Brigham Young University has created a committee.
That's nothing new. BYU is run by committees, said John Day, an executive vice president for the BYU Student Service Association. But some hope this particular committee will make an obvious difference on campus.BYU President Rex E. Lee has established a 15-member committee to review BYU's Honor Code and Dress and Grooming Standards, and, according to BYU Public Communications Director Paul Richards, the panel will make a recommendation by the end of November.
Over the years, the school has established committees to review the Honor Code and make recommendations, Richards said, "but this time it sounds like something will happen."
In the 1960s and 1970s the length of hair and skirts were issues, he said, with beards and long hair not allowed on male students. Now those are not primary concerns.
Lee said, " . . . as new issues emerge and dress modes and behaviors evolve, we see a need to update our standards so they can address these changes."
Peter Fatianow, student director of a committee to look into the current Dress and Grooming Standards, said, "Indications are that the administration would like to see a changed document that was written by students and still is in harmony with LDS Church and BYU standards."
Students are feeling that what they say makes a difference now, he said. Part of that change is the direct access the students have to the administration through R.J. Snow, BYU vice president for Student Life.
Richards said Snow, who is new to his job this year, is "pro-active . . . He has had experience and is putting it into practice."
Kristina Handy, a BYU graduate student, said she will wait and see.
"It seems they've been playing with the Honor Code for years and not doing anything about it," Handy said.
"We live a double standard," she said. The university either needs to support it and enforce it, including getting professors to help, or get rid of it."
Lee said, "We feel strongly that our Honor Code and Dress and Grooming Standards contribute significantly to the spiritual, moral and intellectual development of our campus community."
Richards said whatever is decided must be approved by the Board of Trustees as well.
"Neatness and cleanliness have always been a part of the code," said Richards. But issues that no longer apply will be looked at."
This is also the first time that the committee has included so many different groups on campus. "The input should be very thorough," he said.
Day said that as students see the administration react to student requests, more and more students are getting involved.