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PROVO - How do you know you're big time? You're turning down requests to go on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."

That's what Diane Bailey said she did this week. The BYU College Democrats president said she feared the indomitable Stewart would mock her school or her faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Snubbing one of the hottest talk shows on television might not be the best course of action for drawing attention to one's cause. But there was something decidedly unconventional about the protest that welcomed Vice President Dick Cheney to this ultra-conservative campus on Thursday.

For one thing, it was even allowed to occur.

"I've been here 38 years and this is a first," said BYU Police Capt. Mike Harroun, who spent the afternoon watching over the protesters - and the parade of disparaging drive-by detractors on University Boulevard that welcomed the demonstrators to Provo with calls of "traitors!," "losers!" and "we'll be praying for you!"

Despite being challenged on everything from their piety to their sexuality, the student group stuck to the rules written by BYU officials: No chanting, marching or screaming while on school property.

And most of the students even kept off the grass.

Would saintly behavior buy more opportunities to protest in the future? Several participants said they hoped so.

Indeed, BYU instructor Mary Bingham Lee said she didn't fear any repercussions would befall her for having taken part in the protest or appearing in protest videos which appeared online earlier this month.

About 300 people took up posts on three corners of an intersection leading into the school - a fourth was left vacant of protesters so that blacked-robed graduates could observe the tradition of having their picture taken next to a campus sign.

Still, not everyone was content with the protesters' conduct.

"I wish I had some water balloons," said facilities management graduate Travis Gividen as he stood across the street from a gathering group of demonstrators.

Gividen, a native of Corvallis, Mont., felt the protest was disrespectful to Cheney, the BYU graduates and their families.

"He's not here on a political campaign," he said. "He's here to speak to us. And they are disrespecting us, too."

Down the road, at a counter demonstration of about 50 people near the city library, Environmental Science student Allie Winegar took a tactful approach. "I respect my fellow students who have voiced their opinions and I honor and support their opinions," she said. "But I support the office of vice-president."

Cheney and others in the administration he represents, Winegar said "are doing the best they can."

Joshua Everett, who is graduating this year in Middle Eastern studies, planned to attend both the BYU graduation and the off-campus alternative commencement, organized by BYU students and featuring Ralph Nader as speaker.

"The protest is a healthy demonstration of political dialogue, and I want to show that I can be balanced and go to both," he said.

But even as students, in demonstrating the ability to remain civil in the midst of debate, seemed to be earning the privilege to protest on a private campus, some were questioning their right to do so anywhere.

"Free speech ends where the enemy benefits from your free speech," Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff told the library crowd.