Restore Honor demonstration aims to inspire positive change

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The Wilkinson Student Center is the backdrop for a student-led demonstration planned for Friday at Brigham Square.

Restore Honor, a social media campaign working in cooperation with the Honor Code Stories Instagram page, will hold a demonstration on April 12 at noon at the Cougar Quad on the BYU campus.

Emily Schaumann, who is in charge of volunteer coordination for Restore Honor, said students can follow Restore Honor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updated information. People interested in helping as volunteers at the event can reach out through the campaign’s official email, restorehonorbyu@gmail.com.

According to Evan Jones, a a former BYU student helping run the Restore Honor social media accounts, the protest and larger movement isn’t about tearing down the university’s Honor Code, but rather addressing how the Honor Code Office can be “weaponized” against students, including alleged misuse of authority and abuse by the Honor Code Office’s counselors.

“We support the Honor Code and having a set of rules we choose to abide by,” Jones said. “But we want it to be more aligned with how Christ taught and how the Church teaches.”

According to Jonathan Lifferth, Restore Honor’s alumni stories coordinator, the movement is seeking to maintain accountability, advocacy and protection for students. The group, which has outlined its mission statement online, is calling for higher levels of confidentiality, equal treatment for all students and certified Honor Code counselors, as well as the right to record and receive transcripts of disciplinary meetings.

Lifferth said the event was planned in conjunction with Dean of Students Sarah Westerberg. The group is also meeting with Honor Code Office Director Kevin Utt. Lifferth said students shouldn’t have to worry about retaliation or punishment from the university for their participation.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure we are following the rules and going through the right channels,” Lifferth said. “If there are any issues, we are encouraging students to just listen and comply with our volunteer coordinators, who will be in contact with the university.”

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