The first page of the BYU resolution.

Staudt argued his discontent for the resolution at the meeting.

“You make change by embracing people,” Staudt said at the meeting. “...this resolution is not the way you make change. We don’t make change by excluding people.

The resolution, which passed the Senate 21-6, followed a nearly hour-and-a-half long debate on whether or not the Student Government had a place to take a position against BYU possibly joining the BYU Conference.

The resolution will be sent to active leaders in the Big 12 Conference, including Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Iowa State President Steven Leath and other Big 12 university presidents. 

(24) comments

Adam Guenther

Cole Staudt is wrong. Bringing in BYU to the Big XII would not make them change and embracing them as he said does nothing but give validity to their polices, especially after all the attention they have been on with seeking admission to the conference. BYU or "Bigot" Young University has a terrible history and relation with the LGBT community, their hypocritical policies that allows opposite sex couples to hold hand and date openly, but can sanction same sex couples for the same thing, has no place in the Big XII community. Students that want to attend BYU and deal with their polices are their choices but Iowa State and the Big XII should have no place with BYU. If even Baylor can take a neutral and turn a blind eye to the issue, than that is the new minimum a school should have for membership.

Da Br

Wow, since when did we become so intolerant of differing views? BYU is a religious school, backed by a religion that teaches that acting on homosexual feelings is against the laws of God. That's really all there is to it. But there are gay students at BYU, and the church that backs BYU teaches treating all people with love, kindness, and fairness.

But that doesn't have to come at the cost of embracing or condoning philosophies that are fundamentally at odds with your beliefs - I can be kind and fair and courteous to someone without having to abandon my views.

For example, that same church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) strongly backed legislation in Utah in support of gay rights in housing, jobs, and so forth. It is not wrong for a church or any other group to stick to its principles, and it's a great example of how people with very different but strongly held beliefs can get along and work together - this is the stuff that makes our country great (and it's also extremely supported by the Constitution).

What doesn't make our country great is the current attitude that any differences in perspectives must be violently squelched.

Nobody who attends BYU is ignorant of the honor code. All students there - whether they are members of the LDS faith or not, whether they are gay or straight - agree to live by it while attending the university. Those who don't like it go somewhere else, and that's ok too. I think the sad thing with this student senate is that they seem to have very little actual knowledge of BYU - it's like the bulk of their info was distorted hearsay and then they ran out and passed a resolution on bad, or at least incredibly incomplete, info.

I do agree with one thing you said: BYU is unlikely to change, but that's because its policies aren't changed based on public opinion. It has principles and it's sticking to them. That sort of thing (having principles) used to be lauded, but maybe that's less common now. Regardless, is there a need to feel so threatened by it? If you have different views or principles or whatever, so what? The two really can coexist you know.

Don't like the ideals of BYU? Great, don't go there. But I don't understand the need to proactively attack someone because they think differently. The biggest irony of all is that these groups demand "tolerance" but seem to be completely ignorant of what that word means.

Mike Youngstrom

We've now excluded BYU in the hope they will change. What if they don't change? Do we begin excluding them in more ways to try and teach them a lesson? Deny making wedding cakes for them? Stop letting our children play with them? Where do you draw the line of exclusion when using exclusion to force change if change doesn't happen?

Joseph Johnsonn

This student government is a joke. By "banning" BYU they are simply showing their intolerance and how they only support inclusion for who they want, such hypocrites..

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