PROVO, Utah – Some students and faculty on one of the nation’s most conservative campuses want Brigham Young University to withdraw an invitation for Vice President Dick Cheney to speak at commencement later this month.
Critics at the school question whether Cheney sets a good example for graduates, citing his promotion of faulty intelligence before the Iraq war and his role in the CIA leak scandal.
The private university, which is owned by the Mormon church, has “a heavy emphasis on personal honesty and integrity in all we do,” said Warner Woodworth, a professor at BYU’s business school.
“Cheney just doesn’t measure up,” he said.
Woodworth is helping organize an online petition asking that the school rescind its invitation to the vice president.
In its first week, the petition collected more than 2,300 signatures, mostly from people describing themselves as students, alumni or members of the church.
The display of dissent is rare for a university that has been voted the nation’s most “stone-cold sober” school nine years in a row in the annual Princeton Review of party schools.
Students at BYU adhere to a strict honor code that forbids everything from drinking coffee to wearing shorts or short skirts. The school’s 30,000 students seldom even stray from campus sidewalks, leaving its lawns pristine.