While these events affected our daily lives, certain stories closer to home had a more direct impact on the BYU scene. So, as the last segment in our “BYU’s Biggest, Best and Greatest of the Decade” series, we present the 10 biggest BYU stories of the past decade:
1. Controversial Cheney visit In April 2007, Vice President Dick Cheney came to BYU campus to deliver a commencement speech, causing mixed feelings among the student body. A group of 200 people opposed to Cheney’s politics gathered in front of the Joseph F. Smith Building to protest. Those in favor of his visit formed a counter-protest, which was organized by the BYU College Republicans.
Outraged students claimed the vice president was too politically charged to speak at BYU. Others believed that if the leaders of the church thought he should speak, then the decision should be respected.
As a result of the controversy, the church issued a statement: “Whatever the personal views of individual students or other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the invitation is seen by the university’s board of trustees as one extended to someone holding the high office of vice president of the United States rather than to a partisan political figure. Is it appropriate for a university — even one that espouses a policy of political neutrality — to have as featured speakers the holders of some of the highest offices in the land? Of course it is.”
2. Students campaign for Prop. 8 When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its endorsement of Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative to outlaw same-sex marriage, it requested the help of BYU students from The Golden State. Students joined call centers and campaigns to help pass the amendment to the state constitution