Brigham Young University confirmed it pulled hundreds of LGBTQ+ resources pamphlets from orientation bags provided to incoming freshmen this semester.
The pamphlet, entitled “Allyship & Activism Resource Guide: LGBTQ+ Edition,” was created by the off-campus LGBTQ+ support group RaYnbow Collective and was approved by the student newspaper, The Daily Universe, as well as multiple professors, according to a report in The Salt Lake Tribune. The pamphlet included information on counseling, scholarships, and resource advisers. RaYnbow Collective paid $200 in printing charges to the Universe, which was subsequently refunded by the newspaper.
Some of the pamphlets were allegedly thrown into the trash.
“This decision is disappointing and disheartening, especially when we consider our experiences as freshmen feeling lonely, isolated, and unsupported as queer students,” RaYnbow Collective posted to Twitter. “Unfortunately, it follows a consistent pattern of BYU breaking its promises and agreements with LGBTQ+ students.”
“The heartbreaking part is that this is the [LGBTQ+ student] experience being at BYU,” Maddison Tenney, founder of RaYnbow Collective, told the Tribune. “You have this beautiful community, and you love the school so much, and they just don’t love you back.”
BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins admitted to the Tribune the school pulled the pamphlets, saying administrators were not aware it was included in the bags and that the pamphlet was ultimately pulled because it came from an outside group. According to Jenkins, BYU provides “support through the Office of Belonging and our counseling services” rather than allowing “outside entities to imply affiliation with or endorsement from the university.”
Jenkins went on to say the school will review the approval process with the newspaper.
This is not the first time BYU has created controversy with its policies and campus climate for LGBTQ+ students. Last year, LGBTQ+ students lit up in rainbow colors the school’s famous “Y” that overlooks the school.
Also last year, a student was expelled after he used antigay epithets while erasing LGBTQ+ artwork from a sidewalk outside the school.
Earlier this year, BYU received a religious exemption for its anti-LGBTQ+ policies from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, dismissing a complaint that alleged BYU violated federal law by discriminating against LGBTQ+ students.