Brigham Young University announced yesterday that students who come forward to say they were sexually assaulted will not be punished for drinking, having sex outside of wedlock, invited someone of the opposite sex into your bedroom, or breaking any other rules of the school’s Honor Code.
Which means that, before yesterday, students who came forward to say they were sexually assaulted were punished for breaking the rules.
We already knew this was a problem. Earlier this year, it was reported that some BYU students feared reporting their own rapes because they knew the school would punish them for violating the Honor Code.
The school is finally taking steps to put students’ safety above dogma.
The 34-page report, researched and drafted by a four-person advisory council starting in May, came after news accounts that the Mormon-run university in Provo, Utah, had investigated students for possible honor code violations after they reported being sexually assaulted.
The recommendations about amnesty will need to be reviewed and approved by three separate advisory councils, but the proposal will be in effect in the meantime, Julie Valentine, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and a member of the group that worked on the report, said in an interview on Wednesday.
It’s about damn time. How many students remained silent about their assaults, and how many students were punished, because of the school’s irresponsible handling of these situations?
That’s the problem with universities that create faith-based rules with no regard for the realities of the world. It’s the students who ultimately suffer.
(Image via Shutterstock)