Sign the petition. Join the cause. Represent Women on BYU Campus!
To sign the petition, go to this link below:
Why should you sign?
This cause is the result of two intersecting realities.
- The time has come for a prominent campus building to be named after a woman. Take a look at BYU’s campus map. Our buildings serve as monuments to LDS leaders: prophets, businessmen, scholars, scientists, and pioneers of every kind. We honor their legacies in stone.
Unfortunately, only two buildings are named after women: The Caroline Hemengway Harman Building and Amanda Knight Hall. If neither of these places sound familiar to you, you’re not alone.
The Harman Building houses BYU’s continuing education program. The vast majority of BYU graduates (in fact, nearly all of them) never pass through its doors. Amanda Knight Hall, a former women’s dormitory, served as a language training center prior to the construction of the MTC. Since 1999, it has “temporarily housed several academic groups during construction and remodeling of various campus buildings”. In everyday parlance: A really nice storage unit.
- The second reality at hand is the need for more women in STEM fields. A 2011 report by the Department of Commerce found gaping gender disparity in STEM majors, and even then, women with STEM degrees are less likely to work in related occupations than their male counterparts. Ultimately, only 25% of STEM jobs and 7.5% of patents are held by women.
We can support women in STEM by honoring those who paved the way. Research conducted at BYU has emphasized the importance of role models vis-à-vis women and STEM: Women whose mothers majored in STEM were 83% more likely to major in STEM themselves (regardless of whether their mother made a career of it).
While there are many Mormon women whose names and legacies deserve honoring, we have a created a shortlist of four: Martha Hughes Cannon, Ellis Reynolds Shipp, Romania B. Pratt Penrose, and Jane Manning James.
The first three women were STEM pioneers during the 19th century, yet not every campus building is named for someone noteworthy within that building’s purview (Harold B. Lee, for example, was not a librarian, nor was J. Williard Marriott a basketball player). In light of that, the fourth woman on our shortlist is Jane Manning James, a prominent black pioneer in early Church history.
Martha, Ellis, Romania, and Jane are just four of many, many Mormon women whose stories are crying out from the dust. Let’s honor a foremother.
Let’s honor a role model. Let’s give the Life Science Building a proper name.