PROVO — For Bryan Taylor, who was catching up on the day's news at Hulu.com on his laptop at a table at the campus eatery The Cougareat, the prospect that BYU might make YouTube available on campus was mildly interesting.
Taylor, along with several other BYU students in the Ernest L. Wilkinson Student Center, said the longtime policy of blocking the popular video-sharing Web site was inconvenient but not unreasonable.
"Just yesterday, in one class we were trying to share political ads and couldn't because most of the ads were on YouTube," Taylor said.
It is educational opportunities like this that have BYU administrators reconsidering a decision to block YouTube on the on-campus, wireless Internet.
"There is an active, ongoing review at the administrative level of the university," said BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins. "A decision has not been made, but we are taking a look at this right now."
YouTube allows users to upload videos of all types for public viewing, as long as the material isn't defamatory, pornographic or in violation of copyright. Even so, citing questionable content and bandwidth issues, BYU has blocked YouTube on campus almost from its inception in late 2005.
"As far as I know, YouTube has never been available on campus," Jenkins said.
While BYU's Honor Code does require students to commit to certain standards of behavior — such as not using drugs or alcohol or engaging in immoral behavior — there is no official sanction of the popular Web site.
"This has never been about whether or not students could watch YouTube," Jenkins said. "It's about what they can watch on campus."
But YouTube is changing. In addition to more educational material appearing on the site, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has established a YouTube channel, Mormon Messages, on which it regularly posts videos promoting the church.
An Easter message earlier this year by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the church's Quorum of the Twelve became the most popular noncommercial video on the site for a time, and other messages have attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers.
But Jenkins said the university's decision to review the YouTube block was educational more than religious.
"We are aware that the amount of education material available on YouTube is increasing," Jenkins said. "What we are looking at are the opportunities there for educational material that might be used on campus."
Several students interviewed Wednesday found the university's possible about-face intriguing, but not critical.
"I have seen a couple of instances where YouTube could be beneficial for certain presentations," said Michael Yacktman, a 20-year-old economics major from Texas. "But in most of these situations, it is easy to download a video at home and bring it to class. I haven't had any issue with the ban."
"You can waste a lot of time on the Internet," said Carol Ann Litster, 21, of Boise. "But it's interesting that something that can be used for good is being blocked. I don't super care, because I have Internet access at home. But some teachers try to play things in class, and they can't get them."
Taylor said the block makes no sense, since students were permitted to watch it off campus.
"Everyone here has signed an honor code. If they don't trust you on campus, why do they trust you off campus?" he said.