A flier advertising a "Women in Math" event at Brigham Young University has made national news this week for advertising the event with the pictures of the four male faculty speakers.
The flier went viral after BYU student Stephanie Driggs tweeted an image of the flier on Feb. 21 with the words “… is this satire?”
“Ever wanted to learn about women in math, but from an entirely male perspective? Then look no further than Brigham Young University,” the HuffPost wrote in an article about the “hilarious (and cringeworthy) flier.”
Driggs' tweet had received over 9,000 retweets and 24,000 likes by that afternoon, according to the HuffPost, and has since been deleted.
CNET also picked up the story. “Still, who would not have been enticed by the promise of 'there will be treats,' as well as by the cheery, confident headshots of the male faculty? Naturally, when 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday rolls along, and the (edible) treats are laid out, I wonder how many women will attend,” CNET writer Chris Matyszczyk wrote in a commentary.
The BYU Math Department responded to reactions to the flier in a Facebook post as well as a statement on its website. “It was done with good intentions. It was not meant to demean women or be satirical.” The posters were taken down and replaced.
The flier was made by female student Bryn Balls-Barker for the student-run Women in Math Club.
In a comment on the BYU Math Department’s Facebook page, Balls-Barker wrote, “I made the poster. I am a female math student and I feel very supported by my male and female professors. … I chose to ask professors that weren’t already affiliated directly with the club so that members of the club would have more opportunity to meet other faculty members.”
Fox 13 spoke with Women in Math Club adviser Martha Kilpack, who said it was “an honest mistake kind of poster” and not intended to be a political statement.36 comments on this story
"We should take a step back and look at the whole picture," Kilpack told Fox 13. "And the whole picture is that we put on a fun event that our female undergraduates wanted to have.”
The Daily Universe, BYU’s campus newspaper, addressed the math club’s flier in an article Thursday. Driggs, the student who initially tweeted about the flier, said she actually decided to go to the math event to find out more about it.
“When I tweeted the tweet, I didn’t intend for any specific person to be hurt by it,” Driggs told The Daily Universe. “I meant for it to be mostly a comment about the institution and a lot of problems that go on at BYU specifically.”