Honor Code Office protest reaches NY Times, Newsweek

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Aaron Fitzner
BYU alumna Sidney Draughon speaks to the media at the Restore Honor demonstration outside the J. Reuben Clark Law Building on April 12. Draughon created the Instagram account Honor Code Stories. (Aaron Fitzner)

The BYU Honor Code Office reform movement has caught the attention of big-name media outlets over the past two weeks.

Locally, the Salt Lake Tribune, ABC4 News, KUTV, Deseret News, Daily Herald, and KUER 90.1 have covered the moment. Nationally, The New York Times, Associated Press, NBC News and Newsweek have reported on the story. 

At the student-led protest on campus April 12, news outlets covering the event included ABC4 News, the Salt Lake Tribune, KUTV2 News and KSL 5 TV. Many students interviewed are in favor of the coverage.

Jordana Cashman, a BYU alumna from Tucson who attended the protest, is one of those students.

“There is no attention that is too much attention for this,” Cashman said. “Everybody should be talking about it.”

She said she thought the coverage from well-known news sources was “great.”

“I think the New York Times should run a hundred articles about it,” Cashman said.

Zoe Calcote from Marrietta, California, whose husband is a BYU student, said the news attention was needed. “I thinks it needs to be more,” she said.

Emma Gadeski is an 18-year-old BYU pre-communications student from Las Vegas who also attended the protest.

“(The news coverage) was really effective and I’m just surprised it got out to national news,” she said. “I think they did a good job of reaching out.”

Dalton Bradford, a 23-year-old BYU student from Paris majoring in Middle Eastern studies and Arabic, said he appreciates how the media coverage shows the nonpartisanship of the movement.

“This should not be seen as a partisan event or a Utah-only thing,” Bradford said. “We’ve seen that there are also movements going on at BYU-Idaho, and on a smaller scale at Hawaii. The whole premise of this is that it’s all-inclusive.”

He said he hopes The New York Times’ coverage will mark a change in the publication’s attitude toward The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Stuff that they’ve reported about the Church has struck me as really one-sided at times,” Bradford said. “My hope is that this (coverage) shows that there are differences of opinion within the Church community, even among the youth, and that we’re not all just sheep or something. In terms of the gospel, we are all sheep, but we’re not all just blindly following leaders, patriarchy — we’re here for a reason.”

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