BYU upholds protested firing of student adviser

PROVO, Utah-Brigham Young University has upheld the firing of a student adviser who wrote a critical letter to the editor that led to a rare campus protest at the church-owned school.

Todd Hendricks was fired a week after his letter appeared in the BYU student newspaper. Hendricks criticized the elections process for the BYU Student Association, saying it was open to influence by school administrators.

BYU has said that Hendricks was fired March 17 for more than just his letter. BYU sent him a letter last month denying his appeal.

Hendricks, who was an adviser to the BYU Student Association and a student leadership coordinator in the Office of Student Life, has filed a second appeal.

“He feels like it’s important the appeal process go all the way through just to let this kind of thing not happen again to other people,” said his wife, Hilary Hendricks.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins confirmed that the appeal had been denied and that an administrator will decide on the second appeal. If Hendricks is denied again and appeals for a third time, it would go before a human resources committee, she said.

Students angry with the firing staged a protest on March 30. The school gave last-minute approval to hold it on campus, which students felt was a public relations move after a newspaper story was published that morning about the planned protest.

Hendricks said he had received glowing reviews and that the explanations for his firing have been vague.

“It was just really interesting what they were using. It seemed very retaliatory, that they were having some retaliation against me perhaps, or for how they were being viewed in the press,” he said.