All Around the Liberal Arts: Not so free speech

By David Hertz

Excommunicated for indecencyA Brigham Young University student lost his appeal to get his diploma, which was denied to him after he published Men on a Mission, a calendar featuring shirtless, musclar Mormon missionaries, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Chad Hardy completed all requirements for a diploma last year, but was denied his diploma after being excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints due to the calendar. College administrators told him he would not receive his diploma until he was reinstated.

Hardy plans to sue Brigham Young University to obtain his diploma.

Dean of Students Vernon Heperi wrote in a letter to Hardy that the calendar portrayed missionaries in an “inappropriate light”, according to the Chronicle.

“Your continued involvement with these calendars as well as apparent plans for future calendars of similar content only demonstrate to me your ongoing disregard for those principles of the honor code,” Heperi wrote.

All this happened to Hardy around the time Mac students were watching drag queens perform at Bridging the Gay. Mac students, remember, next time you are pondering the lack of diversity here: you could be at BYU.

An act of discrimination

The U.S. Army War College suspended an Islamic studies expert after she threatened to contact newspapers alleging that the college discriminated against her because of her Muslim background, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Research professor Sheifa Zuhur’s 10 day suspension came after she emailed her supervisor with the threat in late January.

Director Douglas Lovelace Jr., notified her of the suspension, writing to her in a letter that the email represented “a clear threat to attempt to damage the U.S. Army War College’s reputation with malicious claims and misinformation for which you can offer no support.”

Zuhur has a history of disputes with the college. She accused the college of violating her academic freedom by preventing her from criticizing the Bush administration’s claims that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, along with other reports on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Hamas.

She also accused the college of instances of personal discrimination. She filed an employment discrimination complaint with the Defense Department in 2007.

“I have never before dealt with such blatant examples of disrespect and contempt for one’s supervisors and support staff,” Lovelace wrote to Zuhur in his letter. “Nor have I encountered the level of obstreperousness you display in my 40 years as a supervisor.