Dear 100 Hour Board,
What is the largest protest that has ever taken place on BYU campus? What was it about?
It's hard to find exact details on how many people were at different protests (thanks, "hundreds of people"), so I just decided to make a list of all the protests that happened on BYU campus.
- March 2020. BYU told LGBTQ+ students they could date, then reversed the reversal. Students were protesting BYU changing their policy to prohibit same-sex relationships. Lasted two days. Number: over 100 students/hundreds of students.
- April 2019. Students protested many aspects about the honor code, including unfairness to LGBTQ+ individuals, severe consequences, and a "climate of snitching and tattling". Number: 300.
- April 2016. Students and alumni protested BYU's treatment of sexual assault victims. Number: dozens of people.
- December 2014. Students protested injustices in U.S. law enforcement and courts, focusing on Eric Garner. Number: 15.
- September 2014. Students protested the beard ban. Number: 50.
- April 2007. Students, faculty, and alumni protested Dick Cheney as BYU's commencement speaker. Number: more than 200.
- March 2006. Students protested the firing of a BYUSA employee who wrote a letter to the campus criticizing some of their practices. Number: nearly 100 students.
- October 1997. Students protested BYU's Museum of Art decision to not show four Rodin works because of nudity. Number: a "large group of students."
- October 1994. May not count. Random dude and his family tried to tell BYU students their religion was wrong. Number: 8.
- 1993. Students and others protested the dismissal of 5 BYU faculty members - protesters said they were fired due to their political views. Number: 60.
- January 1991. Students protested the Gulf War. Number: small.
- April 1988. Students protested the U.S.'s involvement in Honduras and Central America. Number: 12 BYU students and others.
- 1970s. "During the hectic years of campus riots in the 1970s, the only protest demonstration ever held on BYU campus was by four freshman girls who appealed for larger portions of French fried potatoes in campus cafeterias." Number: 4.
"I have a friend that was in a protest at BYU, but I didn't find out about it until 10 or 12 years ago," said Lavina Anderson, feature editors at the Daily Universe from 1964 to 1967. "There must have been one, and I just missed it." Any sort of counter-culture movement at BYU would have had to be quiet because of the tight control President Ernest Wilkinson kept over the campus, said Anderson. "President Wilkinson was a very powerful influence," she said. "Experiments in dress and demonstrations against the war, all of those were actively repressed in their smallest forms, and repressed officially. Instead of expression of the '60s, there was repression."
It looks like the biggest protest was likely the Honor Code protest in April 2019.
-guppy of doom