Boner of the Day

Boner Fight for June 17th, 2020

Boner Candidate #1: I GUESS I’LL RESIGN. JUST KIDDING.

Weber State University Professor Scott Senjo has withdrawn his resignation and will no longer be stepping down from his position — an about-face that comes after he admitted to making several threatening comments on Twitter about those involved in the nationwide police protests. The school confirmed Senjo’s decision Tuesday, saying he “rescinded his resignation” in accordance with university policy. Tenured professors at Weber have five business days after giving notice to change their mind, said the school’s spokeswoman Allison Barlow Hess. “With his resignation withdrawn,” she added, “Professor Senjo returns to being on leave while Weber State conducts a review of the impact of his tweets on university operations.” He will now continue to be paid while the school investigates. Weber President Brad Mortensen sent a letter to faculty and students, though, that said Senjo “remains out of the classroom.” Senjo had originally quit June 3. At the time, he told The Salt Lake Tribune that he regretted his tweets and would step down “to suffer the consequences.”

Boner Candidate #2: A PROMINENT UTAH SLAVE OWNER.

Abraham O. Smoot was hailed in a 2015 Brigham Young University magazine article as being “undaunted, powerful, and immovable … [having] a dignity to his presence, a rugged grandeur.” The 19th-century pioneer and benefactor was lauded for being a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for financing the forerunner to the faith’s flagship school. The administration building on the Provo campus even bears his name. Nowhere in these accolades, however, does it mention that Smoot owned at least one slave — and, historians say, likely more. While doing research this week for his groundbreaking database, Century of Black Mormons, scholar W. Paul Reeve discovered that an enslaved man known only as “Tom, Brother Churches [sic] black man,” had been baptized into the church. Reeve, a professor of Mormon studies at the University of Utah, was already aware of the outlines of Tom’s life, he said in an interview Thursday, because of the work of other researchers, including Amy Tanner Thiriot, but not about his church membership. Tom came to Utah in 1852 as an enslaved man of Haden Wells Church, a Latter-day Saint convert from Tennessee. They were in Smoot’s migrant company and settled near Smoot, who would become mayor of Salt Lake City and, later, Provo.

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