So, apparently the guy who put out a hawt calendar of topless Mormon missionaries has had his degree yanked.
The university says they were unaware of his being excommunicated by the LDS church at the time he graduated, so they've put a non-academic hold on his record and basically nullified his degree even though he had completed all necessary credits.
The question I have, is whether this is even legal?
Should it be?
On the one hand, it is
a private school. As such, they are allowed a fairly wide latitude on their policies (in particular, their requirements for student behavior both on and off campus). I get that. It's not like I'm planning on going to BYU or anything.
On the other hand, they do
receive (indirectly) public funding. Students at BYU are just as eligible for Pell Grants as I am, and I was always under the impression that this imposed at least some burden on the school to meet certain federal standards. The ADA comes to mind, and for some reason I thought discriminating based on race or religion was another. I know, for instance, you don't have
to be a Mormon to attend BYU...you merely have to adhere to their standards regardless.
But, since they've basically said that his degree will no longer be valid unless he gets back in good standing with the LDS church, isn't this basically placing a specific religious requirement on him for graduation? Should this school then still be eligible for public funding (in the form of financial aid for students)?
I just can't help but think that the LDS Church and BYU may have crossed an actual line here.
EDIT: Note that, in this case, I think it might actually be more
acceptable (legally) for them to simply yank his degree with no recourse for breaking the honor code. I get
that, though obviously it would still be fucked up morally. But legally it seems like placing a hold due to an excommunication then placing a requirement that he be returned to good standing with the church (a specific
church no less, at least from what I read in the linked article and elsewhere) seems pretty fishy. It's that fact that they're willing to reinstate it, and the criteria being placed on that, that I think crosses the line. Not the suspension of the degree alone. Because he did
break an honor code that he agreed to as a condition of attendance in good standing.