Target: Brigham Young University (BYU).
Goal: Ensure student sexual assault victims are not punished for their assault, and create an open and safe environment for reporting sex crimes.
Brigham Young University is a strictly religious college that requires all students to agree upon and sign an “honor code.” Good standing is a contingency to enrollment and graduation from BYU. This Honor Code is penned by BYU as a promise that “student’s conduct is consistent with the [Honor Code] and the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
The Honor Code prohibits premarital sex, with the result that many sexual assault victims fear they will be punished for reporting the crimes against them. Student conduct determined to be outside the guidelines of the Honor Code may face suspension and expulsion, even when reporting instances of sexual assault and rape. The Honor Code policy and its unethical enforcement create a culture of fear at BYU, adding to the already problematic and prolific rape culture on American college campuses.
In order to protect its students and align with federal Title IX laws, BYU must change its Honor Code and completely strike out punishment to victims who report sexual assault. Tell BYU to take action against rape culture now.
Dear Brigham Young University and BYU Honor Code Department,
The Honor Code at your institution is systematically victimizing your students who report sexual assault. While you reserve the religious right to implement ethical guidelines at your University, the current standard is highly problematic in instances of sexual assault and demands further consideration and action. Any policy that allows punishment for reporting sexual assault is highly unethical and worsens an already flawed system that ignores the rights of sexual assault victims and encourages silence and shame.
I demand that you review your Honor Code. This policy should be amended to preserve the rights of students and protect them from further discrimination and pain as a result of the reported sexual assault. Any behavior deemed unsavory to your University is not grounds to punish or dismiss students who are victims. If you cannot fairly change your Honor Code system and amend it to protect your students, then it should be abolished.
[ Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Sam Saunder