Talk:Brigham Young University/Archive 2

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BYU is Urban?

This has now come up a couple of times. Generally, BYU is considered a suburban campus. There are lots of reasons why this makes sense. Even if technically BYU were considered to be near the center of a "city," the setting and environment of the campus is much more accurately described as suburban, and this would be consistent with how most other suburban campuses describe themselves. --NThurston 13:51, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

First of all, I believe that the issue is whether or not BYU is urban, not Provo. I won't replace the Suburban link again, but I don't believe that it's correct. Here is why; Provo/Orem has a US Census Metropolitan Statistical Area that is independant of Salt Lake City and its' MSA. The quote in Peterson's Guide discribing BYU states "Suburban 557-acre campus with easy access to Salt Lake City", which indicates that they are considering Provo a suburb of SLC. This is not OR as there are many published works indicating this point of view ( See USNews.com's America's best colleges 2006, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/directory/brief/drglance_3670_brief.php) Note: The attempted personal attack is comical; "I think you have to be a Utah County native to think BYU is in an urban environment."--71.213.74.70 01:01, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I thought that attempted personal attack was pretty comical, too, being from UT Co. myself, and definitely not thinking it is urban. More on point, the setting of a campus has less to do with Census definitions, etc., and more to do with the surroundings and amenities available. The distinction being that urban campuses are set in areas with access to significant levels of city-center amenities, while suburban campuses are farther away from the action.
For example, while the towns surrounding Princeton University offer the usual suburban amenities (malls, some decent restaurants, a few cafes and bars, etc.) there is a shortage of "city life" elements. However, Princeton students can take a train into New York City or drive to Philly to get access to all that those cities offer. Therefore, Princeton is correctly categorized as a suburban campus, while Columbia and Penn are urban campuses. The area surrounding BYU is much more like the area surrounding Princeton than Columbia or Penn.
I believe Peterson's lets school self-describe, and on the whole, their report makes a whole lot of sense (though it isn't perfect). Note that Boston College is listed as suburban, while Harvard and Boston U. are listed as urban, even though they are in the same MSA. Similarly, Stanford is suburban while UC Berkeley is urban, even though they are both close to SF. It's more a difference of the surrounding environment and level of available amenities than anything else. --NThurston 13:58, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Mergefrom Berkeley of the West

The article Berkeley of the West shouldn't stand on its own. I suggest it be merged to the "Academic freedoms" section of this article. Quarl (talk) 2006-07-05 01:29Z

In my opinion, this Berkely of the West article should not be part of the BYU article.  It's an isolated incident and it's not relevant to the overview of BYU that the BYU article should be. — John 13:28, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't deserve an article on its own, but I think should be included in wiki - so therefore should be on the BYU page.
I agree with John. Isolated incidents like this are not relevant to the encylopedic nature that this article should be. "Berkeley of the West" is just not important enough to appear here. If the content should be included in wiki and can't stand alone, perhaps a new article should be created, dedicated to "Academic freedoms" at BYU. --ekimd 01:26, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Bell tower picture change

On 10 November 2006, User:Ivantubaman changed the picture in the foreign languages at BYU section (the picture with the bell tower in the middle and the leaves around the outside). That was my favorite picture on the entire page. Was there a reason for the change? How does everyone else feel? ekimd 14:11, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

A Major Edit: Loss of Information

From 4 April to 12 April 2006, an unidentified user with IP address 24.251.221.82 made over 75 changes to the article. The user rewrote paragraphs and deleted entire sections. (See the before and after comparison.) The user NEVER explained ANY of his or her changes. As I understand, removing such a significant amount of information without explanation is completely against Wikipedia policy. Several sections have yet to be replaced. Some of the information found in those missing sections is already creeping back onto the page in a less-organized manner. I think several sections and paragraphs should be replaced. Has anyone else noticed the changes made that week? Are they appropriate, in your judgement? -Milkncookie 23:57, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

From my cursory glance at the "diff", it looks like this user just rearranged some paragraphs. Due to a bug in Wikipedia's "diff" system, it only looks like entire paragraphs were deleted, but they are reinserted below. Can anyone confirm? --01:38, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm specifically referring to the former "Academics" section, which used to have several subsections with verifiable data representing the achievements of a handful of colleges and schools at BYU. A couple of the subsections were retained, without any explanation as to why they were retained and other subsections were removed. Since then, some of the verifiable data/achievements have reappeared in a less-organized format. Anyway, I guess it's not a big deal to me, if others are OK with the remaining information. I just wish anonymous users would indicate reasons when they make huge changes... -Milkncookie 15:46, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

BYU Demographics

There is a statement in the article that "BYU also attracts a significant number of Muslim students". I am having a very hard time finding any detailed demographics for BYU. Anyone know what data supports this? Oasisbob 20:24, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I personally wouldn't know where to find those stats, but my own experiences would support this, but I know that's anecdotal and therefore not so helpful to the article. — John 12:33, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
There are enough to have a Muslim Students Association. Presumably, one could contact them to find out how many student members they have. --NThurston 18:03, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Doing the math from these figures suggest maybe 100 or more foreign Islamic students plus whatever there are from the U.S. --NThurston 18:34, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Nice find. It sounds like that post might have been the original source for the Muslim-student statement. However, I think the logic in that post is flawed because it would also include Jewish students. Also, if 6% of students at BYU are international, and yet only 2% of the overall population is non-LDS it would mean that at least 2/3rds of International students are LDS. I see no way to estimate the number reliably, there are far too many variables to consider. Because BYU doesn't release more detailed demographic information, there is no way to know for sure. Unless there is a reliable source, I think this statement warrants removal. (I emailed the MSA to ask if they have any info, I'll post any results.) Oasisbob 22:04, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I received a response from someone at the MSA who estimates BYU's Muslim population to be 60 or so students. Oasisbob 14:49, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Nevermind*

BYU's lack of a Greek system and Spring Break

BYU is very different from other universities in that it does not have fraternities / sororities or a Spring Break. I think these differences really set BYU apart from other universities and should therefore be included at the beginning of the article. We want to help outsiders know what BYU is all about. This info is very informative to BYU outsiders. The first paragraph is generally what most people will read. The lack of a Greek system and Spring Break at BYU are too unique to be buried deep in the body of the article. What does everyone think? JackWilliams 21:20, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

You really didn't need to post the same information here and on my talk page. However, since you have, I will provide my response in both places:
While the lack of any fraternities and sororities is one of BYU's unique features, the highly religious/LDS nature of the college covers some of this ground. Moreover, this is not necessarily something more unique to BYU than its extraordinary rate of bilingualism, the fact that it hosts the national Welsh library and the largest Welsh program in the country, the fact that it has its own 5-star restaurant, the fact that it requires essentially an entire semester-worth of religion credits, or that it has the largest and longest-running foreign film program in the nation. These are only a few of the unique and significant things about BYU, none of which show up in the first paragraph. And there's really no need for them to.
Regarding Spring break, I really don't see that as all that phenomenal—BYU's Winter semester ends significantly earlier than that of most universities. It may be better to think that BYU has a Spring break, but it is given at the end of the semester, rather than in the middle. The Jade Knight 22:01, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Jade, things at the top of the BYU article should be unique and noteworthy. I agree that it's unique that a lot of BYU students have some proficiency in second languages (I think it is a stretch to say that returned missionaries are bilingual-- they really don't speak their mission languages all that well), so it's fair that the top of the article makes reference to this. The national Welsh library may very well be unique; I don't know if it's very noteworthy since Welsh is a relatively obscure language, but if it really is noteworthy, then maybe the top of the BYU article should mention it. The thing is, for most Americans, the college experience includes the presence of fraternities and sororities (even though not all non-BYU college students join them). Likewise, Spring Break is a rite of passage for most American college students. It's noteworthy that BYU does not have one. When editing this article, I think it's important to remember the perspective of the average reader who may not know much about BYU. JackWilliams 03:58, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Lead Section

JackWilliams and I have had a brief (and friendly) interchange about what should be mentioned in the lead section. Here are some Wiki guidelines on this issue:

  • Wikipedia:Featured article criteria — Featured articles should have a concise lead section that summarizes the entire topic and prepares the reader for the higher level of detail in the subsequent sections.
  • Wikipedia:Guide to layout#Lead section — "Normally, the first paragraph summarizes the most important points of the article. It should clearly explain the subject so that the reader is prepared for the greater level of detail and the qualifications and nuances that follow. If further introductory material is needed before the first section, this can be covered in subsequent paragraphs. Introductions to biographical articles commonly double as summaries, listing the best-known achievements of the subject. Keep in mind that sometimes this is all that is read, so the most important information should be included."

So, with this in mind, we'd like your opinion on what sorts of things should be included in the BYU lead section. It might be useful to review how other university articles are written. What do you think are the "most important points" of this article? --NThurston 13:39, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I think a summary of particularly notable fields/achievements would be good (ie "strong language program", etc.), as well as concise renderings of other notable aspects ("strong honor code concerning chastity, honesty, and substance use"), etc. Trivia of any sort, unless really huge, should probably be left out of the initial paragraph, though it may belong in subsequent leading paragraphs. Part of the question is how big do we want the initial section to be? BYU is a large school with a number of notable features, many of which could be argued into the first paragraphs. The Jade Knight 21:47, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. Featured article criteria require "concise." Quantifying that? As I review other University articles, I would say that it it about the right length as is. So, the question becomes not "adding more" but prioritizing what goes there.--NThurston 13:26, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that brevity is good in an intro. Here is what I think should mentioned in the lead:
1. The percentage of BYU students that are LDS.
2. The Honor Code's prohibitions of extramarital sex and alcohol.
3. That most male students at BYU take a two-year hiatus after their freshman years to be LDS missionaries.
4. That a lot of BYU students have a degree of proficiency in second languages, and that this proficiency stems largely from the missionary experience.
5. That most BYU students are part of LDS congregations and that these congregations are the primary social hubs for BYU students.
These are all in my opinion defining traits of BYU. I agree that the lead might be the only thing read, and a BYU outsider would be well educated on the subject of BYU by learning the five points I just listed. If these things are buried deep in the article, some readers will probably never see them. I'm all for trying to incorporate the above five points into the lead section in a concise manner.
I think that BYU's lack of a Spring Break and Greek system are also significant. Spring Break is a common rite of passage at most accredited American universities, so it's noteworthy that BYU does not have one. Fraternities and sororities are major facets of student life at most other schools, so again it's really insightful to know that BYU does not have a Greek system. But I have a feeling that it will be hard to convince people that these last two points should be in the lead so I won't lobby excessively for them to be there. Thanks NThurston and Jade Knight for your comments and please I'd like to hear some more editors weigh in on this. JackWilliams 04:21, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
3 seems to be redundant with 1, to me. The reason they all go on missions is because they are LDS, and this would be true of any location where students are largely LDS (there are at least 4 universities in the US that fit the bill). While this is a feature of BYU, I don't think it has much to do with BYU so much as the LDS population there. At the same time, we could talk about how BYU is in a dry, desert climate and gets lots of sun. But this is not something that's unique about BYU as BYU, but rather something that is a feature it has by virtue of it being located in a desert.
I also think that #s 4 and 5 are overstated—BYU has the highest language enrollment rate in the nation, and that goes well beyond missionary experiences. The Welsh program, which is the largest in the nation, for example, exists despite the fact that the LDS church currently offers no Welsh-speaking mission. I also think that there are a great many social hubs that extend beyond wards, including housing complex (which is tied into wards, but one is social with one's neighbors because they are one's neighbors, not because they are in one's ward.) It is okay to say that it's a significant element, but I think it's overstating to say it is "the primary social hub".
I think that among BYU's most notable features are its library (which is really top-notch) and its dance program (several of BYU's dance troupes are internationally reknowned. The Cougarettes, Folklore Dance Company, and Ballroom Dance Company are all internationally recognized as among the best in the world. Surely, these features are more relevant and unique to BYU than other features which are simply and clearly side-effects of its predominantly LDS population (which is true of every other such university, where the library and dance program are not). The Jade Knight 05:12, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I'll go ahead and add a brief sentence about languages and missions in the intro section. JackWilliams 06:49, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, so I added three sentences. JackWilliams 07:08, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I think as phrased it ignores the importance of BYU's language program. BYU usually offers around 30 languages at the 101-level every semester. This is clearly not simply to fill the desire for missionaries to continue to advance in their languages. Several languages taught at BYU are not taught in the MTC. And the fact that many men and women serve missions is simply a reflection of the community being LDS, and is not particularly notable for BYU (compared to other universities with similar demographics). It probably belongs in the article, but I don't think it belongs in the leading section. The Jade Knight 10:38, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
If no BYU students went on missions, the language programs would probably be a lot less significant. I think people go on missions to one country, learn a language, and then get fired up about learning another. Jade Knight, I presume you went to France on your mission and then studied Norman and Welsh afterwards. If I am right, would you have studied Norman and Welsh if you had not gone to France and learned French on your mission? Moreover, I imagine that the majority of languages studied at BYU are mission languages. What's notable about BYU is that such a high percentage of male students can speak decent Spanish, French, or German, not that 20 students are enrolled in Welsh 101.
I certainly don't disagree that people become Mormon missionaries because they are Mormon. But the two-year post-freshman year hiatus for male students is simply a major aspect of BYU. It has to be in the lead section because it shapes the identity of BYU as an institution like little else. And I agree that it also shapes the identity of BYU-Idaho and maybe LDS Business College and BYU-Hawaii. So the lead sections of the articles for other LDS schools should probably also mention missions. JackWilliams 05:01, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Your assumption is absolutely incorrect. I personally learned French exlusively at school (high school & college) and through immersion (completely unrelated to the LDS Church). You are making an undocumented assumption about BYU's language programs which I think is unfounded (much as your assumption about my own interest in language is unfounded). BYU offers over 70 different languages, roughly 50% more than the MTC offers (and the MTC offers quite a selection!) I would bet (but, like you, have no hard proof) that the majority of language students at BYU are not studying their "mission language"; I have known literally hundreds of language students at BYU, and only a minority (albeit a significant one) were studying the language of their mission (in my own personal experience). If the MTC happens to offer the majority of languages available at BYU, this is not because BYU lacks language selection in any way (how many other universities offer over 70 languages?) Rather, it is a tribute to the wide variety of languages taught at the MTC (and the same statement could be said for any non-LDS university, as well).
To respond again to your question: If I had not served a French-speaking mission, I obviously would still have learned Welsh and Norman, because I did not serve a French-speaking mission, and I've studied both.
A great many students at universities throughout the southern US speak Spanish. Yes, this is significant, but less significant than the areas where BYU is truly unique and stands out—such as the overall size of its language programs (collectively or individually), and it is particularly notable in the languages where it offers more than any other North American university (such as in Welsh). BTW, you underestimate the size of BYU's Welsh program (the four Welsh courses being offered Fall 2007 will accomodate up to 100 enrolled students, and the program has grown every year since Tom Taylor began teaching). It certainly can't compare to the size of the French or Spanish programs, but for a Welsh program outside of the United Kingdom, it's huge.
I think the mission element of BYU, while significant, is not particularly notable or unique to BYU. I can see no reason it belongs in the lead paragraph any more than the fact that it snows in Winter at BYU would, or that it suffers from a dry climate. The Jade Knight 07:17, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
If it can be proven that there is another university in the USA with a higher prevalence of Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, and Tagalog semi-fluency, then maybe we should modify the lead section. I think BYU is hands-down #1 in widespread semi-fluency in foreign languages. And it's a direct result of the mission experience.
Perhaps only BYU-Idaho has as high a percentage of male (or female) students who serve missions. Out of all of the universities in the USA / world. I'd say that's pretty darn unique. And it is a major aspect of BYU as an institution. It snows at a lot of universities. JackWilliams 10:04, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
You're making highly speculative claims. If BYU's language program were dictated by mission experience it would a) not offer over 70 languages, and b) contain at least 80% men (as far, far fewer women serve missions, and fewer still serve foreign). However, in many languages, women seem to be the majority, and I've seen nothing which suggests that fewer women than men are taking foreign language classes at BYU at all. The Jade Knight 10:11, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
BYU's foreign language program probably does not merit mention in the lead. The widespread semi-fluency of foreign languages at BYU does, however. JackWilliams 10:16, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
More than 3x the national average % of BYU students take foreign languages every semester. BYU has the largest study abroad program in the nation. BYU has the largest local language immersion program in the nation. "BYU has more student enrollments than any other school in the country in Russian, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Icelandic, Welsh and Cebuano. Only one other school has more student enrollments in Spanish." [1]
"'How many colleges in the country can offer advanced courses in Tagalog, Vietnamese or Bulgarian? . . . There are no others. There is no need, no interest and no faculty able to do it.'" [ibid]
BYU is the location of the National Welsh Library and the National Middle East Language Resource Center, and who knows how many other significant programs! If a language program at any university in the United States merits mentioning, the one at BYU does. The Jade Knight 10:25, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Evidently BYU's language program featured prominently in the New York Times in 1993, as well, and it's gotten significantly larger since (at least in terms of the number of languages offered): "According to a New York Times article written in February 1993, BYU's language program 'stands apart from other big efforts' such as Yale University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison..." [2] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jade Knight (talkcontribs) 10:39, 10 April 2007 (UTC).
OK. It seems that there are very few people (3?) interested in this topic. I have read through your discussion of the mission being relevant to BYU. I am convinced that while the mission shapes BYU, the causality runs that way, not backwards (BYU doesn't really shape the mission). I am fairly confident that several other Utah schools (Snow, UVSC, USU, CEU, Dixie, Weber, and even UofU) not to mention some schools in Idaho are similarly shaped by the "RM" factor. It is my opinion, then, that for these two reasons, the mission should be discussed in the article, but not in the lead.
As for the language programs, I believe that there is verifiable evidence in the article that BYU has a national reputation for its language programs, hence it should be in the lead. I might support a brief mention of the fact that missionary service enhances this reputation, if it were documented in the article.
Other suggestions that I believe help to summarize the article include: History, Church Ownership, Honor Code & Religious activity, Academic reputation (this is where language fits), Performing arts/sports (brief mention), and possibly a brief mention of academic freedom. --NThurston 13:56, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
The new lead section is an improvement. Thanks. The Jade Knight 23:53, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
The lead re-write is okay; it is certainly like a fresh coat of paint. I don't mind its content too much. I feel it uses language that is a little too Mormon-centric, so I'll try to tweak that a little. Also, it seems like it has some academic boosterism in it, which is against Wikipedia's policy; it feels as if it was written by the BYU P. R. department. So I'll try to neutralize its point of view a little. JackWilliams 05:27, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I feel like it has too much information which is not that significant now (like a whole paragraph on how it's 70th in the nations in terms of admissions?) I also think it could use a sentence that says something about its foreign language programs (and not simply that ¾ of the university speaks a foreign language). The Jade Knight 06:15, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I too believe that highlighting Mormon missions in the introduction to BYU is a little strange. That has nothing to do with the University (unless one is going to mention it in connection with the Administration's explanation on why BYU students have a lower retention/graduation rate due to the missions taking many away). But that doesn't seem to be discussed, hence what is the relevance to the University's purpose to educate? --tortdog 20:38, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Right now, I think the lead is a little long, as per WP:LEAD#Length: "The appropriate length of the lead section depends on the total length of the article. As a general guideline, the lead should be no longer than three to four paragraphs. Very long articles on important topics may, of course, call for longer leads."

I don't know if this qualifies for a longer lead, and even if it does, the assortment of facts in our lead section are kind of a mess, and need to be organized into a maximum of probably four paragraphs somehow. Wrad 22:41, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm working on improving the lead at User:Wrad/byulead. Further discussion and edits are welcome. Wrad 22:54, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


Synthesis

There needs to be something about these guys in here. I mean, they're the #1 University Jazz band in the world. They need to be recognized. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 4.228.246.40 (talk) 01:28, 7 May 2007 (UTC).

Sounds like a stub waiting for an editor BYU/Synthesis. Any former members out there? WBardwin 01:49, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

C. Terry Warner

Anyone have any info that could help the stub on C. Terry Warner, BYU professor? It is carrying a notability tag. WBardwin 20:53, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Admission Selectivity

There has been some activity on the Wikipedia page regarding the admissions process at BYU. It was under Academics/Admissions and now has been added to the top section. The top section includes the phrase "somewhat unselective admissions process". However, U.S. News and World Report indicates that BYU's admission process is "more selective". Perhaps just noting the actual percentage rather than making a judgment call on the selectivity would be appropriate. I understand that around 70% may not seem selective (unless you're one of the 30% not admitted), but I'm not sure what percentage makes a university selective. I recommend just leaving the statistical facts in the Academics/Admissions area, but I'm interested in what others here may think. Alanraywiki 17:11, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I moved the admissions information from the intro to the existing section on admissions (was duplicated). Also, removed the statement that BYU is somewhat unselective, as it appears to be the opinion of an unknown source, and provided reference to the "more selective" opinion of U.S. News and World Report, while comparing it to similar universities to make that opinion relevant. --tortdog 19:18, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
What is the US News scale of selectivity? "More selective" is probably an intermediate level on the scale. This Wikipedia article should convey that it is easy to get into BYU. 74% is a high acceptance rate and an ACT average of 27/28 is not elite. And high school GPAs are irrelevant in selectivity. 69.88.74.82
An anonymous editor has taken to undoing revisions that I have made that address this issue. They attempted to compare BYU's selectivity to Harvard's (obviously NOT comparable), as opposed to my provision of information on universities whose selectivity is viewed as comparable to BYUs. I have attempted to discuss with the anonymous editor, but "undos" seem to be his method of discussion. I suggest that we discuss this here, and as the information currently in the article is detailed and provides all relevant information, that we first come to a resolution before merely deleting such information. --tortdog 20:28, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Tortdoag, why can't you compare BYU to Harvard for selectivity? 69.88.74.82
There is no comparison, is there? Isn't the best comparison to that of equals? tortdog 18:57, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
No, it is meaningful to compare BYU's admissions to Harvard's to let people know the level of selectivity that BYU applies when admitting people. Tort Dawg 21:03, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Something you may want to take into account when evaluating selectivity is raw numbers vs. percentages. BYU had only 10,000 students apply and 7,400 were accepted. By contrast, California State University, Long Beach (my employer) had 63,000 students apply, and admitted 33,000 (52%) and 10,000 actually enrolled (16%). This does not mean we are higher academically than BYU because we are "more selective" on a percentage basis. We just have a much larger pool to draw from (i.e., not just primarily LDS students). So even though we are not that much larger, the larger denominator makes the selectivity look better. Just another perspective . . . Alanraywiki 21:25, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

US News explained its formula. And it makes sense. The whole purpose in including similar and well-known universities in the text (as a footnote, mind you), is merely to help others unfamiliar with the formula understand how it works, and what other universities BYU is like. I would be surprised if anyone believed BYU and Harvard (or Yale) were similar. Nor do I doubt that everyone understands that Harvard is more selective than BYU. What they MIGHT not understand is that BYU is considered just as selective as UT. They also might not know that BYU's pool is generally better qualified than some other very good universities (which explains why despite the high admission rate BYU is considered "more selective"). Stating it simply, informing the reader that BYU is similar to UT in selectivity is informative. Saying that BYU is NOT like Harvard tells us nothing we didn't already know. tortdog 21:37, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I think what really shows selectivity is average entrance scores—If you're going to do a comparison, compare incoming BYU student GPA's and ACT scores to those of other universities. The Jade Knight 22:46, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I did that in a footnote. I did not in the actual text as the text is about admissions selectivity. Personally, it seemed to me to be chest-thumping to be touting BYU's GPA's and ACT scores (which are high compared to similar ranked universities). Hence, that info is in a footnote. tortdog 12:13, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I don't really care about the rankings. I just think it's the most transparent way of comparing universities in terms of selectivity—not that I'm going to belabor this point. IMO, however, what makes a university selective is the likelihood that any given student with a given GPA, ACT (or SAT), etc., will be able to get in. This is reflected in admission GPAs and ACT scores. The Jade Knight 20:51, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

History

The History section is pretty good up to 1909, then it jumps to the present. I'm going to try to fill this gap a bit, but I don't have access to many books about BYU. Anyone who does have access is welcome to help. Wrad 00:04, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I've started an expansion. It's pretty clear that by the time I'm done, we'll have to create a History of Brigham Young University article and summarize most of it, but for now I'll just keep expanding. Wrad 01:47, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm fine with you extending the history past 1909, but I think the intro is very concise, informative, and neutral, so please leave it alone as is until we discuss it some more. JackWilliams 19:41, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm fine with that for now. Please restore the History section and we will discuss... Wrad 19:46, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, I had added several refs to the intro which will need to be restored. Please be more careful when reverting in the future. I just about had a heart attack! :) Wrad 19:47, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Well thanks for your work on the history-- it was needed. I think we should put in some info about the 1950s and 1960s at BYU. I think the links should all be good. JackWilliams 19:51, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I plan to develop more, and then summarize it, moving the specifics into a history sub-article. My goal i to get this article to GA status. Please see the above section for my opinions on the intro, which I can already tell are much different than yours. Intros, however, are the work of many, not just one, so hopefully we can find a middle ground... Wrad 19:55, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

The Intro

It is a mess. We really need to decide on the most important points of the article, add them, and remove the rest. I personally feel that the intro is very Mormon-heavy. Sure, I know one of the most notable things about the school is that it is Mormon, but our focus on that shouldn't crowd other important things out of the intro, such as the school's history, academic freedom issues, and sports. Academic freedom issues are barely mentioned in the intro, but take up a huge part of the article. Cougar football is one of a handful of so-called "minor" universities ever to win a national championship. Are there any other thoughts on this? Wrad 22:01, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

After looking over several FA-class University articles, I have noticed that they all talk about their history, as well as their organization. Our lead suffers when it comes to summarizing the organization of the school. About all it says is that it is owned by the LDS church. I also noticed that the schools mentioned athletics if the program was notable, and I believe that BYU football is notable enough to merit at least a sentence. I'm going to adjust the lead in a minute here. Feel free to discuss this further, though. Wrad 22:19, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
BYU's history is not noteworthy enough to be mentioned in the intro. The intro should have the most noteworthy aspects of BYU. JackWilliams 17:16, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
The Lead is not supposed to be just a collection of the most noteworthy things in the article. It is also supposed to summarize the article as a whole. As I have outlined above, all high-quality university articles say at least a bit about their history. Our lead thus needs to expand not only on history, but on other portions of the article that are not adequately summarized. Here is a direct quote from WP:LEAD: "The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, summarizing the most important points, explaining why the subject is interesting or notable, and briefly describing its notable controversies, if there are any." This is a wikipedia guideline to be followed on wikipedia with only "the occasional exception". BYU is no exception. What we have in the intro is a list of facts, not a "concise overview of the article". Also, no real context is established. Most good University intros state whether the institution is public or private, coeducational or no. All good university articles give the reader an idea of how old the university is early on, by devoting a sentence or two to history. Wrad 23:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I revamped the lead, corralling a lot of the mormon info into one paragraph. I thought the description of the honor code was a little too specific for the lead, so I cut it to a few more notable points. I also added a lot about school history and a little about the more notable athletic programs. I still feel a bit of a problem with the academics, though. We need more notable information added to that. We may also consider adding academic freedom issues to the mix, but I don't know where to add them. Wrad 22:56, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Here is a comparison of my recent changes to the intro [3] to what was there before I made changes [4]. In my opinion, the old intro was fragmented. It needed to be organized into coherent paragraphs. I also felt that the intro was not an adequate summary of the article, as required in WP:LEAD. The intro had no description of the history of BYU, which, especially after recent expansion of the history section, really seemed to be needed. I also added some of BYU's more notable athletics accomplishments, which seemed reasonable as several of wikipedia's best university articles such as Duke University and University of Michigan, mentioned notable sporting accomplishments. I only eliminated a few lines: the bit about the Wasatch Front seemed redundant to me, since we'd already said it was in Provo, and that seemed enough on location issues. I also removed a small portion of the description of the Honor Code, since it seemed a little too lengthy for the WP:Summary style that the intro should be following. After that I just copyedited a bit.

I'm not saying that my version is perfect, but I do think that I have several valid points that should be addressed on the way to an Intro compromise. I freely invite a similar critique of my version of the intro, in the name of discussion and compromise on the way to this article's meeting the good article criteria. Wrad 20:48, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I greatly prefer the last version. It is succinct and free of bias (in my view). It also puts forward with the LDS environment, without unnecessarily burdening the lead as a whole.tortdog 20:11, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Again, I'm not really asking that we use one or the other. I think there are elements of both that should be used. Please elaborate, so that we can really get a lead that we all agree on. What do you think about my points about the need for a history sentence or two? Athletics? "nestled in the Wasatch Front"? Why do we say that the Honor code prohibits cheating? That isn't notable. All schools do that... Do you see what I mean? Wrad 20:52, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

The heading as it is now looks like it's just a section describing the students. The heading needs to briefly describe the entire university, not just the students. I've been looking at previous versions of this article, and there might be some elements in there we could work into the newer heading. --Tea and crumpets 23:53, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

What do you have in mind? Wrad 23:59, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
When can we start making the history and academic freedom sections more concise? I mean, the two subjects already have their own respective Wiki pages, so it would look a lot better and make more sense to have information in brief and then reference the other pages for more comprehensive information. I'm just not sure if I should be the one to slim it down since you guys have been working hard on it yourselves for a while. --Email4jonathan 00:03, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Request

Ref 23 is this link: [5], which no longer shows the article. Could anyone with access to the Salt Lake Tribune archives add the date, author, and other information so that others can find the article? Wrad 02:51, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject Proposal

I am proposing a BYU Wikiproject at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Proposals#Brigham_Young_University. This project would be a subproject of the Universities WikiProject, dedicated to improving the quality of any and all BYU-related articles on wikipedia. Similar projects include the Texas A&M WikiProject. Please sign up! Wrad 22:38, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Info Box

I am trying to add back a line for the university endowment in the info box because I found another source (US Dept of Education) for the endowment figure. It is from FY2005, but that is the most recent for all universities on the web site. However, for some reason when I add the line to the info box it does not show up. If someone can add in the line I will add in the number. Thanks Alanraywiki 03:49, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure I already added it back. That's probably why it keeps dissappearing when you readd it. Can't have two of the same parameter. Wrad 04:07, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Study abroad program no longer the largest

All refs saying that BYU had the largest program, including the one in the hidden comment, were for the year 2001. Can anyone find something more recent? I've looked, and found that Michigan state had the largest the next year, in 2002. Unless we find more current refs, we can't really say that it has the largest program anymore. I've adjusted the article to update this, but if we find more refs this could change. Wrad 22:02, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Foreign languages

I couldn't find refs for these:

  • 82% of men and 13% of women have gone on missions
  • Welsh program largest in the country

If anyone can find refs for them, feel free to add them back. I did manage to find some other percentage info, and a ref that said that BYU's Russian program is largest, to replace these, though. Wrad 01:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Photograph

Whoever took this photograph at Image:Byu northeast.jpg was looking out a window, and the reflections of the interior lights are visible. But at first they look like some odd sort of illumination coming from the mountains. Somewhat like the big HOLLYWOOD sign overlooking Hollywood. Can this be corrected, if necessary by a better photograph? Michael Hardy 02:14, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Good catch. I'll see if I can replace it. It's also got some construction in the scene that is now completed. Wrad 02:19, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Hundred Hour Board

I'm removing the section on the hundred hour board. It doesn't contribute much to the main article and is rather limited in terms of its influence on and out of campus. Maybe the information would be better put in it's own article. Heisenberg58 12:59, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

  • The Board had its own article which was deleted several months ago, with the consensus that the information belonged in the BYU article, not in its own separate article. I agree that the section here wasn't placed well into the BYU article here, but The Board is a part of BYU culture and a significant element of its online presence (even WP references it). The section should not have been deleted, so I'm going to restore it. -- Soren.harward (talk) 16:04, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Lead

One-sentence paragraphs are choppy and unprofessional. 'nuff said. I don't mean to be confrontational, but that really is the way it is in the real world. Anything else added to the lead should be worked in to the rest of the paragraphs, not tacked on at the end. It's prose, not a list of interesting facts. Wrad 22:59, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

No argument there. My thoughts are that maybe another section could be added to the first paragraph . . . maybe the one on the focus on undergraduate education. My concern with the minor regional school sentence is that (1) it is not important enough to be the second sentence of the article and (2) is there a source that says it was a minor regional school until the 60s and that apparently it is not popular among Mormons in the Provo area? Alanraywiki 23:18, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable to me. I'd like to highlight academics first (it is a school, after all), and then history, then student life, like the way the article is organized. Wrad 23:20, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I reorganized it a bit, but I still think that it is unorganized and choppy. It's just a collection of facts somewhat-randomly smashed into prose. I think we need to worry less about whether something is notable enough to be in the lead, and pay a little more attention to what WP:LEAD says a lead should do: provide context and create a coherent summary of the article. Facts without context mean nothing and do not cohere. Wrad 23:56, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Let's organize it based on what makes BYU unique. BYU's academics are mundane-- it's not really informative to state some bland facts about them. Put the most relevant information first: 1. Owned by Mormon Church. 2. 98% of students are Mormon. 3. Honor Code 4. Missions 5. Foreign languages. 6. SHout out to Accounting-- one of BYU's only highly-ranked program. JackWilliams 05:25, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Jack will you stop reverting everything we did! If you look at old discussions, we had a longer lead which everyone, including you agreed to. Then, a few days later, you decided it was too long and reverted back to what nobody liked! Please just change the specific things you don't like. I'm getting really exasperated here at getting all my work reverted.

Wrad 05:27, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Wrad I feel the same way I have put a lot of work into this article over the years. BYU is just has some really unique defining characteristics. JackWilliams 05:29, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
If you feel the same way then why do you keep reverting? Stop being vague and level with me here. Respond to what I am saying. Let me know I am being heard. I've said this a million times and I wish someone would just listen! LEADS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO JUST TALK ABOUT WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THE SUBJECT. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE A CONCISE SUMMARY OF THE ARTICLE. OUR LEAD DOES NOT CURRENTLY DO THIS. There is nothing about history or sports or any of several other sections in the article. I could handle it if people disagreed with me, but I'm simply being ignored and reverted and no one is responding to this specific argument. Our lead does not summarize the article. It is nothing more than a list of odd facts. This will not get us through a GA or FA nomination. This is hurting the quality of the article. That's how it is. Wrad 05:34, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
That [6] recent change is no good, Jack. It still has those unprofessionally short paragraphs which Alan and I decided to fix, and you reverted. Please revert back to what it was before and then present ideas for changes. It's only polite and shows respect for the consensus of other editors. If you really want a consensus, then you'll respect that. Also, since you've violated the three revert rule (5 reverts in 12 hours), it is one way of acknowledging your fault and keeping yourself from being blocked. Wrad 06:05, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Protected.

Please take care not to WP:Edit war, this is disruption for which blocking can be used to prevent the disruption. Discuss changes, do not revert, and revert, and revert. Regards, Mercury 01:32, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

New lead

I am an uninvolved party. I rewrote some of the lead to make it work better. Feel free to use as much or as little as you want. I think everyone is trying to include too much information in the lead. Look at the leads of universities that are WP:FAs and see how their leads are composed. They contain very little factual details and serve as a broad outline for the article.

Brigham Young University, also referred to as BYU, is a private coeducational university located in Provo, Utah, United States. The university is the flagship university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The university opened its doors in 1876 as a minor regional school founded by Brigham Young. The first class numbered 29 students. (Continue History...) As of 2007, enrollment has grown to approximately 34,000 students representing X countries, X states and the District of Columbia??.

Brigham Young University's student body is 98% Mormon. As a part of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints students are required abide by a strict honor code. (More about student body...)

KnightLago 02:10, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I've done a couple of these, so here's my try at a lead, per the request at WP:UNI
Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, is a private coeducational school completely owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) and run under the auspices of its Church Educational System. About 98% of the 34,000 students at BYU are Mormon, and two-thirds of the students come from outside the state of Utah. The university's primary focus is on undergraduate education, but it also has 68 master's degree and 25 doctoral degree programs, as well as a juris doctorate program. The university also offers a wide variety of foreign language courses.
That's it. All the other info belongs elsewhere in the article, in sections like "Student Life," "History," etc. --Dynaflow babble 02:16, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I absolutely love these examples! I also feel that we need to provide more context and focus more on summary and less on listing facts. Most good University articles I've seen, though, are a bit longer than one paragraph. Usually two or three. I personally think history should hold a larger spot. I don't know exactly what else I would add, though. I'll have to think about it a bit. Wrad 03:40, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
University of California, Santa Cruz, an article I was involved in writing and polishing, got to GA status with a one-paragraph intro of similar length. It's my thought that a capsule introduction should be just that -- a bare-bones capsule. Some seem to think you should go with something more akin to a journal abstract, but doing that opens the door to all sorts of shout-outs, assorted pufferies, roll calls of trivia, and other crud that get in the way of the most important thing the lead needs to tell the reader: What the heck the article is about. --Dynaflow babble 04:26, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Dynaflow: keep it concise. And I like Dynaflow's proposed intro, and would like to see it adopted when the article is unprotected. alanyst /talk/ 08:02, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

YesY I like Dynaflow's intro. It looks clean and flows well. Dynaflow, do you mind taking a look at Florida Institute of Technology's lead as well? Thanks! - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 09:16, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Done. I've also left a message for you regarding the Florida Tech template at Template talk:FloridaTechTemplate. --Dynaflow babble 10:21, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, GA is kind of arbitrary and depends on the reviewer. If I saw a lead that short on an article this long on an article I was reviewing for GA I would probably ask for it to be expanded. However, I prefer that intro to anything I've seen so far. Anyone here an admin who can add it? Wrad 16:19, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I have added it. I also inserted one sentence from the original lead to obtain the information about tuition and tithing and the relevant reference. If it needs to be refactored again, let me know. -- Renesis (talk) 16:57, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
It looks even better there than it did on the talk page, in my opinion. Maybe wikilink "private" and "coeducational", though, as I've seen other articles do. Wrad 17:01, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Slimming down

I'm moving this conversation here so I can follow it better. I'd say go ahead a and slim it down yourself, but make sure that everything is referenced. It's no use slimming things down if we lose all of our sources. That said, you may want to fix the Honor code section, which lost its references when you summarized it, even though it did need summarizing. Wrad 00:35, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

216.215.233.66 (talk) 17:07, 11 December 2007 (UTC)So far it looks OK.

Collaboration of the Fortnight

The current University Collaborations of the Month are
Ohio State University
&
Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University
WPUNICOTF.png

Every month two B-, C- or Start-Class higher education-related articles are chosen for you to improve. Be bold!
This COTM is organized by WikiProject Universities. (vote for future collaborations or see past collaborations)
This collaboration is effective: May 20, 2011 — June 20, 2011 until someone updates it.
Pick the next WikiProject Universities COTM!

Just a reminder about the WikiProject Universities COTF project. I wanted to publicize this new program for university editors to actively take part in. Once this edit war is over, you may nominate this article to the Editor Nominated Topic for possible COTF picks. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 22:33, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Rewrites

Manticore55 (talk) 01:27, 30 December 2007 (UTC)OK, let me just say Wrad that, while I think that the effort you are putting in to cleaning up the article is comendable, the fact is, that there are several extremely divisive topics that have been discussed here, as outlined in the discussion by topic. I also notice that, based on my review of the article, you've essentially removed virtually anything that isn't pro-LDS in any capacity. We're in the middle of an election cycle. The controversy surrounding Dick Cheney is VERY relevant to current events, so consigning it to a history sub article is not acceptable. Do not erase them again without addressing the issue here or I will escalate per Wikipedia's policy.

Assume good faith, please. We had a clear consensus to shorten the history section and I can't read minds. You yourself all but gave me permission to remove that section as long as it was kept in the main history article! Here's a direct quote from a few days ago: "Finally, if you absolutely insist upon 'shortening' the history section by removing this paragraph, then you should replicate it in the history article." I honestly wouldn't have removed the section if you hadn't said that. I don't know what you want, although I think its extremely obvious that the whole Dick Cheney thing is old news that no one cares about anymore. I don't know what you're talking about when it comes to pro-LDS stuff. Got anything specific to point out? Wrad (talk) 01:36, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm alright with keeping that section. Now that I've somewhat recovered from your hurtful accusations, I can see that election time makes these events significant to some. Please be aware that I prefer to be reasoned with rather than attacked, and actually respond pretty well to such communication. However, like most homo sapiens, my logic gets clouded when I feel I'm in danger. I would be interested to see whatever you might have to say about non-LDS stuff (?). I've added with my own hand several things that would be controversial to a LDS person. Just take a look at the Early History section and the Honor Code section. I really don't see what you mean. Wrad (talk) 01:49, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
(e.c.)I'd like to point out that, with the material just re-added, approximately 5% of the article on this >130-year old institution is now dedicated to incidents involving visiting dignitaries that have happened within the last eight or nine months. Removing stuff like this to either a history article or an article on the incident itself is entirely within normal practice on articles like this. The Virginia Tech massacre, for example, gets only one sentence at the main Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University article. A sense of proportion should be kept when covering recent events in articles on institutions with long histories (see WP:RECENT). --Dynaflow babble 01:51, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
That's what I thought before, but then I saw his connection to the current US Presidential elections... Dick Cheney isn't too involved in that, though, and I think most students, not to mention the world, has forgotten Harry Reid ever came to BYU. I wasn't aware of the situation with the Virginia Tech article. Wrad (talk) 01:55, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I would consider the connection with the current election cycle as an argument against inclusion, since that would artificially magnify the incidents' perceived importance out of all proportion to any real significance they actually possess in the great scheme of things. --Dynaflow babble 02:10, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, let's wait a short while to see if manticore replies before coming to a decision. While we're at it, do you perceive any pro-LDS bias in the article? I'm trying to stay neutral, but it usually takes more than one eye... Wrad (talk) 02:22, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Taking a cursory look through the revisions you made since the last major change to the lead [7], I don't see many glaring problems related to keeping the article in line with the ironclad Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy. The academic freedom section may have been condensed a little too much but, again, a sense of proportion needs to be maintained -- it'll be a delicate balancing act to get that part right. As a left-leaning non-Mormon from UC Santa Cruz, I actually found the paragraph about the widespread coldness shown to Dick Cheney by such a famously conservative campus to be incredibly pro-BYU, but that's neither here nor there. =) There may be a perception that a failure to cast the LDS Church in a bad light is evidence of a pro-LDS bias, but that wouldn't be a valid argument if we're truly discussing keeping the article NPOV. (Forgive me if I'm setting up a straw man here. It's just that when I hear arguments worded that way ("You've removed all anti-x information"/"made the article totally pro-y"/etc.)in reference to articles that have obviously not been sanitized, a misunderstanding of WP:NPOV is usually at the root of it.) --Dynaflow babble 03:35, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I cut out the entire Case Studies section from Academic Freedom because it was too specific for the main article. It is now reduced to one sentence stating that the AAUP outlined several case studies. Anyone more curious about it can look at the main article on the subject. Seemed like a NPOV cut in response to space issues to me. It seemed fair to use the AAUP's summary of the situation at BYU to communicate the basic idea, and leave the case studies for another article. Wrad (talk) 03:56, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 (talk) 05:42, 30 December 2007 (UTC)Alright, in order. My accusations were never intended to be hurtful. However, before it appears that my actions were taken out of context, please read the entire section on the dialog that led to the previous consensus in the text in question. I understand that consensus is not set in stone, for such is not the nature of Wikipedia, however this text did require extensive negotiation, examination and consensus to find a neutral set of wording that allowed it to achieve maximum academic applicability. Second, I included the citation and my reasons for reincluding the paragraph in question in the dialog above regarding the section about Cheney. Wrad then removed the section without addressing my restoration. He simply removed it. I understand that he is rewriting the entire article, but the fact of the matter is that this particular section of the article was the subject of extremely mercurial editing until consensus was finally reached.

Failure to cast the LDS Church in a bad light is not pro-LDS bias. However, delegation of any criticism whatsoever is. BYU is used as a missionary tool by the LDS church. Its very existence goes beyond mere academia and extends to the cultural sphere. BYU student organizations, sports teams, alumni and sundry other organizations are encouraged to participate in the large public sphere, and if you ask any LDS student among them, they will proudly tell you that they are ambassadors of the LDS church. As such, when BYU is more than a mere academic institution, but is also an element of cultural change, it is entirely reasonable to include elements within the primary article which deal with criticisms of the institution itself.

Regarding the charge of coverage in the article vs. the scope of the article in the entirety of the institution. Pardon me, but what scale are we using? Geodesic perhaps? Shall we say that BYU was a large chunk of rock for several billion years before someone decided to build BYU? Of course not. This is an absurd standard. Conversely, if it is within the normal perview of wikipedia to modernize, streamline and enhance an article based on the perceived consensus, then let us examine then the coverage of BYU in the last year. It has not even been a year since the event took place, and yet it received more coverage on mainstream media outlets than any event save perhaps BYU football.

As for space issues, the fact of the matter is that unless at least 10% of the article deals with 'the opposite point of view' then it is, by its very definition, espousing a pro BYU point of view. My primary proof for this is the the history of the segment in question. I wrote a perfectly simple peice immediately after the event. And it was removed time and time again as 'not relevant'. LDS history is replete with the convenient removal of unfavorable elements of their history that are 'not relevant.' Thus, by removing elements that are critical of the LDS church, you are, wittingly or not, by definition, promoting their point of view. I am not asking for a youtube link to 'The Godmakers', but I'm sorry if I find it reasonable to include actual facts that point out that this university is not like other academic institutions. It may be credentialed, but is a remarkable hybrid of religious and academic traditions.

There is no other institution like it in the world. There are other religious institutions, but the LDS church is a large, organized and hierarchal organization. The catholic church does not direct their own academic universities to the degree that they do that of the BYU board. Protestant universities are not hierarchical. Each university is a separate institution unto itself. Even other LDS educational institutions pale by comparison. Conversely, Gordon B. Hinkley himself, the actual head of a church with over 13 million members, is the personal head of the board of this religious institution.

This is not a normal educational institution. There is no place else like it on Earth. Thus any comparison to other institutions for significance in the template of an article must be taken with a grain of salt.

How then is the visit by Cheney significant? Well apparently head of the LDS church thought it was significant, because the entire First Presidency visited, which is not an occasion that has since been repeated. This is not something that they do on a regular basis. Thus, if the head of the governing board, the head of the religion, and the Vice President clearly thought it was of monumental importance, perhaps it is somewhat reasonable to include some mention of it here. And, given the patient deliberation involved with the wording of the paragraph in question, I feel that it is, as written, fair to all parties, mentioning all of the relevant facts while at the same time ensuring that it does not portray a harsh light on the LDS church. It simply states what happened.

As regards the Cheney debate, that really has cooled down for several months now. It's not a heated debate anymore on wikipedia. I didn't do anything to harm the wording decisions of that old consensus, I just took it out of this article and left it in the main History article since it was months old and things have changed. The article is different as a whole. The national (or international, rather, it hit several international outlets) media doesn't care about the BYU protests anymore. I tried to honor your wishes by keeping it in the History article. If Virginia Tech only briefly mentions the massacre, then why should we even lend one word to Cheney? I must say I'm pretty taken by Dynaflow's arguements.
Lastly, despite all of your explanation, I'm still not clear on exactly what I took out that was non-LDS. Could you be really specific? My guess is that you are referring to the fact that the protests were taken out. Is that right? is this what you mean when you say I took out non-LDS things? Wrad (talk) 05:52, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 (talk) 06:30, 30 December 2007 (UTC) Your rewrite of the article makes a point by point comparison difficult. Since you have performed literally dozens of rewrites in the space of a week, I shall be forced to take the most recent version and compare it bit by bit to a version two to four weeks ago. I would state that it is the breadth of the substance rather than a specific instance that concerns me. BYU is very complex. It requires a great deal more explanation than any other academic institution. However, your point is noted. If I cannot address you with specific instances of concern, then I have no justification for claiming them. Having said that, I would suggest that were it possible, given an article of this scope, that such changes be made on a more singular basis over time rather than one sweeping rewrite through dozens of rapid fire changes. Though I can see by your credentialed experience on Wikipedia that this may be a regular and accepted practice. I assure you, it has not been on the articles hither to now on my watchlist. While I find their breadth somewhat shocking (to me) given their volume, it shall require a meticulous answer, which is beyond the time and scope of what I have available to contribute at the moment.

Let us be clear, despite appearances to the contrary, it is not my statement that you have malicious intent in these changes. I took note a while ago that you intended to rewrite the history, hence my monitoring of it. However, it is my belief that in your intent to sharpen the article, your sweeping changes have removed considerable and necessary context to a very complex institution. BYU NEEDS space. And yes, sub articles satisfy that to a degree. Heaven knows, Wikipedia is not a valuable tool to the intellectually lazy. Otherwise, someone might believe that "BYU SUXXORS" were an actual fact instead of looking at the history log.

The question of whether or not the national media 'cares' about something is a relevant one, but the other question is how long it must be relevant to be included given the depth of coverage involved. Personally, I think a year is more than reasonable given the national outcry it created. I am not suggesting that it remain in the main article in perpetuity, or even for the duration of the election (and I believe that the election was a significant contribution to the reason the media gave the commencement as much coverage as it did), but I do feel that 'recent events' that achieve national status should be included for at least a year after their occurrence.

Manticore55, it sounds as if you have some large-scale points you'd like to make about the LDS Church. Most of those should probably be proposed as additions to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints article, rather than using the BYU article as a proxy host for them.
As for questions of proportion and scale, yes, covering the BYU site's prehistory in exacting detail would be out of the scope of this article. However, the place has been educating people for more than 130 years. That's a lot of history. 9 months/130 years = 0.0058, which makes the period between the Cheney incident and now out to be approximately 0.6% of BYU's entire institutional history. How earth-shatteringly significant and transformative was Dick Cheney's visit to BYU? Please take a look at WP:RECENT; there's a lot of reasoning and precedent behind this line of thinking.
I'm also not entirely clear on what the "opposite point of view" is, how you arrived at the figure of 10% criticism = NPOV, and how a sensible editorial decision made in line with the standards applied in other articles on universities fits in with an alleged Mormon bent for burying "unfavorable elements of their history." --Dynaflow babble 06:32, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) To Manti: True enough. Let's devote this section of the discussion page to the Cheney debate and another section or sections to POV issues, shall we? And please don't take my fast and furious (I prefer focused and intense :) ) style of editing as an offense. In my view, articles can't really be improved to their best quality without serious, concentrated editing. Visits every once in awhile don't quite do the trick. Of course, you've got to be humble enough to realize that when the dust settles, things are going to need fixing. So... let's fix it. Wrad (talk) 06:37, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
And to Dyno. I agree on the Recent Events bit, but Manti was right in several of his points about BYU's connection to the LDS Church. It really is considered an ambassador for the LDS church. Maybe we should add a section about "BYU and the LDS Church" to explain that sort of thing, since the article doesn't really do it that well. It isn't a small thing, either. It's huge. Wrad (talk) 06:41, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 (talk) 06:43, 30 December 2007 (UTC)Well, my point about the history is secondary to my concerns in this area. If this point is met then I agree to remand the Cheney visit to the history article.

The thing is, the fact that BYU is heavily integrated with the LDS church is already inescapaple to the reader of the article. Perhaps a section on the importance of BYU to the LDS church might be appropriate, but it would be hard to avoid redundancy when the article is already, of necessity, saturated with references to the Church and its enormous effect on BYU. What exactly do you want the article to say? --Dynaflow babble 06:57, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 (talk) 07:04, 30 December 2007 (UTC)I think that the difference here might be noted as 'heavily integrated' as compared to 'practically an extension of in every conceivable way'.

Academic Freedom 2

After a comment from Dynaflow, I looked over this section and agree that it's a bit POV. Does anything really stick out in this section to anyone as needing fixing? Wrad (talk) 06:15, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Specifically, the accreditation section focuses almost entirely on the AAUP report and censuring (which seem to be more or less dismissed by the way the conclusion of the paragraph is worded), rather than focusing on academic freedom at BYU itself and how that affects accrediting agencies' stances towards BYU (AAUP doesn't accredit, I think).
What are the actual limits of academic freedom a BYU, what happens if someone crosses the line those limits set, how does the environment of academic freedom compare with other religious schools, etc.? These are the questions I'm left asking after reading that section. --Dynaflow babble 07:13, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, let me mull that one over... Wrad (talk) 07:36, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Adhering to WikiProject Universities Article Guidelines

Although adhering to the WP:UNI article guidelines to the letter is not necessary, I'd like to point out a couple things in terms of organization that this article is beginning to lack. I have enjoyed reading the numerous edits and improvements made on this article, but I think there may be sections that either should not be there or needs to be grouped somewhere else/or even another article.

  • Controversies should be grouped into the history section
    • We have a controversies section? I'm confused. Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Accreditation information should be in the academics section
    • Agree. Moved. Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Article guidelines also state that the academics section should be named Academics and Demographics, hence a merge would be called for.
    • Fixed. Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Rankings and Notability section should really just be rankings
    • Fixed. Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Organization should be its own header section
    • Fixed. Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • A Campus section should comprise of your current Facilities section
    • Fixed. Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • The Cultures subsection really doesn't have that much notability. I understand I'm going to get spammed with hate mail for this, but it really is not encyclopedic. And throwing a bunch of byu.edu sources will not help establish the notability unfortunately. The Princeton Review bit regarding the stone cold sober school could be placed in the rankings section.
    • Aahhh! See below. We'll have to talk more about this in an undisclosed location...no weapons aloud. Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Re:Honor Code subsection, its history should be solely placed in its main article. If it's notable enough to survive on its own, then a simple redirect should suffice.
    • Not sure what you mean... Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • From the removal/merging of demographics, cultures, and honor code, Student and Faculty section should be removed. Its original subsections (honor code, lds, religious activities) should be merged into a master Student Activities section, where the Athletics section should also be merged into.
    • We'll deal with this after the above is done. Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • This is just my thing... but is there a reason why religious activities isn't merged with the LDS atmos. section? If the university is religion backed, I don't see how the activities would be separate from its atmosphere. If I'm wrong, please expand.
    • The only reason it's the way it is is that the LDS atm. section is so new we haven't really decided how it's going to fit. Wrad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

This is one of my weird ways of evaluating an article. Please don't take offense. I generally try to help out whenever I can. I just hope I didn't come across as slapping anyone in the face by rejecting half of the work. Yes, User:Wrad, I'm talking about you. lol Please don't take this eval personally. Oh, which brings me to... User:Wrad, I thought we were going to cut down references when the ref count was still at 141. It's up to 160+! hahah - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 10:00, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Hate to break it to you, but I'm really not that upset. Most of this is minor stuff, except for the Culture and Honor Code sections. The fact is, BYU is very different from other Universities. I'm not just going to take it out because one person is against it, guidelines or no guidelines. I could easily find third party sources for the vast majority of the information in there. In fact, that section as a whole has 10 refs, five of which are byu.edu and five of which are third party. That seems a pretty fair ratio to me. You're going to have to be more specific about what shouldn't be there and why. I would also like to point out that the number of references in this article makes it comparable to FA-quality University articles. Nothing wrong with that! Wrad (talk) 17:17, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Dick Cheney's visit

Dick Cheney's visit

Im not a good wiki writer. I would write about it myself but I dont have the time. Can someone write about Dick Cheney's visit to BYU? It caused alot of commotion and some students protested against him (but followed the rules set by BYU that the protestors must leave 1 hour before he arrived). I think it would be a good edition to this article.

I am also sorry that my IP address is the source of alot of vandalism. I am currently writting this from school and it seems that many students here like to vandalize  —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 205.118.17.184 (talk) 13:35, 16 May 2007 (UTC).

There is a paragraph about it at the end of the history section. Wrad 15:55, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 21:05, 12 July 2007 (UTC)So are we now going to define what the word 'is' is? Does a source need to be provided for literally every single word of the paragraph in question? I'm certainly prepared to do that, since descriptions of the protesters in this case understood that they had to meet very strict guidelines about what they could, or could not say. I would think that by its very definition dismissing those who would violate the strictures under which they were allowed to protest would consist of 'well organized'. Since a typical protest involves a lot of people sitting around with signs that can say an extremely wide range of topics, to take issue with the descriptor of 'well organized' is, of itself biased.

Manticore55 22:26, 12 July 2007 (UTC)Simplified the wording. If more than one person considers 'Well Organized' as a 'weasel' word, then I determined that the entire paragraph warranted simplification.

That's fine. I think "well organized" was definitely the worst offender though. -- Renesis (talk) 17:59, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Changed to remove statement that First President issued statement "defending" themselves. First, the statement was from the Board of Trustees. Second, the view that the statement is a "defense" is a personal viewpoint. The Board does not present it as such. Rather than "defending" it's actions, the unbiased view would be that it's an "explanation" or, merely, a statement. --tortdog 21:27, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 17:53, 26 July 2007 (UTC) The board in question is composed primarily of members of the Quorum of the Twelve and Members of the First Presidency. Anyone who understands LDS culture is going to understand that when the First Presidency comes out with a statement, anyone else on the board is going to acknowledge and vote in accordance with that statement. Since 'defending' is biased, I had to add a considerable amount of additional material to clarify exactly WHY it is important to understand that 'the board of trustees' is, in my opinion a misleading statement. There is a great deal of context in this case that has to be properly addressed to understand the significance thereof.

I personally think that the new additions are convoluted and confusing, being much too much information to address the point at hand. It should be summarized if not reverted to a simple phrase (if not "Board of Trustees", or "First Presidency" which are both either misleading or inaccurate, then something else). If someone wants to address this Board of Trustees issue in it's own section or paragraph somewhere else (outside of the History section), then go for it, but it is too involved to be where it is. -- Renesis (talk) 18:36, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

199.254.202.129 19:36, 26 July 2007 (UTC) To simply the issue, I removed most of the paragraph, except to include the fact that the statement came from the office of Gordon B. Hinkley. This ensures the understanding that this is not JUST 'the board of trustees' as if they were some disconnected body that had no greater context in the issue whatsoever. I further moved the material regarding the tax issue to the Board of Trustees section.

Manticore55 05:06, 31 July 2007 (UTC)Nope. I was wrong about not being able to find out who made the changes. Care to explain why you just reverted the edit without explaining anything Jadeknight?

Manticore55, I don't think transferring the information about the Cheney BYU in this article to Gordon B. Hinckley is worthwhile or appropriate. Nor can I see the point of your edits here saying the letter was sent by "... Hinckley and the rest of the board ..." I don't quite understand the rationale, since it was an event that centrally involved BYU and the Board of Trustees—not Hinckley as an individual. Arguing that the letter came from Hinckley himself and not the BYU Board of Trustees is disingenuous at best. The fact that you happen to know who is a member of the board earns you a WP:OR doggie-biscuit, but it doesn't change the fact that all most readers will care about is knowing that it came from the board. –SESmith 06:51, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with SESmith. I also think that undue weight (a little ethnocentrism, perhaps) is given to coverage of this event which is really quite insignificant (and will likely be remembered by virtually no one in 5 years). It really smacks of systemic bias, and I think the extra paragraph inserted under "Ownership..." is diversionary and unhelpful. How does this little bit of news trivia help people to understand better ownership at BYU? The Jade Knight 07:03, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I could see this information put in a section on current events. The Catholic University has a similar section. And as time passes, this "event" will be fairly insignificant (including highlighting the alternative commencement). I agree that the listing of Hinckley as the author did see odd. The author of the statement has always been the Board of Trustees. Emphasizing Hinckley seems to be an alternative way of highlighting the LDS Church, as opposed to the governing board. Why not take the facts as they are given, rather than inserting pseudo investigative reporting. tortdog 10:50, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 15:22, 31 July 2007 (UTC) The difference between a catholic university and BYU is that the Pope doesn't sit on the board of most catholic universities. Simply saying 'Board of Directors' does not invoke the significant weight that ANYTHING said by Gordon B. Hinkley, whether officially acting in his capacity as First President or not, will have significant influence upon the saints. Furthermore, anyone who is mormon KNOWS that. This is neither original research (as the sites I referenced were quite mainstream and quite well known, including one of the LDS church's own sites.) Following Wikipedia's policy of dispute resolution, I am going to 'walk away' for a week rather than simply reapplying the edits. If need be, I can supply PLENTY of sources that indicate in great detail how ANYTHING Gordon B. Hinkley says is considered gospel by the vast majority of the saints (including by President Hinkley's own words), and that the way news of the statement was spread always included Gordon B. Hinkley's name. Furthermore, by acting as the head of the Board of Trustees, President Hinkley could dodge the issue of IRS Religious neutrality.

Manticore55 15:28, 31 July 2007 (UTC) Oh, and to answer your point SESmith, I am not arguing that the statement came from Hinkley "and the rest of the board", the language clearly said, "along with the rest of the board". Moreover, anyone who understands the terms, "if you are not one, ye are not mine" (and again, I can cite PLENTY of sources on this) understands that any committee, organization or auxiliary unit reflects the will of the First Presidency. The board members WILL NOT vote in any way but the way the President of the Church tells them to vote. The only POSSIBLE way you might have a dissenting vote is on those rare occasions where there is a non-lds member or if the First Presidency ALLOWS dissent from LDS members. There is no word about dissenting votes on the board, therefore it is entirely reasonable to assume it was not allowed. To simply say, "Board of Trustees" is to water down the power and influence of the First Presidency on the board and imply that the university has independence from the church, which it does not. A catholic university DOES have more independence than an LDS one. And I can cite several references to back THAT up too if you wish.

I'll be back in a week.

Manticore55, while I can see where you are coming on, you are wrong on a couple points. First of all, it is unnecessary and misleading to mention Hinckley specifically as even a co-author. When a statement comes from a board, it can at best be said that the author is the board, and cannot be attributed to any individual of the board. There is no need to state anything other than that the board is made of "the First Presidency, along with other members of the Quorum of the Twelve and a few other individuals" (if this is indeed a case, I have not seen a member list). Second, you state "The board members WILL NOT vote in any way but the way the President of the Church tells them to vote". In general church matters, the First Presidency refrains from making statements on every minor thing lest their advice be taken as doctrine. Assuming the board acts in any other way is very much original research. It wouldn't be much of a "Board of Trustees" if one member controlled every other members vote. You are assuming far too much of an "allegiance" mentality into members of the Board who are where they are because they have proved they are intelligent. In addition, none of this discussion belongs in a subsection of a subsection of an article about BYU. -- Renesis (talk) 16:00, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with what Renesis said. The sources provided that report on the statement of the Board say nothing about Hinckley's participation or anything else Manticore alleges. Thus, it is WP:OR with respect to the topic in question. It's irrelevant if you can provide sources backing up what you say in the abstract. We are not writing about these issues in the abstract, we are writing about the Cheney visit to BYU and the Board's response to the protests. It also appears as if you are assuming bad faith on the part of Hinckley, or the Board, or both—which any editor with NPOV would not do based on the cited sources. Why you seem so intent on producing OR and a POV article with respect to this matter is beyond me, unless you are grinding an axe. You can come back in a week or a month or a year if you like but your edits will always be reverted if they display POV or OR. –SESmith 21:47, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

THE BYU Administration? One other thing. Someone added "the" to "BYU Administration. I wonder if it accurately reflects the Board's view. Was the Board referring to criticism of THE BYU Administration of the administration of BYU? If the latter, there is no need of "the," and the modification changes the meaning. Unless we know, perhaps it would be best to leave the quotation of the letter exactly as it is, as opposed to putting in our grammatical correction. --tortdog 12:15, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

199.254.202.129 18:20, 7 August 2007 (UTC)It isn't original research if I can document it. The First Presidency invited him. The First Presidency attended the event with all three members present (Compare other BYU commencement speeches, you will find that this is not a usual case.) The entire paragraph is also historically relevant because there has never been another Vice President that has spoken at BYU (at least certainly not in any of the commencement data that I've been able to track down). Margaret Thatcher spoke, but she wasn't an ACTING head of government at the time. Since the First Presidency initially extended the invitation, failure to include them in the paragraph in question is inaccurate.

I don't care about the 'The'. Remove it if you want. It seems more accurate to me as it is.

Stating facts as they are is not biased. The First Presidency did invite him. They did attend the event. They are on the board. The fact that the first presidency was on the board was used by numerous 'back channel' emails and lds blogs to indicate approval by the First Presidency. There are numerous articles I can site indicating that the LDS church is politically 'defensive' at the moment because of Mitt Romney's campaign. I understand that Blogs, Mitt Romney and the like are not relevant directly to this article, but to say that I am biased because I used the word 'defending' is a bit of a stretch. Just because those sources are not relevant to this article in question, doesn't mean that they don't provide nuance to understanding the direct sources that do.

Manticore55 18:21, 7 August 2007 (UTC)Whoops. Sorry. Those changes and comments were mine.

I'm confused. Is there a complaint regarding the current text? Seems fine how it is now. And someone complained that I "hid" the deletion of his edits via reference to something else (but that talk has now been deleted). If there are any specific complaints addressed towards me, please leave it on my talk page so we can address them. This is getting way too convoluted. --tortdog 19:16, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 20:53, 7 August 2007 (UTC)(UTC)That was me. I hadn't realized I was not logged in. I erased the comment when I realized you hadn't done anything. I have no complaints and apologize for the misunderstanding.

Manticore55 22:01, 9 October 2007 (UTC)Because most of the Cheney articles mentioned that the church noted it was inviting Harry Reid to speak, I felt it worth including to mention that Harry Reid actually was ask to speak as well. However, Harry Reid did not have all three members of the first presidency present (nor did Margaret Thatcher that I have been able to discern in my research thus far, nor has any speaker that I can find details on) and he was not given an honorary degree. It is significant because if Harry Reid's visit is being used to show that the church is politically neutral (by the church no less), then the disparity in honors is therefore noteworthy.

Re Honorary degrees: Is there any record of a forum speaker receiving an honorary degree? I generally hear about commencement speakers receiving honorary degrees, not speakers at other events. If this is the case, then mentioning that Reid and Roberts did not receive honorary degrees really isn't relevant. It may also be a statement about the office of vice-president, not the person or party. Alanraywiki 05:18, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 (talk) 04:48, 20 November 2007 (UTC) The point about the Honorary degrees is a valid one. However, given the attention paid to any action taken by the First Presidency, much less the attendance of all three members; contrasted by the high degree of authority of AT LEAST Justice Roberts (much less an LDS office holder in the form of Reid as Senate Majority Leader) and the failure of even one of them to attend signifies that it was not about the office but the man himself. Even if there is disagreement on this subject, the fact that the First Presidency and its agents used the fact that Reid was visiting to defend their political neutrality denotes any significant variance when another official of equal or close to equal stature addresses the student body.

Manticore55, it appears you are equating the two events in order to show political favoritism by the First Presidency. Consider, though, that the First Presidency rarely if ever attends a weekly forum or devotional as a group: even if one member of the presidency is speaking (which itself happens only once or twice a semester), the other two are seldom in attendance. Reid and Roberts spoke at weekly forum assemblies. Cheney spoke at a university commencement, which is a much bigger and more formal deal, and an event at which the entire Board of Trustees would be expected to appear. This is a more straightforward explanation that requires no allegation of political bias. alanyst /talk/ 05:01, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 (talk) 20:29, 20 November 2007 (UTC) I am not the one that used this correlation as a statement of political bias, the First Presidency is. THEY are the ones that said, "Look! Reid is visiting here later this year, See, we like Democrats too!"

It would be one thing if they simply stated, "We are politically neutral." And left it at that, but by using the appearance of Reid as demonstration of their political neutrality, THEY made any marked difference between Reid's appearance and Cheney's appearance worthy of report. Furthermore, while the devotional is a less formal forum, members of the first presidency DID show up for Marget Thatcher, who WAS speaking at a devotional. By NOT showing up at the devotional in which Harry Reid spoke, they are automatically showing favoratism toward Cheney. Anyone who fails to address the influence that the First Presidency has, by their every action, in the minds and hearts of the LDS people is not telling the entirity of the fact.

The facts are these:

The First Presidency used Reid's visit as a maxim of political neutrality to contrast Cheney.

The First Presidency is viewed as the source by which every faithful member of the LDS church is to base their thought, word and deed by virtue and 'every small thing'. When the Prophet endorses something, people are expected to treat that as law. There numerous talks on this. It is repeated in every Sunday School manual in every building in the world. ("Does the Prophet have to say 'Thus Sayeth the Lord' to be the conduit for God's will"?) Every book has a lesson on obeying leaders, and every lesson has this question.

The First Presidency did NOT attend Reid's visit.

These are facts. They are not 'leading'. They are facts that are relevant to the behavior of the First Presidency in regards to Dick Cheney.

Now I've got lots of OPINIONS as to why they are doing this (*cough*cough*ROMNEY*cough*cough*) but I'm not trying to include them in this article.

This article is Brigham Young University, not Politics and the LDS Church. You should acquaint yourself with the no original research policy and the undue weight section of the neutral point of view policy. Your theory that the First Presidency is trying to support a political candidate or party is interesting but neither notable nor relevant to this article, and saying "it should be noted" in the article text is a clear sign of trying to lead the reader to a conclusion. I will not edit war over this but I urge you or another editor to remove the sentence you restored. alanyst /talk/ 20:46, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
He's already pointed out that he's not going to add it to the article. I don't know why he brought it up in the first place, but I'm grateful he's keeping it to himself and acknowledges that it is opinion. Wrad (talk) 21:04, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
This seems like a stretch to me. One of the First Presidency was a democrat (President Faust), so I don't see where they are partisan as a presidency one way or another. And I personally don't think Harry Reid was invited just because he is on the other side of the aisle. I think it was because he is the senate majority leader and LDS. If Harry Reid were speaking at commencement, I believe they would have attended. So I disagree that they were trying to make a statement and I don't think we should be leading toward a conclusion like that in the article. Alanraywiki (talk) 20:42, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd also have to say you're reading a bit too much between the lines, but I'm glad you're not adding it to the article. Wrad (talk) 20:45, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 (talk) 16:30, 27 December 2007 (UTC)There are currently seven sitting US LDS senators. To my knowledge, only two have been invited to speak at BYU. Irregardless, Harry Reid's visit is directly linked to Cheney's because it was used as a defense by the LDS church that it was not partisian. Indeed, if for no other reason than to show that they DID in fact, have Reid show up is relevant. Now, one can make the argument that Roberts is not directly related, but to be honest, having the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court show up to speak at your school is a pretty relevant event. I believe it should be included in the main article for at least a year. Finally, if you absolutely insist upon 'shortening' the history section by removing this paragraph, then you should replicate it in the history article.

The Lead

I see that Jack is back from his monthly vacation from wikipedia, and is bringing the lead back to its poor state, reverting changes without regard for the discussion which brought them into existence while he was gone. Jack, please stop with this silliness and have a look at the discussions we had. Also, have a look at WP:LEAD. I feel like a broken record here, and I don't really expect that you'll listen to me, but there's my advice. What you have added isn't really necessary for the lead and isn't really that well written, either. As always, I'd love to discuss things with you, but I don't expect that you will condescend to come to my level and talk. You'll just keep reverting things. Ho-hum. Please. Surprise me. Wrad 19:45, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I see it too Wrad. It is quite interesting... http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Brigham_Young_University&diff=175763086&oldid=175280171. I don't know what to say except to possibly consider a block? Was the article taken off of edit protection? - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 19:51, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I tried to get him blocked, (he reverted five times last time we had this discussion), but apparently the admin thought it was better to block the page. I can't say I really disagree, since about five people were reverting then. Still, though, he is extremely hard to deal with. Also, a block wouldn't do much good, since he comes in, reverts everthing, starts edit wars for a couple days, and then disappears for months. If he was blocked, he'd just come back. I just need more people to police this article. I can't do it alone. Wrad 19:57, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I reverted his changes as against consensus and directed him to come here. I do think the lead could be improved though. However, there is consensus for its current form and this should not be changed until consensus changes. KnightLago 21:07, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Although I cannot help "police" the article, it is clear that Jack has violated the three revert rule, which probably means he should have been either been blocked or banned. However, I agree with KnightLago that the lead could be improved, but consensus definitely needs to be present before doing anything major like that. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 22:20, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
It has been incredibly difficult to develop consensus since Jack relies almost entirely of reverts rather than discussion. The only time he contributes to discussion is to make his points, not to respond to others'. By "police", I mean participate in discussion ("mediate" ?) and encourage consensus, however you can best do that. Wrad (talk) 23:07, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

The 3RR violation was a while ago, so it is over. People are not usually indef blocked for that anyway. Blocks are normally handed out for 24hrs and get progressively higher with each violation. So I would just keep an eye on it, and report him each and every time he violates 3RR. Other than that try and get him to discuss here. KnightLago (talk) 23:36, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the unindent. Yes, I know bans are not handed out for a mere 3RR violation when the user is not a repeat offender, however it would be nice if Jack would participate in the discussions so we can some how get through to him. Have any of you tried to actually say something on his own talk page instead of just talking here? When I perform new page patrols I frequently empty out my watchlist so I don't get random irrelevant updates on user pages and so forth. Jack might have deleted the BYU line off of his watchlist...hence not responding/knowing we have a long discussion here. Wrad, I'll leave that job to you, since I just got into this little debate. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 00:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I did last time and the many times before. I think someone else should this time. I'm tired of it. Wrad (talk) 00:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
OK Wrad, I've sent a message to Jack in responce to his earlier revert. I hope it'll help.
Before reverting changes on Wikipedia articles (unless it is blatant vandalism), it is strongly suggested that you receive consensus before reverting an article to an earlier state. In response to numerous complaints resulting from your persistant BYU reverts, mainly focused on the article's lead, please take part in BYU's talk page and engage in a discussion with your fellow editors before any further major article changes. Thank you. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 17:30, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
- Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 17:33, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
The problem I have with the lead is that it ignores defining elements of BYU: 1. The Honor Code 2. Male students going on Mormon missions. These elements are so central to BYU that they should be in the intro. JackWilliams (talk) 18:41, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the mormon missionary stuff should be in the intro. I think that mentioning the Foreign Language program will be enough, and if they want to know more they can read on. I do agree about the honor code, though. Maybe we should add a sentence about that. Perhaps something like "BYU's Honor Code, which prohibits drug use and sexual promiscuity, lends a unique, religious atmosphere to the school, making it the Princeton Review's #1 Most Stone-Cold Sober school in the nation for several years running." Something like that. Wrad (talk) 19:10, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

After rereading the lead, I don't think the foreign language part should be there. Every major university teaches a number of languages. But, this is the only university I know of that has missionaries. Also, I like this part of what you suggested, but not the rest: "BYU's Honor Code, which prohibits drug use and sexual promiscuity, lends a unique, religious atmosphere to the school..." Maybe try and build off that. KnightLago (talk) 19:26, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, the school doesn't exactly "have missionaries" in the way you seem to be saying. A lot of its students just happen to go on missions. It's not exactly a working part of the school, nor is it required. Also, what would you add at the end of the sentence about the Honor Code, personally, just so we can get some more ideas?

Lastly, I think foreign language should be there, but I don't like the way it's written. The thing that makes foreign languages notable at BYU is that 75% of students can speak of foreign language, the rest is just details (Missionaries, Middle Eastern Language Center, etc.). Wrad (talk) 19:29, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

The Honor Code should mention extra-marital sexual abstinence and alcohol abstinence since these two things are so rare on typical American college campuses. Also, yes missions are not required by BYU, but the fact that almost all males go on them really shapes the identity and character of BYU.JackWilliams (talk) 20:33, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the Honor Code bit. Could you provide a sample of how you would word it on this talk page? I'd be interested. I still feel, though, that the only really notable effect of having so many students go on missions is the foreign language effect. I think that the foreign language fact should be mentioned. The missionary info is just extra detail that they can read later on if they want to see why there is so much language knowledge among students. Wrad (talk) 23:25, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
How's this:

Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, is a private coeducational school completely owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church). It is the flagship university of the LDS Church. About 98% of the 34,000 students at BYU are Mormon, and two-thirds of the U.S. students come from outside the state of Utah.[7] BYU students are required to adhere to a strict honor code that forbids alcohol consumption and extra-marital sex. About 70% of student tuition is funded by LDS Church tithing funds, making tuition relatively lower than that of similar private universities.[8] Most male BYU students take a two-year hiatus from their studies to be Mormon missionaries, and many of them gain some foreign language proficiency while they are missionaries. The university's primary focus is on undergraduate education, but it also has 68 master's degree and 25 doctoral degree programs, as well as a Juris Doctorate program. The university also offers a wide variety of foreign language courses.JackWilliams (talk) 19:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I still think that gives too much detail about foreign languages by talking about missionaries. Wrad (talk) 19:29, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
But the missions really shape the identity of BYU, whether they are foreign-speaking or not. It's a rite of passage that most male BYU students go through either in the middle of their studies or right before their studies. And then as far as the languages go, I think the only reason that there is a prevalence of foreign language proficiency amongst the student body is because of the mission experience. Missions are too central to BYU to leave out of the lead, in my opinion.JackWilliams (talk) 22:36, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
What exactly do missions do to BYU, besides Foreign language stuff, that the average person would care about? Wrad (talk) 01:33, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Most males attend freshman year before their missions and then take a two-year hiatus between their freshman and sophomore years to be Mormon missionaries. This is very different from other schools. It means that most male BYU students finish their education during a 6-year span of time rather than a 4-year span. It also means that freshman year for most male BYU students is dramatically different than their post-mission years. And it is the very reason that there is a prevalence of foreign-language proficiency at BYU, which is reason enough to include it in the inro. Also, the culture at BYU focuses very heavily on males going on Mormon missions. JackWilliams (talk) 18:33, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I guess it just doesn't make sense to me to separate the cause from the effect. There is no way that we can put all of that in the Intro, and to just put the fact that a lot of BYU students go on mission in the Intro, separate from everything that makes it significant, will just leave our readers going, "huh?". Wrad (talk) 20:56, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that would warrant its own section; it's very hard to gracefully introduce a main topic while simultaneously going into depth on a secondary topic. A brief mention of the mission thing could be grafted onto the sentence about the foreign language programs. As it is, that sentence seems to hang awkwardly at the end of the intro, and saying BYU's missionary culture is a prime cause of the strength of the foreign language programs would round the intro out nicely. --Dynaflow babble 07:09, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. JackWilliams (talk) 19:16, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
How's this?

Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, is a private coeducational school completely owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church). It is the flagship university of the LDS Church. About 98% of the 34,000 students at BYU are Mormon, and two-thirds of the U.S. students come from outside the state of Utah.[7] BYU students are required to adhere to a strict honor code that forbids alcohol consumption and extra-marital sex. About 70% of student tuition is funded by LDS Church tithing funds, making tuition relatively lower than that of similar private universities.[8] Most male BYU students take a two-year hiatus from their studies to be Mormon missionaries, and many of them gain some foreign language proficiency while they are missionaries. The university's primary focus is on undergraduate education, but it also has 68 master's degree and 25 doctoral degree programs, as well as a Juris Doctorate program.JackWilliams (talk) 19:18, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

I'd just change this sentence a little "Most male BYU students take a two-year hiatus from their studies to be Mormon missionaries, where many of them gain some foreign language proficiency. This, combined with BYU's language classes, causes 75% of BYU students to be bilingual."
Something like that. I just think the 75% should be there, otherwise I don't see much point in mentioning missions. Wrad (talk) 23:46, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I like how this intro is taking shape. I think that the current first sentence should be kept in favor of the first two sentences in the above example, so that we have a mention of the Church Educational System -- BYU's governing authority -- right up front, and so we can avoid using the problematic -- particularly if uncited -- word "flagship," a term to which I have developed a severe personal allergy after spending so much time working on the University of California system articles, and which is seldom all that necessary in contexts not having to do with naval vessels. If a reader is curious about the Church Educational System's pecking order, he or she can click through to its article and infer from it what he or she will. (Someone might also want to take a crack at further fleshing out that article, by the way.) I agree that we should use specific statistics if we can find them.
Taking all that in and rearranging some elements for flow:
"Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, is a private coeducational school completely owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) and run under the auspices of its Church Educational System. The university's primary focus is on undergraduate education, but it also has 68 master's degree and 25 doctoral degree programs, as well as a Juris Doctorate program. Approximately 70% of student tuition is funded by LDS Church tithing funds, making tuition relatively lower than that of similar private universities. About 98% of the 34,000 students at BYU are Mormon, and two-thirds of the U.S. students come from outside the state of Utah. BYU students are required to adhere to a strict honor code that forbids alcohol consumption and extra-marital sex. Most male BYU students take a two-year hiatus from their studies to be Mormon missionaries, and many BYU women serve in missions as well, though usually for 18 months and typically after graduation. The resulting missionary culture of the campus, coupled with BYU's notably extensive foreign language programs, contributes to a rate of student bilinguality of more than 75%."
How 'bout that? --Dynaflow babble 01:39, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I like it better, too. What else is different from what we have currently? Wrad (talk) 01:57, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Here's a diff comparison. --Dynaflow babble 02:04, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Looks good. Wrad (talk) 02:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to pop it in now. Let's see if the response is good. --Dynaflow babble 02:19, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I've made the change, split the intro into two paragraphs for readability, and changed the sentence about the honor code to be a bit more comprehensive, so the code wouldn't come across as just some kind of stringent "no booze, no sex" rule. The honor code seems so central to the school's character that I felt it needed to be spelled out (if tersely). --Dynaflow babble 03:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I also like the changes you made to the honor code bit. I was worried you were going to just list things, but you seem to have just provided valuable context. Wrad (talk) 03:06, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to make the final sentence "ring" more by wording it, "The resulting missionary culture of the campus, coupled with BYU's notably extensive foreign language programs, contributes to a rate of student bilinguality of more than 75% and a high degree of international focus in courses of study." I've inferred that last part from what I've read about BYU, but I can't confirm it with enough certainty to make it conclude the lead. Am I correct on that count, or am I totally off-base? [EDIT:] More importantly, is it citable? I want to avoid drifting off into WP:OR if at all possible. --Dynaflow babble 03:44, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, we have references in the article supporting a high number of study abroad programs at BYU and a high focus on languages. Wrad (talk) 04:29, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. In it goes. --Dynaflow babble 04:36, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi Jack! As you can see, Dyno and I have changed a few things, with your wishes in mind. Please let us know what you think here and wait for a consensus to develop before reverting stuff. Thanks! Wrad (talk) 23:15, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

OK, I think we're making progress but I have a few objections. I think it's unnecessary to say that the Church runs BYU through CES. This is a minor detail. Also, that 98% of the student body is Mormon is the second-most significant trait of BYU, so I think that needs to be menioned near the top. It's a stretch to say that returned missionaries are "bilingual;" they only have a degree of second-language proficiency, far from native-level. I think we should be more clear in stating the sex and alcohol prohibitions of the Honor Code as these are very different from other universities. Academic honesty is not that noteworthy or unique. JackWilliams (talk) 23:37, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
First, I agree on the academic honesty bit. All schools have rules about that. I was also a bit shaky on the word bilingual, as you seem to be. The rest I'm not sure I agree on. I think having the 98% thing at the end of the paragraph gives it more emphasis than it would get at the beginning. That always seems to be the two things you remember, the end and the beginning. I like the sentence about the CES because it provides connection with BYU Hawaii, Idaho, and other schools that we didn't have in the lead before. It seemed important to me. Dynaflow had some reasonings behind using that instead of "flagship" terminology that I didn't quite understand. Perhaps he can explain? Wrad (talk) 23:53, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
I included the academic-honesty bit in the description of the honor code because I wanted to show that the honor code is a comprehensive set of rules to live and learn by for students at BYU, and not just a ban on drinking and sex. I started with academic honesty to give the reader a point of departure from "conventional" honor codes before moving on to BYU's code's more unique aspects, which gain emphasis by being specifically listed.
I'm using "bilingual" in its generic sense as a one-word term for "can use more than one language," without regard for level of proficiency. Maybe the phrase should be "display some degree of bilinguality" instead.
Placing the 98%-Mormon demographic at the conclusion of the opening paragraph is meant to emphasize it, since the opening and the closing are the most rhetorically important positions.
My reason for mentioning the CES right up front is, as Wrad pointed out above, that BYU doesn't exist in isolation, but is part of much larger organized effort by the LDS Church to build and sustain its own educational institutions. This is fundamental, and deserves mention in the same breath as the statement that the school is owned by the Church.
I don't like using the term "flagship" when uncited because it implicitly puts other schools in whatever "fleet" of which the flagship school is a part in a rhetorical lower/lesser/subordinate position, which leads to problems with WP:NPOV (not to mention with editors affiliated with the slighted institutions). It's esentially a way of saying a campus is "the best" without using a word that's obviously derived from subjective -- even if true -- criteria (see Talk:University of California, Berkeley#UC Berkeley status as University of California flagship campus). I would only use the term if either a) the system explicitly declares the campus in question to be its flagship or b) the system is headquartered at and more or less entirely revolves around that campus (e.g., the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus and Texas A&M University at College Station). Or if it floats and has an admiral aboard. From what I've read, the CES revolves around the Church itself, rather than its most prominent school, and I haven't seen any proclamations of flagship-hood for BYU. If you can find an official citation, though, the point is moot, and by all means put it in. --Dynaflow babble 04:04, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the current version of the lead is a good compromise version as regards the honor code thing. I think those of us who know the honor code really well may just take for granted what it is sometimes. I'd be in favor of changing the bilingual thing, though. I don't like the word flagship because it miscommunicates things to the outsider. In other situations, "flagship" means that the other schools are basically run from that school. That isn't the case at BYU. BYU is run by the CES. The other BYU schools are connected in name only, other than their connection through CES. I think I have this right, anyway. I'll see if I can find a citation. Wrad (talk) 04:39, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I just did some digging and can find no official sources to back up the claim that BYU is the flagship university. I found several unofficial sources, but nothing from leaders of the school. I don't think that such a claim would be as controversial in this case as with other schools, but it seems as though since the inception of BYU-I and Hawaii CES leaders have avoided making comparative statements about BY schools. I think we should follow suit. Wrad (talk) 04:46, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Someone just added "flagship" back in without a ref. Please read the above lengthy discussion regarding the use of that word. Consensus says it can't be there without a citation, and such official citations don't seem to exist. Wrad (talk) 20:14, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Copied from my talk page: If BYU isn't the flagship of the Mormon Church, then what is? BYU-Idaho? BYU-Hawaii? LDS Business College? Think about it. Which school is the biggest? Which has the best programs? Which has the better budget. JackWilliams (talk) 20:16, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

None of them are. The Church doesn't favor one over the other. I've researched this and have been unable to find any official source saying BYU is the flagship university. That's just not the way the Church does things. The BY Universities are centered in the CES, not at BYU. Wrad (talk) 20:20, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
BYU-Provo is obviously the better school by a long shot. It doesn't matter what the Church says in official statements. Wikipedia is about neutral truth, not propaganda. I'll change it back, this time with references.JackWilliams (talk) 20:26, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
"Flagship" doesn't mean better school. It means that it is the school from which the other schools are directed and run. That is false. I would also say that the statement that BYU is better is also POV and false. Wrad (talk) 20:31, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Two comments: 1) See Flagship university. It clearly states that a private university can never be a flagship. The term refers to the leading public university in a university system. 2) If there are no reliable sources that use the term "flagship" then there is absolutely no reason to include it in the article if it is under discussion. As such, I would say in no way should the term "flagship" be found anywhere in this article.—Noetic Sage 20:39, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
There are plenty of people who use the term connected to this university in a loose way. But you will never find an official source stating that it is, because it isn't. The CES system just isn't run in the same way as public universities and they just don't use that term. Wrad (talk) 20:43, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
The sources that have just been added to "support" this are not official at all and thus do not back up the statement. Wrad (talk) 20:58, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I have reverted JackWilliams per the evident consensus on this page. JackWilliams, it seems that you want to convey something about the prominence/importance/size/budget/whatever of BYU as compared to other Church Educational System institutions. Is that accurate? Maybe you can think of some other phrasing than "flagship university" to get this across. If so, propose it here. (It might be too much detail for the intro, in my opinion, but I'm not solidly decided on this.) alanyst /talk/ 21:13, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I found some more official sources referring to BYU as the "flagship" or the primary school. They are on byu.edu and the quotes are from Karl G. Maeser, Spencer W. Kimball, Merrill J. Bateman, and Marion G. Romney. JackWilliams (talk) 21:36, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment: BYU is not a public university. Therefore labeling it as a flagship university would be incorrect. Quoting from numerous people (notable or not) who claim that BYU is such does not mean that it is in fact a flagship university. Please reread Noetic Sage's link to what a flagship university is before reverting any more edits. User:JackWilliams, may I remind you that you have exhausted your three reverts. Please do not re-introduce already reverted material unless there is a consensus stating that your particular revision is supported. Further reverts will be considered as disruptive behavior. I have also noted this on your user talk page. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 21:56, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
The term "flagship" does not only apply to public universities. The website dictionary.reference.com has the following for definition #4 for "flagship": "4. the best or most important one of a group or system: This store is the flagship of our retail chain."JackWilliams (talk) 22:28, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is about what is verifiable, not truth. Useight (talk) 21:59, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I have quotes from Merrill Bateman, Spencer Kimball, Marion Romney, and Karl Maeser referring to BYU as the flagship. If you are a Mormon like I am, then you know how much weight their comments carry.JackWilliams (talk) 22:28, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I hope you're not suggesting that because I'm not a Mormon I can't have a neutral opinion and evaluate these people equally based on Wikipedia standards. I really hope you didn't mean that. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 22:38, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't mean it in an offensive way. If you're not Mormon, the names Merrill Bateman, Spencer Kimball, and Marion G. Romney might not mean anything to you. But most Mormons would instantly recognize these men as high-level, elite leaders in the Mormon church. If they said something formally in a speech, then it carries a lot of weight. Bateman was the president of BYU. Kimball was the president of the entire Mormon church.JackWilliams (talk) 22:43, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

The Lord's University

I can't believe that this article has gotten this far and doesn't have this phrase in it yet! It just hit me. I'm going to work on a section entitled something like "LDS atmosphere" to try to communicate the pervasiveness of this universities perceived mission as ambassador to the LDS church. Shouldn't be too long of a section, but just thought I'd give a heads up if anyone has ideas for what might be included in this section. I don't think what we have now quite does it, though it comes close. Wrad (talk) 06:51, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Manticore55 (talk) 07:00, 30 December 2007 (UTC)Well, personally I think that Dick Cheney's visit actually fits this category, but if we must be more general, it can be stated that the church has no higher method of honoring a non mormon than to give them an honorary degree from BYU. In truth, I have considered doing a sub article on those to whom they have given this degree. When I have the time to compile this information I think it will be an interesting list.

I will state that I think that a good example of this should be the general perceptions amongst the LDS faithful about BYU graduates and leadership in the church. I do recall an LDS publication that justified the tithing fund expense in this area by saying that it helped train future leaders for the LDS church, though I will have to find it. I also know that until recently, being a BYU alumnus was (and to a certain degree is) a significant social status in LDS ward culture, but I don't know where you'd find a third party that says that (I'm sure there is one though). Isn't there a group called the Young Ambassadors, a signing group who is, quite literally, an LDS missionary organization (in the sense that they spread goodwill for the church through BYU). The proximity of the MTC and the fact that a large number of BYU students teach there as instructors might also be relevant (and is much more easy to confirm by a neutral source.)

Manticore55 (talk) 07:02, 30 December 2007 (UTC)There have also been recruiting scandals with prominent LDS athletes who were told they would be 'letting the lord down' if they didn't play for BYU.

Manticore55 (talk) 07:12, 30 December 2007 (UTC)One very simple way to state this is that the last several presidents have been members of the Quorum of the Seventy, and that it appears to be the policy of the church that all future presidents will also be General Authorities. Furthermore, two sitting members of the Quorum of the Twelve, Dallin H. Oaks and Jeffery R. Holland (who, in an interesting but entirely unrelated incident, met with Mitt Romney's campaign about using BYU Alumni lists to help his campaign...just thought it might interesting to anyone who might want to know) were previously presidents of BYU (though they were not general authorities at the time.

I started the section. I think the sports things should be in the sport's section, though... maybe, we'll see. I found an excellent talk by President Eyring about "The Lord's University". I don't want to portray it as something weird or as something absolutely true. I just want to say it how it is. This is the first time I've really felt we've caught the real essence of BYU. I always felt something was missing before. Young Ambassadors would be good. Social status as well, though it may be harder to find good sources for... Wrad (talk) 07:24, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

The Henry B. Eyring quote is not really a good support that Church leaders think BYU is the "Lord's university." He is simply stating that lip-service won't make any university, even BYU, "the Lord's"--but that a university's students must serve and live so as to make it so. I propose removing this source unless as simple evidence that some people have referred to BYU as such. --Email4jonathan (talk) 00:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

What you're saying doesn't represent the article very well. He is saying how BYU can be the Lord's University. He talks about how it can eventually be the University he comes to during the Second Coming. It doesn't get any clearer than that. He's dealing with the issue at hand. The article is fine. Wrad (talk) 00:30, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Please read this, Jon. You aren't citing Eyring correctly. He didn't say what you're saying in the article at all. Wrad (talk) 01:13, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Wrad, you are the whole reason I stopped paying attention to the BYU article for months in the first place, even when I think improvement can be done...you are a Nazi editor who wants everything in your words and your words only. I have a life and won't continue to fight you, but I think you're really preventing this article from improving a lot. I tried to add an opposing side to your comment (about the U of U) to increase neutrality, and yes, it could use a citation, but don't reverse it right away...ask for a citation. In another instance, you didn't like my wording because it was sappy so you reverted that, but sappiness should not be grounds for reversion, but for improvement. I added another thought that scholars believe the temple is the Lord's university, but you reverted that too. I tried not to touch your Eyring citation in my compromise. Anyway, I give up. --Email4jonathan (talk) 02:09, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I've only changed what I didn't agree with. I kept an awful lot of your changes today. I hoped that you would talk sooner on this page, but you just kept trying to talk in edit summaries. That doesn't work. You have to come up with compromises on the talk page. My objections are that the U of U thing has no citation. I can take things out on a whim if they don't have citations. Anyone can. Also, the Church doesn't rely on the authority of scholars, but on General Authorities such as Eyring, so I don't really see why you keep pressing that point. I'm not trying to stifle you. I think you've done good things for this article, but you can't expect to be able to make some changes with getting challenged in some way. Wrad (talk) 02:23, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

I have been following this edit war and feel I should chime in. Both of you have made good points, but obviously there are still unsettled issues. First, the Eyring talk used as a reference is referring to a future event, not a current one. So, saying this is a reference for LDS General Authorities referring to BYU as "the Lord's University" is a stretch. The concept of "the Lord's University" Eyring is referring to comes from the quote of Charles H. Malik about a future university the Lord would be comfortable in returning to along with a quote from Spencer W. Kimball "Surely BYU can help to respond to that call!" It is certainly accurate to say that the Church and BYU see that as the destiny and mission of the school, but nowhere in this talk does it state that BYU is currently "the Lord's University." Elder Eyring offers counsel on how to achieve that, but again, it is in reference to a future event. Even identifying BYU as a "consecrated place," Elder Eyring states in the closing paragraph:

"The journey toward being a consecrated place is a long one. We have not arrived, but we are moving on the path. Those everyday tasks to which you now will give your all--because you give your all--are changing this school, and they are allowing the Lord to make a change in you. There will be tests ahead--not because God doubts us but because He loves us. I have every confidence that we will pass the tests and that surely BYU will respond to the call to be a consecrated place, as President Smith and President Kimball knew we would." (emphasis added)

Now, the term "the Lord's University" is used quite a bit, particularly at BYU, in the western U.S., and among BYU alumni. I did not hear the term, however, growing up LDS in Ohio until I attended school at BYU-Idaho where it was in reference to BYU-Idaho, not BYU. However, I have never heard the term stated in any official form at General Conference or in a Church publication.

While I am of the opinion that use of the term "the Lord's University" has arrogant applications and assumptions, particularly to non-LDS and LDS who choose to attend different universities (the U of U included!), it is not documented enough to include in an article yet (so I see both sides of that edit disagreement). I'm also not opposed to including these "scholars" that are mentioned because they are likely LDS scholars who have published books or articles on the topic using scriptural and/or teachings of LDS leaders in their study. After all, this is still an encyclopedia, not the Ensign, so other views need to be included; not just the official church view. --JonRidinger (talk) 04:24, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Please understand, here. The Eyring reference isn't being used to claim that general authorities support the name as it is now. It is being used for this sentence: Leaders of the school take this nickname and mission seriously, encouraging students to follow the teachings of their religion, adhere to the school's honor code, and to serve others with the knowledge they gain while attending. This is easily supportable. Other references support the other statements. Not the Eyring one. Wrad (talk) 04:39, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I see that. I removed the word "nickname" because even the references provided don't really establish the term "The Lord's University" as an actual nickname of the school, nor do they come from authoritative sources ( a Seventy and a BYU professor in a BYU devotional). Again, the school has never been officially referred to as "The Lord's University" and it does not promote itself or even it's mission along with the phrase "The Lord's University." What's important is the perceived mission of service and consecration, not the "nickname," which is evident from the Eyring talk. --JonRidinger (talk) 05:19, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with your recent edits. I never meant to say it was an official nickname and I guess I got dangerously close there. The way it is now is basically what I wanted to say. By the way, if you want negative stuff about the name, there is a book entitled "The Lord's University" that points out why it isn't. Wrad (talk) 05:26, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

I am posting some quotes and their sources for any interested parties:

"We are fond of saying that BYU is the Lord's university, but we do not make it so by self-labeling or self-congratulations." - Dallin H. Oaks (see http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6736; given 11 Sept. 1979 while BYU president)

The temple as a house of learning, "the Lord's university," where we can understand the most powerful principles of the gospel and receive inspiration for ourselves and our families. -From S. Michael Wilcox's (who is instructor at the institute of religion at the University of Utah; Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, where he directed the institute of religion; prolific LDS author) House of Glory (1995).

"The people must also be taught the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ more perfectly at the temple of the Lord. The temple is the Lord's university. It is a degree-granting university, fully accredited in every aspect, in which we prepare ourselves for the celestial degree. Therefore, when the Lord stated that the Saints must be taught more perfectly, he was referring to the building of the temple and the receiving of personal endowments. In the temple endowment, we are instructed how to live; then we covenant to live as we have been instructed." - Monte S. Nyman (professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University), Doctrine and Covenants, a Book of Answers: The 25th Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, Chapter 11 [complete text available on my talk page]

Best regards - --Email4jonathan (talk) 20:19, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

The Temple thing is nice, but I don't see what it has to do with BYU. I thought the ref was saying something like "Many people call BYU the Lord's University, but that is false. The Temple is." These quotes say nothing of the sort. I think the Oaks quote would be a good addition next to the Eyring one, though, further emphasizing the fact that General Authorities see it as a goal to move towards. Wrad (talk) 20:32, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
The Oaks quote is from when he was President of BYU, not a GA. --Email4jonathan (talk) 15:54, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Even better. Now we have a GA and a President of BYU saying it. Wrad (talk) 16:07, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Okay...I only commented again in this Talk to call your (Wrad's) attention to something you overlooked, but this will definitely be my last comment on this subject, as your bigotry and incompetence is overbearing. Dallin H. Oaks does not say that BYU is the Lord's university, only that we are fond of saying it. Technically, ANY university could be "the Lord's" if it lived up to the standards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ...but Wrad, you are so set in your ways (and your editing preferences) that nor the U of U, nor the temple, nor any institution other than BYU can be the Lord's. Heck, I currently attend BYU and even I'm not that prideful! --Email4jonathan (talk) 00:27, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I've never said any of those institutions weren't, Jon. I also never said that Oaks said BYU is currently the Lord's University either. The article as it stands doesn't say this. I don't see what you're so upset about. Check the facts. And please avoid personal attacks. I've never accused you of "bigotry" or "incompetence" (or pridefulness). I personally feel like I'm the one being attacked here. I'm trying to find a middle ground. You just seem to get mad and leave whenever someone wants to talk! I'm being honest, here. The point is, even if the Temple is the Lord's University, what does that have to do with BYU? Your sources don't make any connection. If you want to add criticism, fine, just make sure it's cited. That's fair enough, isn't it? Wrad (talk) 00:47, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I've noticed the changes you (Wrad) made to the article today, and it seems that the section is now a lot more neutral. Great improvements! --Email4jonathan (talk) 02:37, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I wasn't trying to make BYU seem like the king of the world. I'm the sort that just follows the sources. I don't set out for NPOV. I've found that that comes naturally as people cite their sources and are willing to talk about things. Wrad (talk) 02:39, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

GA nom

I'm nominating this for GA status. Whatever smaller problems it has now might keep it from FA status, but not GA, in my view. Wrad (talk) 00:45, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Comprehensive yet fairly concise, and it reads quite well. My suggestions for moving it up to FA include trimming down the data and perhaps moving some sections into their own article.

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
Seems to have some controversy, but not enough to prevent GA
  1. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):

Could use some more relevant images...

  1. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:

Pcbene (talk) 05:24, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Woohoo! Thanks for the quick review. Wrad (talk) 05:29, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
My pleasure. Pcbene (talk) 05:34, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Congratulations to User:Wrad, who has vastly improved this article in collaboration with other users. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 06:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Article Clean-up

Since the History and Academic Freedom sections of this article have their own articles for more comprehensive information, can we make these sections more concise on the BYU main article? Right now, there is little difference between the two. --Email4jonathan (talk) 22:15, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I drastically cut both already, so they aren't that much alike anymore, although I would like to see the Recent events section of history cut and possibly a little more trimming of Academic freedom. Wrad (talk) 00:28, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Undergrad Post-grad Rankings

I recently added some impressive post-grad rankings. Does anyone think it would be more readable if we put those in either a table or a picture? or is it fine as is? --Email4jonathan (talk) 15:45, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

More freedom

I really don't understand what the issue is. The article most certainly does say what the quote says. Read the entire thing very carefully. Or, press Ctrl + f to find it. It's there I just looked at it! Also, the fact that the article is printed by the Church is not a reason to take it out, it is a reason to make sure that we have both sides. This is a two-sided issue. One side is the AAUP and the other side is the Church. If you take either one out then you violate WP:NPOV. That's all there is to it. Wrad (talk) 00:35, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

The article reads as follows: "The Jones case has reopened the decades-old debate of whether BYU, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, should be revered for allowing far freer discussion of religious topics than most universities or derided for stifling some of that speech. Many BYU professors say they appreciate academic freedoms at BYU that they have not experienced elsewhere." I agree with User:Fieshp that the article does not say that BYU should be revered but only that it has reopened the debate. However, I do agree with you that the article does state that many BYU professors say they appreciate academic freedoms at BYU.
I'm going to undo User:Wrad's addition for now until a consensus can be reached on this talk page for the text that should be added. This makes more sense that continuing to revise and undo edits on the actual article. Thanks. --Eustress (talk) 00:40, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
They weren't my additions. Those are things that have been there for quite a while. We need both sides. The article says there are two sides and is therefore a good cite for the statement. Without those statements the article doesn't present both sides and is not NPOV. Wrad (talk) 00:42, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Okay, well now it's off the page and will be worked on here. If you (or anyone) still wants it on, please add your suggested addition here first. --Eustress (talk) 00:44, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I can see now that it says there is a debate, so I added it in a new place with wording to reflect that. Wrad (talk) 00:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I already made some changes that I think will satisfy both sides. Wrad (talk) 00:51, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Eustress. You seem to be ignoring me. Why revert it? Let him decide if he likes it and let him revert it if he wants. Wrad (talk) 00:53, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Wrad...the three of us are not the only ones that watch this page. We should reach consensus on this talk page first and then post instead of continuing to undo each others' edits. I wouldn't have stepped in had you acted more respectfully. I will post the text to be addressed below. Thanks. --Eustress (talk) 00:56, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

The following has been temporarily removed due to severe disagreement and needs attention:

Some suggest that BYU "should be revered" for allowing far freer discussion of religious topics than most universities.[1] And many BYU professors have expressed appreciation for academic freedoms at BYU that they have not experienced elsewhere.[1][2]

When have I been disrespectful until you did that revert? This is silly. It's not a severe disagreement. Why don't you post what you just reverted instead of the above version which we all dislike? I like that version better. Why didn't you comment on it instead of just reverting it. At least in my reverts I said why it didn't work. I thought this was fixed already! Wrad (talk) 00:58, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I think it's fine the way it is, since I don't think the DN presents a strong defense. A defense of the ideas that "BYU allows more freedom than elsewhere" that includes where elsewhere is (specifically) and how religious discussion is curtailed there, as well as which professors have said so would be preferred. I suspect one exists.
I say I'm fine with the text just not being there, but if someone else wants it there, I think we can add it after some serious modification. The Gordon interview is immaterial to the quotes (though it might provide a good source for a stronger defense of the policy), and we must note that Deseret News is owned by the church. Using it at all is suspect, I think, because of WP:SPS.
Finally, the DN source is not unambiguously advocating the position that BYU allows "far freer discussion of religious topics than most universities." I'm not saying they don't believe it, I just think that anyone trying to advocate that position would not write that prose as it is. Fieshp (talk) 01:15, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I put this at the beginning of the Academic freedom section: The debate over whether BYU allows freer discussion on religious topics than most universities or whether it stifles free speech is an old one.[1]
I plan to put this back in once things have cooled down unless people object. I think it reflects both sides of the debate and makes it clear that it is a debate. Wrad (talk) 01:18, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Wrad, please review Wikipedia's policy on No personal attacks [8] and let's stay on topic here. --Eustress (talk) 01:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Please stop attacking me, Eustress. You accused me of being disrespectful, you called me immature and asked how old I was [9]. Take your own advice. Wrad (talk) 02:02, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
WP:SPS doesn't say anything that has anything to do with this. Please quote the exact policy you're referring to and paste the quote here for all to see. Wrad (talk) 01:23, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

WP:SPS

Deseret News is published by the LDS church. Wrad asked for a quote from SPS. Here it is: "For that reason, self-published books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, forum postings, and similar sources are largely not acceptable." Fieshp (talk) 01:46, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Fieshp because the Deseret News is owned by the LDS Church, which also owns BYU, so the possible conflict of interest renders source unreliable. Can anyone find another source? Thanks. --Eustress (talk) 01:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
That quote doesn't say anything about this issue. A self published source is one published by some random person at a location that is not peer reviewed. If you haven't noticed, this entire article is cited to BYU sources. BYU is a pretty good source for what happens at BYU. Whatever other sources say needs to be balanced out by how the school defends itself. Otherwise you leave the school defenseless. This isn't an uncommon idea. Take a look at other University FAs such as Duke University. Wrad (talk) 02:00, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that people and institutions should be able to defend themselves, but the original statement was on the offensive. In other words, considering the source, it could read "[LDS people] suggest that BYU "should be revered" for allowing far freer discussion of religious topics than most universities. [makes sense that they would] And many BYU professors have expressed appreciation for academic freedoms at BYU that they have not experienced elsewhere.[of course they would]
Anyway, the original quote appears to be biased, and the earlier modification doesn't really add value to the article, so I suggest leaving it all out. What does everyone else think? --Eustress (talk) 02:13, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I really don't want to talk about the original quote. I think we've all already agreed long ago that we hate it. How about the compromise I offered. I'm the only one who was defending the old statement, and I've already acknowledged that I don't like it. No one likes it, so let's talk about something new. Wrad (talk) 02:21, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Here is the version I proposed: I put this at the beginning of the Academic freedom section: The debate over whether BYU allows freer discussion on religious topics than most universities or whether it stifles free speech is an old one.[1]
It doesn't say who is right and who is wrong. It just says that a debate exists, that it has two sides, and this is what the two sides are. -- Wrad (talk) 02:22, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I think the proposed modification is NPOV but unneeded, and this article needs to be shorter. You might consider adding your extraneous insights to the page dedicated to this topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_freedom_at_Brigham_Young_University. Thanks. --Eustress (talk) 02:28, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
"Extraneous insights" Hmmm... <sarcasm>I'm glad to see we've put things behind us and are being professional now.</sarcasm> I'm really tired of being the ridiculed scapegoat, here. Wrad (talk) 02:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Wrad, don't get offended so easily. I'm not trying to be mean. I think the proposed statement is unneeded (extraneous, if you will), and the reason there is an entire page dedicated to this topic is for comments like those you have proposed. --Eustress (talk) 02:43, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Is there a debate?

I am surprised that there is a debate. Who says that BYU allows freer discussion than most universities? Who says it doesn't stifle at least some speech? How old is the debate? I think even this may be a POV statement by the paper, since framing something as an old debate gives both sides equal footing when one may, in fact, be a fringe position. Imagine someone saying "the debate about whether FDR was a Russian spy is an old one".

I hope there is another source for the debate occurring long ago, so we can verify this statement. Fieshp (talk) 02:36, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Deseret News says there is a debate. They've been covering BYU for years and know what they're talking about and they sure ain't a fringe newspaper. LDS professors can talk more about LDS things at BYU than in other schools. That's a fact. State schools have to eliminate religious speech because of the "separation of church and state" idea. Wrad (talk) 02:38, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
It's certainly true that there are some things which may be said and done may BYU that may not be done at public universities. Saying, however, that BYU allows "freer discussion on religious topics" would imply that, on balance, the religious discussion that can happen at BYU is freer than that which can happen at other universities. But BYU also restricts religious speech in ways that public universities in the US can't and won't. Since there are some ways that BYU allows "freer" speech and some ways it does not allow speech to be as free, for there to be a debate in the terms you posed, someone must be saying not just that BYU allows some speech that is disallowed elsewhere, but that the balance is tipped towards BYU. has anyone said that?
An alternative wording is that the debate about the value of restricting some speech while allowing other oft-restricted speech is old. Of course, we would need a cite for that, but I think it would be easier to find. Fieshp (talk) 02:55, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Aha! You see! Right here. Proof that there is a debate. We're debating this right now. People talk about this regarding BYU all the time. Wrad (talk) 03:03, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually, we're debating about article text rather than the actual truth of the matter, and a debate that started an hour ago on Wikipedia talk pages is hardly a long-standing debate in sources that WP considers citation-worthy. Fieshp (talk) 03:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Of course! But it strikes me as funny that you deny the existence of a debate when it is not only clearly cited, but is happening right in front of you. Wrad (talk) 03:13, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Duplication

There is a lot of duplication in this article and the one specifically about academic freedom at BYU. I think we should eliminate all the duplication, and put a brand new summary of the other page in that section. Fieshp (talk) 02:57, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I think there should be a new summary too. Other people have suggested it too, if you scroll up. Wrad (talk) 03:03, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Duplication Proposal

Academic freedom issues

In 1992, the university drafted a new Statement on Academic Freedom,[3] specifying that limitations may be placed upon "expression with students or in public that:

  1. contradicts or opposes, rather than analyzes or discusses, fundamental Church doctrine or policy;
  2. deliberately attacks or derides the Church or its general leaders; or
  3. violates the Honor Code because the expression is dishonest, illegal, unchaste, profane, or unduly disrespectful of others.

These restrictions have caused some controversy as several professors have been disciplined according to the new rule. The restrictions have not affected BYU's accreditation, as the university's chosen accrediting body allows "religious colleges and universities to place limitations on academic freedom so long as they publish those limitations candidly," according to associate academic vice president Jim Gordon.[4]

Fieshp (talk) 03:26, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Short and sweet. I like it. Maybe add some quotes from the AAUP to balance it out. Wrad (talk) 03:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Academic freedom issues

In 1992, the university drafted a new Statement on Academic Freedom,[3] specifying that limitations may be placed upon "expression with students or in public that:

  1. contradicts or opposes, rather than analyzes or discusses, fundamental Church doctrine or policy;
  2. deliberately attacks or derides the Church or its general leaders; or
  3. violates the Honor Code because the expression is dishonest, illegal, unchaste, profane, or unduly disrespectful of others.

These restrictions have caused some controversy as several professors have been disciplined according to the new rule. The American Association of University Professors has claimed that "infringements on academic freedom are distressingly common and that the climate for academic freedom is distressingly poor."[5] The new rules have not affected BYU's accreditation, as the university's chosen accrediting body allows "religious colleges and universities to place limitations on academic freedom so long as they publish those limitations candidly," according to associate academic vice president Jim Gordon.[4]

Fieshp (talk) 03:43, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Pictures...yeah!

I went out and took some pictures of BYU campus today with the sole intention of posting them on BYU articles. Feel free to move them around within the article to a more fitting place, as I am placing them mostly where convenient. The quote by Brigham Young and his statue might be able to be merged, and if the pictures overwhelm the article, we could put some in a designated "gallery" section. Anyway, I know the article has been in dire need of pictures for some time, so I hope this helps! --Eustress (talk) 00:55, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Do you take requests? If so, I've been wishing we had a picture of one of the "Honor Code" posters around campus for quite awhile. You know, the ones where it shows a guy and how he's clean-shaven and doesn't have long sideburns and whatnot? We could also use one of, say, the Museum of Art for the Museum section, one of the library for the library paragraph, and a few of some dorms for teh student residence section. Wrad (talk) 01:02, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I see some of them pouring in! Very nice. Wrad (talk) 01:03, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Another good one would be one of students walking to church on campus for the religious activity section. I don't have a digital camera or I'd do it myself. Wrad (talk) 01:10, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Is this picture worth posting? Should it be cropped first? --Eustress (talk) 01:12, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

HinckleyTannerBuildings.JPG
Even if it was cropped the tree is kind of in the way, isn't it? Wrad (talk) 01:13, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I was trying to cover up a crane in the background :) It's okay, we have plenty of pictures.

Is there anywhere we can move the blue Brigham Young quote box so it's not jutting out? Not sure if you know what I mean, and maybe it's not a big deal. [I'll work on getting those other pictures you've requested too, Wrad.] --Eustress (talk) 01:30, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I know what you mean. I'll fiddle with it. Wrad (talk) 01:32, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
We could take some stuff out of the university infobox (like the school's old colors) or make the logo smaller? --Eustress (talk) 01:37, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I think I fixed it. Wrad (talk) 01:38, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I really like the pic of BY on the left-hand side! The quote still looks a little awkward, but it's manageable. Would you consider inserting the quote as the picture caption? Not sure how it would look. --Eustress (talk) 01:41, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I also posted some Marriott School-specific pics on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriott_School_of_Management if anyone thinks they should be brought over to the main BYU article. --Eustress (talk) 01:34, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Pics (cont) and Alumni Gallery

I just addded a couple housing pictures (feel free to move around), and I created a brief alumni gallery. Several other universities' pages do this (see Vanderbilt University), and as long as it is brief and only presents household names, I think it can add a lot of value to the article. I would like to add Stephen Covey, but there is no picture for him. Let me know how you think this could be improved...thanks! --Eustress (talk) 21:18, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Flagship

I have found quotes from Mormon leaders Karl G. Maeser, Spencer W. Kimball, Marion G. Romney, and Merrill J. Bateman referring to the idea of BYU as being the flagship school of the Mormon Chuhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Button_reflink.png Insert a referencerch / Mormon education. I think these quotes are official enough to label BYU as the "flaship" of the Mormon Church in the lead. Thoughts? JackWilliams (talk) 22:21, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there's any doubt BYU is the flagship university of the Church, but it is not BYU-Provo (like BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii)--only BYU. A short statement in the article with accompanying citations would be sufficient to state this if desired. --Eustress (talk) 22:34, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I have quotes from Bateman, Kimball, and Marion Romney referring to BYU-Provo as the flagship. I agree with them.JackWilliams (talk) 22:41, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, maybe I was unclear. I was simply stating that BYU (the one located in Provo), does not officially identify itself at BYU-Provo but merely BYU (without the clarifying "-Provo"; that is only officially used currently for the Idaho and Hawaii campuses); but I too agree with you and the Brethren. --Eustress (talk) 23:11, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the problem is that flagship university has a particular meaning besides just the "most important in a group of sibling universities" sense that JackWilliams (and those whom he cites) seem to be using it. JackWilliams, in your opinion is the term "flagship university" highly important to use, or can the idea you have in mind be conveyed through different words? If there is another term that gets the idea across without the potential confusion, I think it's to be preferred here. alanyst /talk/ 23:10, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I think Alanyst has hit on part of the problem, and an important part. When people read "flagship university" they will be misled, because BYU isn't a flagship university in the sense that any other university in the world is. Also, use of the term "flagship" by official sources as applied to BYU-Provo stopped altogether when BYU-Idaho came about. All of the sources you're mentioning are a good bit older than that. Just look around the Internet and you'll see that I'm right. It's like the Church doesn't want to establish any of its universities as "better" than any other. Wrad (talk) 00:23, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Lookup "flagship" in the dictionary, and you'll see that can have broad meanings. Merrill Bateman's talk is from 2001, after Ricks was re-named BYU-Idaho. Here is a quote from that 2001 talk: "We are "the parent trunk," with three others in the form of BYU--Hawaii, BYU--Idaho, and the LDS Business College. We are at the heart of the Church Educational System with the responsibility of preparing teachers and providing learning materials." JackWilliams (talk) 00:28, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Let me give you a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley, our most recent head (until Monson just this year) of the Board of Directors not only of BYU, but of all church schools, to illustrate my point:
"Speaking of the various BYU campuses, he [Hinckley] concluded by saying:
We shall keep these as flagships testifying to the great and earnest commitment of this Church to education, both ecclesiastical and secular, and while doing so prove to the world that excellent secular learning can be gained in an environment of religious faith. [Hinckley, "Why We Do," 53]"' [10]
Please note the word I bolded: flagships. It is used by Pres. Hinckley in plural form to designate "the various BYU campuses". BYU is not the flagship university of the church, all of the BYU campuses are flagships according to this most recent of official sources (2001). Also, the word in this sense means more "ambassador for the church to the world" than it does "head of a group of state universities", which is how most people will understand the term. We have to be careful when translating Mormon vocabulary into common English. This is one case where it can be misleading. Wrad (talk) 00:36, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
President Hinckley misused the word flagship. A majortiy of a group cannot all be "flagships." It's like saying that a majority of people are above average.JackWilliams (talk) 00:54, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
From the 2001 talk by Merrill Bateman, then-president of BYU (I bolded some words):
"The parent trunk consists of the 29,000 students gathered from all 50 states and more than 115 countries."
"A strong trunk is essential if the branches and secondary roots are to receive quality nourishment. The parent trunk in Provo must be extraordinary both spiritually and secularly if the reach is to be infinite. In particular, it must be a part of "the true vine" (John 15:1) if it is to play a central role in the kingdom's educational system."
President Bateman clearly indicated that BYU is the "flagship" in the most common sense of the word "flagship." President Hinckley misused the word flagship in the reference you give. All of the church universities can't be flagships. JackWilliams (talk) 00:51, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
According to Hinckley, they can be and are. He didn't misuse the word. If he had Bateman wouldn't have quoted him in the very same talk you're quoting from. Note that Bateman doesn't use the term "flagship" in your quote. Use the tree analogy if you like, if you can find a place to put it, but BYU is not the flagship university of the Church in the sense that any other university is. Church leaders do not use the word exclusively for BYU anymore. At all. You have yet to show where exactly CES Church leaders have said recently that BYU-Provo is "the flagship". It just isn't. I've read that talk, and Bateman just doesn't go that far except to quote Hinckley as saying they all are. Wrad (talk) 00:54, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Look up "flagship" in a dictionary. Its definitions all contradict President Hinckley's usage. He meant to say that all of the BYU schools are good. That's fine. But he misused the word flagship. A majority of a group cannot all be flagships. Flagship means the most prominent, the leader, the best, the most important, or the "trunk." Marion G. Romney, David O McKay, Merrill Bateman, Spencer Kimball, and Karl G. Maeser have all referred to BYU-Provo in this manner. Bateman said it in 2001. Your Hinckley reference is earlier than my Bateman reference.JackWilliams (talk) 01:00, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
...And yet Bateman quotes him as if he just said it yesterday, Hinckley was, after all, still head of the Board at that point. It doesn't matter what the dictionary says. It matters what the leaders of the school say. Are you going to go up to the leader of all the BYU schools and say, "You're wrong, they can't all be flagships." I'm sorry, but that is such a cop-out. You've got the answer staring you in the face and the only thing you can says is "he's wrong, he misused the word." That's just plain WP:OR. Do you have a source saying he's wrong, or is it just you that says that? Hinckley can say "they're all the best" just as much as you can say "you're all winners in my book". Wrad (talk) 01:06, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Bateman quoted Hinckley because he probably agreed with Hinckley that all of the BYU schools are good places. The word "flagship" has a certain meaning, so it does matter what the dictionary says. President Hinckley did not specifically say that BYU-Provo was not the main school in the Mormon church. He just misused the word "flagship" to say that all of the BYU-schools are examples of Mormon education to the world. Bateman probably agreed with Hinckley and thus quoted him. Bateman very clearly refers to BYU-Provo as the "parent trunk" of Mormon universities. His usage of "parent trunk" is a complete validation of BYU-Provo being the flagship. Hinckley's misuse of the word "flagship" does not invalidate the fact that BYU-Provo is the main Mormon university. JackWilliams (talk) 01:16, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Regardless, one cannot use a reference for the term "flagship" in this article that is not independent of BYU. You cannot use a BYU source to assert that BYU is the flagship. This is very clear in the criteria for verifiability. Unless you can find a reliable, third-party source then flagship stays out. Why do you care so much anyway? Does it really matter if flagship is in the article? —Noetic Sage 01:21, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
If you had to define BYU in three words only, you would say "Mormon flagship university." It makes the Wikipedia article better is it's in the very first line of the article. It's one of the most crucial things a BYU-outsider should know about BYU. Would you consider the Salt Lake Tribune to be a reliable source? I think that it's okay to reference byu.edu for some information about BYU, although I do think that some things on byu.edu are public-relations type information that is biased.JackWilliams (talk) 01:29, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
No, I actually wouldn't say that, because it isn't true. Therefore, it shouldn't be in the first sentence. And yes, Hinckley in the Ensign is much less biased than Bateman in a talk at BYU, so we should use him. Wrad (talk) 01:31, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Why is it not true? You have no evidence that it is not. Hinckley's quote does not back you up. I have quotes from Bateman, Kimball, Romney, Oaks, and Maeser that contradict your claim.JackWilliams (talk) 01:35, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

The Hinckley quote is a CES one. The Bateman quotes are BYU ones. That's part of my point. Of coure BYU President Bateman is going to tell the BYU student body that BYU-Provo is the best. What else would he say. Hinckley, on the other hand, see the whole picture. Wrad (talk) 01:22, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

But Hinckley's quote does not say that BYU-Provo is not the main school. He just says that all BYU-schools are examples of Mormon education.JackWilliams (talk) 01:37, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll try again: What is the important point here? Is it to use the word "flagship", or is it to express something about the prominence of BYU in relation to other LDS church schools? If the latter, can we agree to abandon the disputed word "flagship" and try to settle on different terminology that communicates the same idea? alanyst /talk/ 03:09, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
The word "flagship" gets the job done better than any word I can think of. We should aim to keep the article concise, so we don't need a sentence to explain something that can so nicely be communicated with one clear word.JackWilliams (talk) 03:18, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I guess that's the problem. Why use one word to describe something when by using this one word it can cause so much confusion? I'm not asking for someone to write a paragraph to replace this one word, but any word but the word flagship would be much better and can alleviate this edit war. Can someone just write the sentence so that it conveys the same idea without using the word flagship? I'm not Mormon so apparently my ability to properly contribute to this article has been severely lowered... - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 03:53, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
"Flagship" does not cause confusion. Its meaning is clear, that BYU-Provo is the main school of the Mormon church.JackWilliams (talk) 04:28, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
If its only meaning were "primary" or "most important" then I think there would be no argument. Since there is another specific meaning to "flagship university" that connotes something that BYU is not, the phrase is likely to cause confusion for some, even if others find the meaning to be obvious. JackWilliams, I propose that you come up with several synonymous phrases for "flagship university" that you think might serve as adequate (even if not ideal) substitutes, and maybe one of them will find general approval here. Would you be willing to do this? alanyst /talk/ 05:07, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I think by saying "...is the flagship university of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)." we eliminate any confusion about the word "flagship." This phrasing gives an accurate, clear idea about BYU's flagship status that does not mislead anyone. In fact, it is very enlightening. BYU is not a flagship school of a state, but of a church.209.180.144.42 JackWilliams (talk) 05:51, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Based on the Wikipedia page flagship university, the only part of the definition that BYU does not fit is that the term is typically used with state schools and systems and indeed that article is about public flagship universities. I think the term is safe to use with BYU because it implies that the school is the center of a system rather than a main campus with regional satellites. BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii are completely independent of BYU, but are all part of the same Church Educational System. Even by default BYU is the flagship based on the fact that it is the oldest of the three and by far the largest. If the meaning were "primary" or "most important" it would be incorrect to refer to it as the flagship because it implies that the other schools in the system are dependent on BYU, which they really are not, any more than UCLA is dependent on Berekely (the flagship) in the University of California system. The flagship is the one that is the showcase for the system as a whole, and that is most certainly the case for BYU in the LDS Church, at least as far as CES goes. Even without the quotes from LDS leaders, BYU can safely be labeled the "flagship university" in the Church Educational System, in my opinion, and it will not confuse the reader as long as it is stated what it is the flagship of. Even though the term is almost exclusively used on public state universities, BYU is somewhat unique in that it is a private school that is part of a larger system. I don't think it would be correct to refer to BYU as the flagship of the LDS Church itself, though, just CES. Flagship doesn't necessarily mean "better," and why would the Church stop using term only after the arrival of BYU-Idaho? What about BYU-Hawaii? --JonRidinger (talk) 05:57, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
And a P.S.: I attended BYU-Idaho and the most used terms to describe BYU I heard there were "the mothership" and "BYU-Provo," a term I really don't care for. Simply saying "BYU" means the university in Provo, Utah in ALL cases. BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii are NEVER referred to as just "BYU," even in their respective local areas.

I like what you've just said. It is just plain wrong to say that BYU-Provo is better than the other schools. No Church leader has said or ever will say that. I just think this word is so dang confusing!! It implies a billion things that may or may not be true. Sheesh. What a dumb word. Wrad (talk) 06:14, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't say it's totally wrong to say that BYU is a better school than the others (and keep in mind, I attended BYU-Idaho). In the ways universities are measured (entrance test scores, average GPA, research and development, etc.) BYU is a better school at least overall. That's not to say the other schools are bad or that BYU is better in everything (because it isn't), but we can't deny the reality that the Church puts a lot more resources into BYU than it does to BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii or the fact that BYU is much harder for the average student to get into than BYUI and BYUH. That's why I think using the term "flagship" here is OK as far as the Church Educational System or the "Brigham Young University System" if such a thing exists. It also shows what I said before: that BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii aren't dependent "branch campuses" like so many people seem to think. "Flagship university" gets my vote over "main" or "primary" campus. --JonRidinger (talk) 06:32, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, cool, thanks for your input. I think it's pretty obvious that BYU-Provo is the flagship, even to people who attend BYU-Idaho or BYU-Hawaii or LDS Business College. I think by saying BYU-Provo is the flagship university of the LDS Church, we make it clear that it's the flagship institution of higher learning of the Mormon Church, not just the flagship element of the LDS Church.JackWilliams (talk) 06:50, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Look, I don't feel particularly strongly about the term myself, but if there are editors who in good faith object to the term because they feel it's confusing, why continue to argue for it? Why not choose another term that will have the same effect? Here are some possibilities:

  • BYU...is the principal university operated by the Church...
  • BYU...is the largest university operated by the Church...
  • BYU...is the leading university of the Church...
  • BYU...is the main university of the Church...
  • BYU...is the central university of the Church...
  • Owned by the Church..., it is the foremost of several institutions run under the auspices...
  • Owned by the Church..., it is the most prominent of several institutions...
  • BYU...is owned by the Church...and is a principal arm of its Church Educational System...
  • BYU...is owned by the Church...and is the main pillar of its Church Educational System...

I'm sure others here could come up with alternatives that are just as good or better. Instead of doggedly debating the term "flagship" in the face of opposition, how about we choose some other expression? Let's stop trying to change each other's minds on the matter and just find a workaround instead, shall we? alanyst /talk/ 12:58, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I didn't participate in the previous discussion, but I think "BYU...is the principal university operated by the Church..." is the best from the above list. -- Renesis (talk) 13:17, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I did participate in the previous discussion, and I think BYU...is the principal university operated by the CES... definitely sound much better than the usage of the word flagship.  ;-) - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 17:04, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I think "flagship" is a much better word than "principal." Flagship is clearer. It conveys more meaning. Principal is a little murky. Same with main, leading, largest, etc. BYU-Provo is not just the largest, but it has all the best programs. BYU-Provo is not just the primary university, but it is also the crown jewel of Mormon education. "Flagship" so nicely and eloquently captures all of these meanings. All of the other proposals fall short and / or are too wordy. JackWilliams (talk) 21:08, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you on the usage of flagship here, except that I wouldn't call it the "flagship of the Mormon Church." If anything it is the flagship of the LDS Church Educational System as I have already stated because of its size and reputation outside of the church, much like the University of Notre Dame could be considered a "flagship" of the Catholic educational system, but not the actual Catholic Church. BYU is the largest, but it doesn't have all the best programs...it has many of the best programs in CES if not most, but not all. Both BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii have some of their own unique programs and set-ups (BYU-Idaho's 3-track system comes to mind as does BYU-Hawaii's Polynesian studies program) that set them apart from each other. I don't like calling it the "flagship of the Mormon Church" (or using the proper church name) because it is misleading. Just like Ohio State is regarded as the flagship of the University System of Ohio or the Ohio educational system as a whole, but not of the state of Ohio itself. Make sense? BYU as flagship of the Church Educational System? Yes, I think that is pretty clear and shows how it is part of a larger group, but is the most recognized and prominent in that group (in my experience, the average person is usually surprised to learn that BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii even exist and then they think they are both dependent branch campuses of the "main" campus in Provo, which is also not true). --JonRidinger (talk) 22:06, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree. If we say "the flagship university of the LDS Church" then we could avoid the confusion that you bring up.JackWilliams (talk) 22:50, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I think that could work, but CES does need to be mentioned. BYU is part of CES, not the other way around. Maybe add "and is administered by (or "as a part of") the Church's educational arm, the Church Educational System", or something of the like, being sure also to mention its relationship to BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii. --JonRidinger (talk) 00:59, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Don't you mean "flagship university of the Church Educational System"? Wrad (talk) 22:51, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I think LDS Church works fine since there is no educational entity within the church besides CES, and since the flagship university of the LDS Church would by default be the flagship university of CES. It's like saying that New York City is the largest city in the United States instead of saying that New York City is the largest city in New York state. Furthermore, lots of outsiders have heard of the LDS Church, but few outsiders know what CES is, so mentioning CES sort of adds confusion, although I think it's okay to keep it in the intro in more or less the same way it's there right now.JackWilliams (talk) 23:05, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
JackWilliams, your persistent push to word this phrase as a flagship university has failed. Please look past your own ego and help establish consensus. Thank you. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 01:19, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, we're building a consesus to use the term flagship. Please read the discussion.JackWilliams (talk) 01:21, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Ok, we have three persons arguing in favor of the word flagship. Jack, Eustress, and JonR. I can understand where they're coming from. The fact is, many many people call it the Church's flagship university. Does it mean the same thing as it does when applied to other universities? Not really, and therein lies the problem. BYU is a unique university with a unique perspective of itself. I think that perspective is covered very well in the "Lord's University" section. I also think that calling it the Church's "principal" university has its own problems. I just want to keep the wording the way it was before. Wrad (talk) 01:26, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

OK, thanks for your input. Alanyst seems to be open to the idea, but leaning against using the word "flagship." I don't see why the term can't be applied to something that is not part of a state college system. After all, retail chains have "flagship stores." The word is very apt for BYU-Provo's situation in relation to the other schools operated by the Mormon church. Furthermore, it's central to its identity. It needs to be in the very first sentence of the article. JackWilliams (talk) 01:35, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Is there a reference for the fact that it only applies to state universities? If not, then I don't really see what the issue is. My issue is that it is a bit POV to say that BYU is better than other BYU schools. They all have their own strengths and there own missions. I don't want the article to say that. I don't think that using the word flagship would necessarily say that, though. I'm just concerned that outsiders not be confused by the words "flagship university". Wrad (talk) 02:16, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Talk page archiving

Due to the many edits on this page (including efforts to improve on this article while maintaining GA status), I have set up talk page archiving through User:MiszaBot I. Please note that conversations older than seven days will be archived automatically. Seven days seems like a very decent and appropriate amount of time considering conversations on this page are usually very busy and then die down. If there is a need tinker with this time increment, you may do so on the MiszaBot script right below the to do list. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 22:27, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Given the ... somewhat long-running ... nature of a few of these threads, we would be better off giving MiszaBot a longer time horizon. I've reset it to archive threads that haven't been edited for 3 1/2 months. That should still reduce this page's bulk considerably, while keeping any current issues up long enough for less-frequent signers-on to have a better chance to see and contribute to any ongoing conversations. --Dynaflow babble 00:57, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I've painstakingly restored what MiszaBot archived today. MiszaBot should grab whatever threads have timestamps older than 3 1/2 months on its next pass. --Dynaflow babble 01:37, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
105 days? Was there a particular reason you chose 3 1/2 months? These conversations I've seen so far usually keep themselves alive. If I remember correctly, MiszaBot only archives messages that have been inactive for over (%d), so as long as the conversation is still active, the conversation shouldn't be active. From the several edit wars (and other conversations) these conversations generally don't last more than 14 days. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 06:09, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
The original seven days was way too short an archiving interval for the Talk pages of any but the most highly-trafficked, high-profile, current events-related articles. You generally want to be able to keep as much material up on the main Talk page as you can while still having the page's size be manageable, so that those who don't sign on every week can still have a chance to make contributions to threads in which they have an interest, and so that newcomers can quickly get up to speed on what has recently been going on at the article, whether changes they want to make have been discussed within recent memory, etc. Just because a thread hasn't had a post in a week doesn't necessarily mean it isn't still useful to have it be immediately visible, rather than buried in an archive. Importantly, somewhat older threads can show new editors to an article how or if consensus has been found on a contentious issue, which (in theory, at least) greatly reduces the need to have the same debates over and over again.
Erring on the side of caution with the archive bot is necessary, lest the page end up being stripped, wholesale (like this), of both dusty, old conversations and threads that are still relevant to the current state of the article and of interest to those who wish to edit. The 105-day interval is sufficient to cut the size of this page by more than half almost immediately, and the threads last touched during the busy editing period around New Year's will drop away in the next couple of weeks ... as their relevance is superseded by new, extremely long threads rehashing the same topics.
As a side note, I also added another variable to keep the four most recent threads at any given time from being archived, regardless of their ages, so that in the event this article ever stabilizes and Talk page traffic thins out for a longish period of time, the archive bot will not be able to strip the page completely bare. --Dynaflow babble 07:57, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
OK... that's sounds absolutely reasonable. It wasn't my intention to strip "The Lead" out of the talk page, as the new flagship discussion was just a breakoff from that section just yesterday. Hm...I thought I made sure that a couple threads wouldn't be archived, I guess I forgot to paste that line of code in there...-_- Thanks for fixing the code. - Jameson L. Tai talkcontribs 17:01, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

This talk page is a mess now because of that bot. Can it just be removed and we'll archive the old-fashioned way? --Eustress (talk) 00:21, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The bot hasn't actually done (or needed to do) anything for a month now. The last bit of archiving was done by me manually. I don't see how things become messier with the bot here; in any case, it doesn't preclude you from archiving a clearly-dead thread before its MiszaBot time-out. --Dynaflow babble 01:06, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I was unaware we could still archive manually. Thanks! --Eustress (talk) 01:14, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah; MiszaBot just enforces an absolute limit on how stale things are allowed to get, just in case nobody bothers with archiving for too long a time. --Dynaflow babble 02:02, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

"Recent" events

The section on history has a subsection on "Recent events". As these events are a year old, they arguably are no longer recent. Maybe a section title like "Current presidency" or something along those lines would be more appropriate. Thanks, Alanraywiki (talk) 15:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the section should be removed. The article is big and needs to be cut. The information in the section is no longer new or particularly notable, and even if we deleted it the section would still exist in the History of BYU article. We would lose nothing, and would make this article better. Wrad (talk) 15:37, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, if it remains at current length, I like having subheadings for scanability--what the Recent section should be renamed, I'm not sure...but I agree with Wrad that the history section could be cut down significantly with details still in the History of BYU article. --Eustress (talk) 15:41, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
The other two sections only have the most significant events of BYU's history, such as new Presidents, becoming a University, expansion, purchase by the Church. The recent events section has details which I believe do not compare in significance to info in the other sections. It should be removed altogether. Wrad (talk) 15:50, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, but I have a feeling that if we remove the Dick Cheney visit/protest part that someone else will just stick it back in later. --Eustress (talk) 16:03, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, let's wait and see what others say and if there isn't opposition, we can take it out. Wrad (talk) 16:05, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Alanraywiki (talk) 16:07, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
What are our feelings on this now? Keep waiting? I'm about ready to make the change... Wrad (talk) 17:56, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
We've been patient--feel free to lead the way. --Eustress (talk) 18:00, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I left a note with the section's main proponent several days ago. No response. I think, though, that the reason he wanted to keep it (Romney's campaign) has come and gone now. Wrad (talk) 18:06, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Priesthood-ban protests

Question: why does the Cheney blip get mentioned, but no mention whatsoever of the WAC protests against BYU over the priesthood ban in 1969-70? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.251.228.206 (talk) 05:14, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree 100% - the protests around the racial issues should be mentioned in this article. It is incomplete without it. --Descartes1979 (talk) 22:24, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
The racism protests seemed to be aimed more at the LDS Church than at BYU...I'm not sure the subject merits as much attention as it's been given. --Eustress (talk) 23:24, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Besides that, we have a consensus to take the Cheney stuff out precisely because it isn't notable. The comparison is proof more that it isn't notable than that it is. Wrad (talk) 23:41, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

May I suggest that this be moved to History of BYU? It simply isn't notable enough to be in the article since it happened so long ago and no other protests (including Cheney's) are mentioned for similar reasons (lack of notability). Wrad (talk) 23:46, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Also, there are a lot more protests than just Cheney and the priesthood ban in the school's history. There was a women's rights protest and several homosexual protests as well. To just focus on one strikes me as violating undue weight. Wrad (talk) 23:50, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Ok. It looks like other schools have things about activism, so let's do it this way: One paragraph outlining protests in all three areas mentioned above, and another outlining the University's response. More detailed information can be placed in the History subarticle, or even in an Activism sub-article if there is enough. How does this sound? Wrad (talk) 23:53, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
I think an activism section would do well, but only a brief snippet needs to be said about these racism protests b/c they were more directed at the LDS Church. As previously stated, when Official Declaration—2 was issued by the LDS Church, the protests stopped—the fact that it was protested on BYU campus is just a side-effect. --Eustress (talk) 00:25, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I think you guys need to read the content that I added - the protests while directed at the church, were also directed at BYU specifically, and their athletic program. There were protests because they didn't have a lot of blacks on their sports teams - notice how the University of Arizona's fact finding mission was to BYU, not the LDS church. Also, I don't get why the new section is called "activism". This isn't activism on the part of BYU, but directed AGAINST them - to me a more appropriate heading is "Controversy" --Descartes1979 (talk) 00:16, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Another thought - I think this was a bigger deal than one-off protests (although I need to research a little better). I think some of these schools refused to play against BYU for years until the priesthood ban was removed. That is a much bigger deal than the Dick Cheney protests, or other minor events. --Descartes1979 (talk) 00:18, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Controversy strikes me as a bit too broad, but maybe not. As for the fact that it is directed at BYU specifically, you took the words right out of my mouth. They definitely were directed at BYU. I would suggest doing more research on the homosexuality and feminist protests, though. They weren't a small thing. I think you can find stuff on it through the "The Lord's University" link among the refs. Cheney, though, just isn't that big a deal, comparatively. Wrad (talk) 01:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)