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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 18, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 15Jun00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Is Julie In Trouble, Or Is BYU?
(MTV Mormon In 'Real Bind')
New York Post 15Jun00 S2
By Don Kaplan

PROVO, UTAH -- News articles on the controversy over whether a BYU student named Julie, who joined the cast of the MTV show "The Real World," should be allowed to return to the school in the Fall continue to hit national newspapers and Internet websites.

Writing in the New York Post, Don Kaplan says that Julie is actually "on the verge of getting tossed out of Brigham Young University because of the show's co-ed living arrangement." While BYU has not announced a decision in the case, Kaplan claims that BYU has cited Julie with violating the school's honor code. Kaplan says, " The ultra-conservative school says that by living under the same roof with four men Julie is breaking the university's rules against cohabitation."

The first episode of "The Real World" shows Julie participating in several acts, such as sleeping in the same room with male cast members, that are strictly against the BYU honor code. "I definitely was naive in some ways," Julie recently told The Post. "I think I'm a very different person walking out of this than I was walking into it."

Kaplan acknowledges that BYU hasn't yet made a decision about Julie, and notes that the decision could have negative consequences for BYU, "If she is tossed out, the school could face a wave of negative publicity. If they allow Julie to return to her classes this fall, other students may protest that the school was overlooking conduct that would have gotten her expelled had it not happened on a national TV show."

The online entertainment website Zap2it agrees, saying that the decision puts BYU in a tough place. "If the school allows Julie to return to her classes this fall, other students may protest. If they kick her out, the school may be hit with an onslaught of negative publicity."

But BYU's student news organization, NewsNet, also weighed in on Monday with its own view of the issue, saying that Julie must have known that being on "The Real World" violated the school's honor code. Noting that NewsNet saw this controversy coming in an editorial when MTV came to Provo to audition, the official opinion says that Julie is representing the University and the LDS Church, regardless of what she wants to represent.

NewsNet assumes that Julie somehow doesn't want to face the heat for her involvement, "It is time for [Julie] to take responsibility for her actions. She broke the Honor Code. . . . [She] cannot claim ignorance. She knew what she was getting into when she agreed to join the cast. It's a national cable television show open for thousands of people to see." NewsNet says that Julie should suffer the consequences of violating the honor code.

However, Julie told the Salt Lake Tribune on Saturday that she had no regrets for appearing on the show, even if BYU doesn't allow her to return. "I can't think of anything I did down there that would cause me embarrassment or regret," she told the Tribune.

And, she even told US Weekly that she suspected she would be in trouble with BYU, "BYU is an awesome school. But what New Orleans did was ground me more solidly in what I believe. I will divorce beliefs that are not mine - things like cursing or not drinking caffeine. I don't think God cares if I drink a Mountain Dew."

See also:

'Real World' Member Get Kicked Out Of School 14Jun00 P2

Not an ignorant participant: NewsNet's official opinion on Stoffer
BYU NewsNet 13Jun00 O2

No Regrets For Student On MTV
Salt Lake Tribune 11Jun00 P2
By Kirsten Stewart: Salt Lake Tribune


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