Do you believe that BYU gives full academic freedom to its students and/or faculty, as described in Section 2.A.28 of the NWCCU’s Accreditation Standards? Why or why not?
No, it does not. I had to lie and pretend to be a 100% faithful believer or else my entire education was in jeopardy. I had a year left when my beliefs changed, but I was forced to attend church, pray, tithe, etc, with all of the rest of the students. To fail to do so would have incurred an honor code violation, which would have ended my academic career immediately. Other schools would have automatically assumed that meant cheating or some other egregious offense had happened, not that I had committed a thought crime. The Mormon church has made it extremely clear that it is completely open to all schools of thought, as long as that thought is never voiced, and all behavior conforms. BYU is a perfect example of that ideology.
Do you have a personal experience or story concerning academic freedom at BYU? If so, please elaborate here.
See above. I was unable to even disagree openly with popular opinion, it that would have potentially caused an in depth investigation into my faithfulness. I was already under heavy scrutiny, and had to have regular interviews with church leadership in order to reassure them that I still believed fully and that my behavior was in line with their expectations.
Optional: Do you believe that there is another reason why BYU should not be granted continuing accreditation? Please name the Section that you are referring to in your comment.
With regards to section 2.A.22, history has shown that BYU has consistently been on the wrong side of ethics. Including shock therapy to “cure” homosexuals, internal publications denying peer-reviewed science that disagrees with Mormon church beliefs, heavy political involvement in oppressive movements, etc. This is not an institution that exemplifies ethical behavior, but rather a great place to learn the practicality of moral relativity and ethics based on “who’s watching.”
Do you have any other thoughts regarding the accreditation of BYU or your experiences regarding BYU and its Honor Code?
BYU classes are devoid of original thought, everyone is merely parroting the comments that won’t get them into trouble. BYU should not have license to withhold earned degrees (there are examples of this in the media) due to individuals not upholding the standards of the Mormon church. At the very least, calling it an “honor code” is confusing, and does not communicate the true nature of the violation that got a student expelled. This seems to be a bullying tactic, not a method to improve the atmosphere at the school.