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Posted 21 Dec 2001   For week ended December 21, 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 18Dec01
By Rosemary Pollock
Download to My Handheld!

BYU Students' Sham Ministry Fails, Leads to Disciplinary Action

PROVO, UTAH -- Ten minutes on the Internet, allowing Charles Clawson, Corbin Clawson and John Hash to become ministers of the Universal Life Church, may have earned them probationary status at Brigham Young University along with misdemeanors from the city of Provo. In an effort to host a public Halloween dance, and take advantage of a loophole in the Provo City ordinance that requires security guards, a metal detector and surveillance camera, Clawson and Hash decided to use "Internet credentials" to bypass the dance law.

There is an exemption for church functions and the Universal Life Church doesn't require anything more than the name and addresses of its ministers. Provo city officials were not impressed with the Internet credentials and handed Charles Clawson, his brother, and John Hash citations for violating the law.

In addition, BYU has recommended probation for the brothers along with Hash for violating the honor code. Brigham Young University is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and requires ecclesiastical endorsement for all students. The Clawsons and Hash can lose their endorsement for disaffiliation from the LDS Church.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said, "This is not a suspension. They can attend class." However, if the student's don't file appeals, Hash, who is on track to graduate this month, will have his diploma withheld until he remedies the situation. "His transcript is available upon his request for use by employers. It will show he has completed his coursework," Jenkins said. Jenkins didn't believe that BYU would take action because the students "didn't really leave the (LDS) Church."

The hearing has been resecheduled for Dec. 20, before Provo's 4th District Court.


2 students got 'ordained' to throw a party
Philadelphia PA Daily News (AP) 7Dec01 D2
Associated Press

"Ministers" may have violated BYU code
Ogden UT Standard-Examiner (AP) 7Dec01 D3
The Associated Press

Three 'Ordained' Students In Hot Water With BYU
Salt Lake Tribune 7Dec01 D2
By Kirsten Stewart: Salt Lake Tribune

BYU 'cyberministers' appeal
Deseret News 6Dec01 D2
By Jesse Hyde: Deseret News staff writer


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