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Joe Vogel

Joe Vogel

Posted: April 24, 2007 10:27 PM

Local Businesses Monitor Names of Cheney Protestors, Form Massive "Do Not Hire" List



The madness continues in Provo, Utah.

Last week, news broke that Provo School District had blacklisted students searching for a venue to hold their alternative commencement ceremony (in case you haven't been following this story, Dick Cheney was invited by BYU to speak at the official commencement).

Students had been promised a venue at a local school before a memo was sent out to all principals telling them to turn the students down. School District spokesman Greg Hudnall described the ceremony as a "protest" and said it would be "disruptive to the learning process."

As one of the organizers of the alternative commencement, I was subsequently called by a member of the Provo School Board (who wished to remain anonymous), saying that she was familiar with the language of the building rental policy and it was clearly being violated. In other words, students were being denied a venue for reasons against their own policy.

Now BYU Alternative Commencement has received an email from a local businesswoman named Denise Harman, who claims that all BYU students participating in activities against Dick Cheney are being tracked by local businesses. "Many businesses are noting the names involved," she says.

Why are business tracking the names of soon to be graduating students? "You are being tagged as trouble makers and added to massive 'Do Not Hire' lists," says Denise Harman, who hires hundreds of graduates every year.

She adds curtly, "Just thought you should know that activities have consequences."

For more on the events surrounding the BYU/Dick Cheney controversy, visit www.byualternativecommencement.com.

UPDATE: I have just been called by BellSouth and informed that the woman who sent the email threatening to not hire BYU graduates protesting Dick Cheney DOES NOT work there. The woman claimed in her email to hire hundreds of graduates every year and her email included the bellsouth name, but apparently this was her provider, not her employer. I apologize for the confusion and ask that no more complaints be sent to BellSouth since they apparently have nothing to do with this. Thanks.