Students protest Cheney visit to Brigham Young University
Although a planned commencement address by Vice President Dick Cheney isn't supposed to be political in nature, many students and faculty at a Mormon Church owned university are up in arms that he was invited in the first place.
"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," the Associated Press reports.
"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," Debbie Hummel reports for the AP. "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."
"Dueling Dick rallies" were held on the BYU campus today, as College Republicans "received approval for their own rally, at the same time, near the same location, as the College Democrats."
In an AP video report, students for and against the visit spoke about their reasoning.
"I don't believe that Dick Cheney represents Brigham Young University," said Adam Barlow. "I don't believe that he represents what students at BYU stand for."
Diana Smith of BYU College Democrats said that "it creates the appearance that BYU and the church -- it's a church owned university -- supports Dick Cheney." While another BYU College Democrats member, Diane Bailey, told the AP that some have called her a "bad Mormon" for protesting the vice president visit.
On the other hand, David Lassen from BYU College Republicans is "excited" that Cheney is coming to campus.
"We're excited to have him come because we're excited for the opportunity for BYU students to have that close of a personal interaction with someone who has such power and ability to alter and change the day to day actions of the United States and most of the world," Lassen said.
(Editor's note: Although the AP video refers to Barlow as a member of BYU College Democrats, he informed RAW STORY by email that he didn't belong to the student group, so a correction has been made to the article.)
The following video report is from The Associated Press: