Social media campaign targets BYU Honor Code Office

Stories share frustrating experiences; school says complaints are leading to 'constructive dialogue'

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  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    April 12, 2019 1:11 p.m.

    So many made up stories. I could probably give you a list of 1,000 students that would gladly attend BYU and gladly follow all of the rules.

  • Rain_Man Portland, OR
    April 11, 2019 10:51 a.m.

    I went to BYU-Idaho. I got a call during my very first semester that I needed to meet with the Honor Code Office. I didn't have any idea why; I'd mostly kept to myself and hadn't knowingly violated the Honor Code. I got in there and was told I was in violation and could be expelled. I was floored. Why? My roomates had gotten their tongues pierced--it was a thing in 1999. I digress. Not me; two of my roommates. Did I know? Nope. She asked if I pierced my tongue. I told her I hadn't. She didn't believe me, and made me prove it by sticking out my tongue, which she examined closely. I was guilty until proven innocent. Once she was satisfied that I hadn't done it, she told me I was still in violation for not reporting my roommates. Apparently part of the code is to tattle. Remember, I was a month into my first semester, never away from home before, with roomies I'd not known previously. I was focused on figuring out my own college life, not my roommates'. Anyway, she let me go with a warning, and I left feeling guilt, fear and a sense that if I ever did violate the code I might be better off unrepentant than facing that office again. If that's what they're going for, they nailed it.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    April 10, 2019 2:55 a.m.

    Know you know how McCarthysim works. Accusations, not facts, have the power to ruin lives.

  • Crazy in California Acampo, CA
    April 9, 2019 11:06 p.m.

    I apologize for posting again, I'm having trouble getting my point across.

    Honor has to do with doing what you say you will do.

    Honor has to do with fulfilling an obligation that you have willingly taken upon yourself.

    Honor is fullfilling your chosen obligation to other people.

    True, honor can not be forced.

    It must be freely chosen.

    By choosing not to fulfill an obligation, your part in a contract, YOU are FORCING the other party to the contract.

    You have used them against their will.

    It is an act of coercion.

    If you believe in freedom and honor you will realize that failure to abide by a contract, even if no one else knows, voids the others party's obligation to you.

    Particularly so because BYU students specifically promise to reveal their own violations of the promise that they made.

    You can chose to be honorable, or not to be honorable, for YOU.

    You can NOT chose for THEM.

    It's called freedom.

  • 1Reader Alpine, UT
    April 9, 2019 10:04 p.m.

    Honor is a personal matter. It cannot be forced or policed.
    If there is gross neglect, it should be discussed. If there are major violations, then church leaders should judge it--up to removing their ecclesiastical endorsement following the current semester.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, UT
    April 9, 2019 8:28 p.m.

    I've told many people, my kids included, that BYU is:
    1. A Private school
    2. A Private Religious school
    3. A Private Religious school with an Honor Code, that students sign voluntarily
    Whether or not I agree with it all is another matter, but if students know, up-front, that this IS BYU's prerogative, and LDS and non-LDS students, alike, understand this going in, then it shouldn't be a problem...clearly it is, though, for many who ARE in compliance with the HC.
    The stories I have seen throughout this campaign are extremely concerning. For starters, I don't think anyone's repentance process should ever be discussed with anyone other than the student, the Lord and their ecclesiastical leader-definitely not with HCO's! A bishop in a regular congregation could get thrown in jail, couldn't he, for violation of trust? The implications from the social media campaign should NOT be taken lightly!
    I am a BYU graduate and my kids want nothing to do with BYU, due to all the bad press about the HCO these past few years. Reminds me of the Pharisees who missed the mark-I know that this isn't what BYU is about, so come on, Cougs, rise & shout, you are better than this!

  • Crazy in California Acampo, CA
    April 9, 2019 6:39 p.m.

    Students exercising agency, freedom by violating the HC reflect badly on the students, not the school.
    BYU students are asked to exercise their freedoms when they chose to, or chose not, to sign the HC.
    The exercise of freedom, the maintenance and protection of agency and "God Given Rights", requires responsibility to be exercised between those who promise each other.
    Responsibility means that consequences occur when promises are, or are not, kept.
    Making promises is the life blood of a free society.
    BYU students must chose; do they, or do they not, believe in agency and freedom?

  • bemorefair , 00
    April 9, 2019 2:28 p.m.

    If BYU isn't willing to allow students to live up to the moral conduct standard set by the University of their own free will and choice, then the name needs to be changed to "University Enforcement Code Office."

    To those administrators of BYU, isn't the entire point and purpose of our eternal progression to learn to do good using our free agency? Are we not taught that Jesus and Satan both had plans for us, and Heavenly Father chose the plan from Jesus because his plan involved agency, whereas the plan from Satan eliminated agency? Am I the only person that sees the irony in BYU students being forced to follow the honor code as that of the Adversary's design? It's completely out of line as far as what we are taught as faithful members of the Church.

    Karl Maeser would be ashamed the way the honor code has lost its honor. The Honor Code Office is not in line with the rest of the Church. Abolish the Honor Code Enforcement Office!

  • rslutefan Gilbert, AZ
    April 9, 2019 1:58 p.m.

    Thankfully, there are wonderful places around the country like the University of Utah, Arizona State with large institutes of religion (even Stanford and UW). There should be no "moral" standard for attending BYU that differs from the "moral" standard of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints as the sponsoring institution.

    So much happens that never makes the HCO anyway that it is hyprocrisy to have one.

  • delasalle Sandy, UT
    April 7, 2019 11:05 p.m.

    @worf - I can only imagine your comment is made in jest. People are imperfect and make mistakes. In fact, it's the purpose of our coming to experience life on this earth, to make mistakes, to learn from our mistakes and ultimately to grow.

    The discussion here is all about how those mistakes should be handled, whether the punishment is constructive or destructive to the individual's future well being, and perhaps most importantly whether the current approach is counterproductive in getting students to live the HC and ultimately better lives. Hopefully that isn't lost on those reading through the article and the stories that are being shared.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 7, 2019 3:35 p.m.

    The honor code isn’t the problem it’s how the violations are handled. Humans are imperfect and mistakes will be made and your academic and potential career shouldn’t be held hostage by imperfect humans at the honor code office.

    Right now the office is enforcing by fear instead of love. I hope that changes.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 7, 2019 3:33 p.m.

    “Keep the agreement you made, obey the rules, and you'll never have an occasion to deal with the honor code office. Never!”


    Then you haven’t read the story. It lists several people who did, and did. But, you know different?

  • worf McAllen, TX
    April 7, 2019 2:42 p.m.


    Honor code office?

    Keep the agreement you made, obey the rules, and you'll never have an occasion to deal with the honor code office. Never!

    Hmm? Some folks have never been in a police station for the same reason. They abide by the rules!

    Yes! I am a BYU grad. The honor code is not difficult!

  • Sky King , 00
    April 7, 2019 1:45 p.m.

    The stories on the Instagram thread are horrifying. I’m glad Honor Code Office officials are engaging with students in constructive dialogue about them.

  • BC-Cali21 , CA
    April 7, 2019 1:34 p.m.

    I support the Honor Code Office as long as it exercises it’s objectices in a fair, just, and assisting manner for the accused. It bothers me that this office, allegedly, has allowed anonymous accusations of others, has pried and made a mess of student lives as they are under investigation while to end up finding nothing while under investigation, delves into the confidentiality of the bishop-student relationship, has freely and broadly allowed the campus police access to honor code cases, etc. There are several students who would like to get help in coming clean but choose to make the choice not to our of fear of the heavy-handed manner that we have read stories about. I don’t think the HOC should be abolished. I believe the Y should have standards that they can uphold through the HOC office, but the office should the way they go about upholding those standards. I feel sorry for those students who had negative experiences, my heart goes out to them. It is my opinion by reading comments that say “if you don’t like the HOC then go somewhere else,” we all know that no man made organization is perfect and the HOC office certainly isn’t and in need of improvement.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 7, 2019 10:34 a.m.

    "So why the fuss?"


    Haven't you read the article? Don't you think there are issues of enforcement in honor code office?

    You know full well that no church discliplinary council could get away with ignoring due process.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    April 7, 2019 12:29 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin,

    Some folks like a school where all students live by the same code.

    All students are interviewed and agree to obeying the standards. Be a person of your word.

    So why the fuss? There are hundreds of schools who wouldn't care how you dress, what you drink, or if you're a permissive person. Easy solution! Go somewhere else!

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    April 6, 2019 10:32 p.m.

    There are those who make mistakes.

    There are those who don't care about the honor code.

    The only task should be separating group #1 from group #2.

  • OneCougar FR, 00
    April 6, 2019 10:27 p.m.

    There are a lot of people missing the point. Most students and alumni do not have a problem with the Honor Code itself and are not asking for it to be discarded or changed in any major way, nor saying it shouldn't be enforced. Most are saying the WAY in which it is enforced by the people who work in the Honor Code Office is sometimes inappropriate, and THAT is what needs to change. There are extreme interpretations of what some wording of the Honor Code "means" (going beyond the mark, straining at gnats, and ignoring the weightier matters). Disrespectful treatment. A pattern of inappropriate spying and threats during the investigation process toward those being investigated and also toward others (roommates, friends, etc.) who are told to divulge information or also be punished. An assumption of guilt, disregard for the word of the accused, and little recourse for false accusations (see earlier posts by "KC Fam" and "Max"). And they have a strange view of where they fit in the repentance process, assuming their own discernment supersedes that of ecclesiastical leaders who hold the keys of judgement. The Honor Code Office needs some correction by university officials.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    April 6, 2019 8:05 p.m.

    Yeah, I had my run in and had to leave school during my senior year. It took me another 2 years to graduate due to lost credits and credit requirements. Met my wife at the other school. Best thing that ever happened to me. Still a supporter and fan. Sometimes ya gotta grow up, admit your mistakes and make the best of things.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    April 6, 2019 8:06 p.m.

    Yeah, I had my run in and had to leave school during my senior year. It took me another 2 years to graduate due to lost credits and credit requirements. Met my wife at the other school. Best thing that ever happened to me. Still a supporter and fan. Sometimes ya gotta grow up, admit your mistakes and make the best of things.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    April 6, 2019 7:59 p.m.


    The military and police never claimed their dress codes to be a divine commandment.

    And if you want to live honor code standards (which exceed church standards), go for it! Why do you need an honor code office to surveil you? For that matter, why do you even need to go to BYU-P? You can live that set of standards anywhere.

  • kbee Syracuse, UT
    April 6, 2019 7:43 p.m.

    Wow, the whole spectrum of opinions with truth in every comment. I went to BYU on a deans scholarship mid 70’s which I worked hard to get. My brother was there too on a music scholarship. He was grilled but because he wouldn’t tattle on a group of supposed gay music students he was expelled. Both he and my parents were treated very unkindly. It was like the gestapo.
    The Honor code does spawn judgment and religious elitism. (The best of the best comment)The joke on everyone is that a huge percentage of students break the code secretly because no one can be perfect..... same in every ward in the church. Our church is funded by the saints but we don’t keep people out on Sunday

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    April 6, 2019 7:19 p.m.

    D&C 121

    39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

    BYU needs an honor code and the Honor Code Office needs oversight. Employees that abuse their power need to know that they can be disciplined and even fired.

  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    April 6, 2019 7:02 p.m.

    BYU students may get federal grants and loans, but BYU administration does not and is therefore free to make their own rules. Huge difference. BYU follows the law exactly.

    Anyone with common sense would quickly realize that if this was not the case every lawyer critic/activist/anti would be in court filing suit to change and damage everything they could at BYU. That such litigation is unsuccessful is the proof in the pudding.

  • Crazy in California Acampo, CA
    April 6, 2019 6:11 p.m.

    Honor: adherence to what is right or a conventional standard of conduct.
    BYU's mission is, BYU was created, to provide a community, an environment where all learn in a Gospel context. Many sacrifice to make the experience possible. Many support the school, many sacrifice.
    To create and maintain this environment/context, you, the student, promise to be responsible, to contribute to this community by choosing, on your honor, to maintain certain standards of behavior, required by the school/community. When you don't maintain those standards, when you don't contribute by being true to your promise, you have caused damage to that environment, that community, those accepting and acting on your promise in good faith. You've broken the contract. You have taken on an obligation, then have not fulfilled that obligation.
    You have abused their good faith, damaged them. You owe them.
    The motivation, whatever it may be, of another person revealing your violation does not absolve you of responsibility.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    April 6, 2019 5:58 p.m.

    I am not LDS, but if BYU wants to enforce an honor code, thank God that someone is promoting honorable behavior standards!

  • worf McAllen, TX
    April 6, 2019 5:55 p.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin,

    * military has its dress code
    * missionaries have there code.
    * police officers have a code
    * and many other organizations do also.

    No one forces you to attend BYU. Go somewhere else! It's just that simple!

    There are many who would love these rules and want enrollment.

  • BrianB Greencastle, IN
    April 6, 2019 5:27 p.m.

    Sometimes, when you give someone enforcement authority, they take that privilege and abuse it. By the very nature of their jobs, the HCO has always been disliked. The way to change things is to appeal to a higher authority when you are treated wrongly. It is the way the world works and a lesson college students should learn.

    If the HCO is not fair, that complaint should be taken to the president's office and, if necessary, the church's education commissioners. It's good now that someone is saying something, but it could have been done years ago.

    But let me support others here who have said that having a standard that is not enforced becomes a suggestion that gets trampled. Problems with backbiting, false accusations and the like are common in other university housing situations and shared spaces.

  • Mark321 Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 6, 2019 5:21 p.m.

    After reading the stories and these comments, I sure did dodge a bullet by not attending BYU.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    April 6, 2019 3:38 p.m.

    @george cough

    "The Y is a place where the BEST of the LDS population should be attending school."

    Yep...the best of the LDS population attends BYU-P - top leaders like Thomas S. Monson, James E. Faust, and Gordon B. Hinckley.
    Oh wait...


    "The BYU honor code is just the bear minimum of divine standards and is temporary while at school."

    Ok, so facial hair a violation of divine it.

  • The Great Helmsman Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2019 2:54 p.m.

    I have no idea what the hubbub is. BYU is the higher education arm of a private club. DN is the communication arm of the same private club. Private clubs get to set their own rules.

    If you don’t like the rules of a private club, cease participating in the private club.

    Problem solved.

  • soutahnative Cedar City, UT
    April 6, 2019 2:27 p.m.

    B Y U is not a kindergarten supervisory school. If people don't like it I heartily say "well then don't go there", leave more room for those that want to. It is otherwise no concern of anyone's business but theirs. People that continue to think in a juvenile manner ought to think about going to UofU.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    April 6, 2019 2:27 p.m.

    The BYU honor code is just the bear minimum of divine standards and is temporary while at school. It's a litmus test on our ability to follow the Lord standards.

    It is a learning and disipline process which guild us through our life's journey.

    Those who struggle with the honor code will likely struggle with other divine values and standards.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    April 6, 2019 2:07 p.m.

    I do think the church education system needs some fixing. I loved seminary until the teacher twisted a scripture to make sound like if we didn't go to institute we were not following the Prophet. That led me not to go, I disliked the MTC with it's BYU association. I felt people are self righteous. I realize now people aren't perfect and I shouldn't have let it interfere with my relationship with God.

  • Cougarbib2 Moorpark, CA
    April 6, 2019 1:59 p.m.

    I support the Honor Code and The Honor Code Office. I had scrapes with University Standards back in the day, and quite frankly, they gave me more opportunities than I deserved.

    My cousin and his girlfriend flaunted the rules even more than I did. She, a senior was allowed to finish the year and graduate. He, a freshman, with a GPA well under 1.0 (0.65 iirc) was allowed to finish the year and then left school as it was clear that he was not academically ready.

    We both hold Temple recommends today - not even close to being worthy back then.

    I had other roommates that tested academic and honor code rules with varying outcomes.

    Based on personal experience, I fully support the Honor Code and The Honor Code Office.

    They are the reason I will create a scholarship fund in my estate to pay Church Member Tuition and Books for any of my descendants that agree to attend and live the Honor Code. I believe they will be blessed for doing so. Of course, they must also perform academically.

    I recognize that many descendants will not be admitted given the high academic requirements in Provo. Thus, I will also extend this benefit to attendance at BYU-Hawaii and BYU-Idaho.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    April 6, 2019 1:43 p.m.

    Why is the honor code office discussing sins or transgressions? That is the job of a common judge of the church, a bishop. The prophet's have taught to teach correct principles and let them govern themselves. BYU doesn't seem to do that.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    April 6, 2019 1:31 p.m.

    I remember when the HCO used to copy down all the license plates of all the car around the gay bars in Salt Lake and those seen driving around Provo City Park, which used to be a cruising area. Then they would haul in those and offer to be more lenient if they would identify and out others. Those who took the bait were excommunicated and kicked out of school anyway. Gestapo tactics at their finest.

  • matman Provo, UT
    April 6, 2019 1:29 p.m.

    The Honor Code is what sets BYU apart from other colleges. I hope BYU keep it. If you don't want to follow it go to another school, it's that simple!

  • JasonJ Logan, UT
    April 6, 2019 1:10 p.m.

    A lot of people complaining about the beard rule on here. If the church offered to subsidize a chunk of my tuition if I shaved my beard, I would get rid of it in a second!
    BYU holds its own students to a different standard than regular church memvers, because regular church members going to college don't receive a comfy subsidy.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    April 6, 2019 12:58 p.m.

    If you don’t like the honor code, then leave. Try UU, UVU, or USU. There are other choices. Nobody made you come and take a slot from the many who could not get in.

  • The Meliorist CA, 00
    April 6, 2019 11:53 a.m.

    Attendance at BYU is a unique privilege. It is something that several people will not achieve in their application.

    The Honor Code is clear, attendance at BYU is an option. While I have empathy for those who have broken the code and the resulting consequences, I am even more mindful of the 1000s of people, willing to honor the Honor Code, who were turned away from this Tithing-funded University.

    BYU is an incredible privilege. I would expect students of BYU to honor it or to vacate the space for others who will.

    April 6, 2019 11:38 a.m.

    There are going to be differing opinions on the honor code, it’s office and it’s dealings with students and infractions. Does that mean those that want change are right? Or those that currently support its funtion and execution are wrong? If the honor code office, school administration and church leadership don’t change it are they wrong? The more divisive this issue becomes the harder it will be to find common ground. I believe critics have a right to voice their concerns. I believe the university reserves the right to not change its conduct. For the those that are critical understand that many students have attended BYU with zero negative honor code experiences . For the honor code and university, understand that many have been hurt by the honor code and it’s actions. In this conversation there is also a demographic of students that have consistently violated the honor code with little regard for its purpose and have been disciplined appropriately. In the end one group will be discontent with the changes or lack there of.

  • CoHawk Littleton, CO
    April 6, 2019 10:42 a.m.

    The school isn’t perfect but it is pretty good. The HC office has been an issue for a long time. Let’s have a top to bottom review of polices and procedures of the church schools. The schools are lead by men and women who are most often mid level managers who get stuck in their ways and may lose sight of the end goals of the university. Clothing, apparel, pants, capri’s, neat beards, shorts, dining facilities etc all need to be standardized between church schools.

    Honor Code also needs to be standardized between schools. Certain types of pants can be worn at BYU-P but not at BYU-I?? These types of different rules have their basis in the long time lifers if middle management at the universities. They are not church authorized or not. HC and dress and grooming standards need to be redone and standardized.

    Lots more emphasis needs to be placed on who to allow into church colleges. Some bishops don’t apply the entrance standards equally. Some kids are recommended for acceptance who shouldn’t be. For whatever reason this occurs way to often. Should academic standards be a little different for athletes who spend 4 -6 hrs a day in training??

  • Mr. Boris Layton, UT
    April 6, 2019 10:37 a.m.


    I completely understand the point and I have no doubt the honor code office has been as you describe in a lot of situations but that is the exception rather than the rule.

    The people in the honor code office, leadership in wards and stakes, and everyone of us make mistakes. It's not a perfect system or perfect church or perfect university.

    My bigger point is this generation thinks everything they don't like they get to cry about and change. I don't believe these students want to change the honor code office as you say. I think they want to change the honor code in general to suit their individual beliefs. I think they want no accountability if there are issues that need changed. And if that's then case go to another school. No problem.

    By the way, I never went to BYU. Even though I'm a church member I didn't want to deal with the honor code or taking extra religion classes I didn't need for graduation. That wasn't for me. But these students sign up for something and then demand it's changed and that drives me nuts with this generation.

  • Donald Johnson Northern, MI
    April 6, 2019 10:20 a.m.

    Rules without consequences are ineffectual (see Alma 42:16-17). An honor code without enforcement is toothless, and the percentage of students keeping the rules would decline. If the students at BYU don't keep the church standards, tithepayer money shouldn't be used to pay for them. If BYU didn't have an effective honor code, I would have much less interest in paying for my children to attend there.

  • Max Upstate, NY
    April 6, 2019 9:56 a.m.

    Too many commenters are failing to understand the difference between the Honor Code and the Honor Code Office. I don't think anybody has a problem with the honor code. Yes, BYU should keep and enforce their honor code. The issue is with the manner in which the Honor Code Office is managing this. The smugness of commenters who gloat that they never had a problem living the honor code while at BYU is especially nauseating. Well, neither have the many victims and/or those who have been falsely accused who have innocently suffered the wrath of the Honor Code Office.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    April 6, 2019 9:49 a.m.

    Man, a few people really are rebellious. Can you imagine the complainers and whiners here in the days of Moses? They have the spirit of Kohanan.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    April 6, 2019 9:44 a.m.

    @ George Coug The best of the LDS population? Really? I have an idea. Why don’t we make even more rules on top if the honor code for the best of the best to follow. And then we can pile some more rules over that for the super soecial elite class if church members. Then we can construct a special podium where those people can go and tell everyone how much better they are than everybody.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    April 6, 2019 9:28 a.m.

    I strongly feel that if I thought that I needed to set higher standards for myself than the covenants I made at baptism and in the temple, I’d be missing the mark and getting into Pharisee territory. Why on earth would I need to hold myself or anyone else to a higher standard than the temple? That doesn’t make anybody better, and it doesn’t indicate any real superiority, does it? The arrogance in the statement, “if you can’t handle it then you don’t belong at BYU” is kind of creepy for this faithful member of the church to hear, but actually sort of true. I did not belong at BYU. And if you have to be perfect to go there, nobody else belongs at BYU either.

  • Occidentali Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2019 9:18 a.m.

    The Honor Code is what makes BYU, BYU. For those who have attended, its an unusually good and edifying place to live and study compared to other higher institutions of learning. This will always require an administrative apparatus. Students can always go somewhere else. Why the entitlement?

  • FelisConcolor Layton, UT
    April 6, 2019 9:15 a.m.

    "As far as Hans and Derek go. I'm a big BYU football fan and I listen to Hans every day but he and Derek are two adults that act like hot headed kids. I doubt you are getting the whole story about either one of their honor code situations."

    Absolutely. Hans and Derek can be complete idiots at times, even as grown men; I have no trouble believing they would have had behavior problems at BYU and would have violated the Honor Code.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    April 6, 2019 8:43 a.m.

    @J in the desert, rkl, and Mr. Boris, I don't think you understand the point. The point isn't that BYU shouldn't have an honor code, or that students shouldn't behave honorably. It is that the office is abusive, non forgiving, and petty; and it persecutes innocent students (see for example a previous comment by Max about when the HCO wouldn't believe the RM who had been telling the truth), and even spies on them. And contrary to what BYU says, apparently they accept anonymous accusations--which invites abuse by those who are angry or jealous who are therefore seeking to get others into trouble. Read the instagram posts. I cannot vouch for their honesty but with so many, at least some if not most are probably true stories.

    @sportsfan123. All agreed! Except I don't know if you meant the honor code itself, or the honor code office that makes sports recruiting difficult. If the former, I don't think a church school ought to recruit anyone who isn't willing to abide by church standards, period. No matter how well they play their sport.

  • George Coug Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2019 8:42 a.m.

    The Y is a place where the BEST of the LDS population should be attending school. If you don't want to live a higher standard then don't go to BYU. I understand that the HCO may make some mistakes in their investigative process (the natural man) and needs to take a kinder and more discrete approach... but if the aim of BYU is just to be cool with being mediocre then what is the point of the place? You can just go to the U, UVU or another Utah University and participate loosely in the LDS institute/single's wards scenes. You can have "friends" just "sleep over," drink "just a few" and download porn to your heart's content and your bishop, stake president and all your friends will see you as a righteous wonderful person while you can achive your academic goals and still be a mediocre member.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    April 6, 2019 8:39 a.m.

    The HCO should be run like a Bishop's Office - with love and caring for the individual, seeking to help and not to punish - unless the violator refuses to hold to the code. Love should hold sway in all they do.

  • captainA Mesa, AZ
    April 6, 2019 8:27 a.m.

    It has been many years since I attended BYU, but I don't remember the Honor Code Office being heavy handed.
    As I read the article I was struck by what wasn't there. It was a very one sided piece with much whining from present and former students.
    It has been my experience that there is more going on than the article portrays. You have the student side and the HCO side, and somewhere in the middle is the truth.
    With the Advent of Social Media and the way society says children should be raised I have noticed people who more easily offended and mentally less able to cope with adversity.
    Bottom line the "offended" students should solve their own problems first and quit trying to blame others.
    Fifty years ago my Drill Sergeants had interesting ways to "help" us over come being offended. However the language that went with it is not fit to print. Some of those lessons I have not forgotten.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    April 6, 2019 8:11 a.m.

    I've said it for years: the BYU system is kindergarten, not college, because it's essentially babysitting.

    The only honor code an adult latter day saint needs is the scriptures. And the only repentance needed is the person's relationship with God, and occasionally his or her bishop.

  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    April 6, 2019 8:08 a.m.

    BYU is not a public institution, but a private university, with most tuition paid by tithing, which includes the widow's mite, the sacrifices of the poor.

    You can't have some students attending BYU that break the honor code after saying they won't, when other students that won't break the honor code can't go but want to. When tithing is paying for most of their education, why should unworthy students take the places of worthy students? That is what is not fair.

    As long as tithing pays for tuition, there will be a need to enforce compliance to worthiness standards no matter what name you give it. If the day comes that such is not the case, either the athletic department will end (as with BYU-I and BYU-H) or the entire school will close or be given to the state.

    The church will only participate in education if high standards are observed, otherwise it will get out. It is an all or nothing proposition with the church board of education.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2019 8:04 a.m.

    As an active member of the Church, I find some of the policies and practices associated with the Honor Code at BYU to be very troubling.

    Any program that promotes students spying and/or reporting anonymously on the behavior of fellow students sounds kind of "communistic" to me.

    I'll never forget meeting man who was visiting here from Russia. It was quite a few years ago, but I remember him telling me about fears they have about doing or saying certain things and being punished for freedom of expression.

    This Church member would be all for some significant revisions to the Honor Code application and how the office operates. Bring it into line with how regular Church members follow commandments and how they work through transgressions.

    It's time for some significant changes to the Honor Code functionality!

  • Birdman1990 Mapleton, UT
    April 6, 2019 7:57 a.m.

    Not surprising. BYU and Utah for that matter is someone’s social testing grounds for all the believers. Just imagine if these organizations could write the laws and enforce them... sounds like Utah in the 1800s. Proud to be an American. Not a BYU student. They pay enough just leave them be.

  • KC Fam Leawood, KS
    April 6, 2019 7:39 a.m.

    If our family hadn't had a horrific experience with the Honor Code Office at BYU Hawaii, I would never have believed these kinds of stories. Long story short, but our daughter was beaten up by a roommate who had been bullying her for months. I flew to Hawaii and went with my daughter to report it to the HCO. The next day, this roommate conspired with another roommate and her boyfriend to make up false allegations of immorality against our daughter so that she would get in trouble as well. The HCO fell for it and suspended our daughter for "fighting" and for immorality. The very place she went to for help turned on her because her attacker was "a returned missionary", and "why would she do this?" The HCO didn't follow their own policies, were deceitful, and did everything they could to find more things to discipline our daughter on. Thankfully, my husband is a higher education attorney and helped her navigate through this hell. After 8 months, 2 appeals and a new investigation, she was exonerated of the allegations and put on probation for a lesser violation. She has moved on to another school and is thriving, but the scars from the HCO still remain.

  • SorryNotSorry Draper, UT
    April 6, 2019 7:35 a.m.

    Here’s my honor code story:

    Didn’t have one. Lived the code. Graduated. Love BYU. If you’re getting an education subsidized by the the Church you better be living a high standard. Abolishing an honor code is a no go.

    But, those who make mistakes should be treated with compassion. The honor code office should get involved with chronic offenders who have no intention to live by the standards.

    And they should allow nicely kept beards.

  • MabelPines Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 6, 2019 7:33 a.m.

    I am happy to see the students trying to effect change in a positive and helpful way. Too often everything downgrades into accusations and hate with no clear plan to move forward.

    This is, sadly, a generation (my age included] that grew up with a serious mistrust of authority. And who can blame us with the blatant lies and scheming from the politicians, medical professionals and celebrities we’ve seen as we’ve gotten older? But because of this, the days of quiet conformity are over. These students love their school and the high standards of conduct and educational excellence they’re held to, but they can not (and should not) tolerate authority so misused. Encouraging students to watch and report roommates, withholding the Sacrament for trivial issues, “repentance” punishment that goes far beyond what a bishop has required, revenge reporting to get back at an ex or open a spot on a team, scared students being driven to mental health problems, special treatment for athletes... this MUST stop and the abusive power of the HCO scaled way, way back.

    Oh and the beard rule... just stop. Brigham Young rocked an awesome beard, just let the kids be well-groomed on their own terms.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    April 6, 2019 7:32 a.m.

    I read through most of the instagram messages. Wow. This sounds like an inquisition. Were BYU presidents and administrators not aware of this? I believe BYU should have an honor code, but not enforced this way! When I started college over 30 years ago, I could have gone to BYU; I was offered their best scholarship (4 years full tuition). I have always been an active Church member, and I don't think I would have had problems with the honor code. But USU is a family tradition so I went there. After reading this article and the instagram posts, I'm glad I did. At USU, most students are LDS and live the gospel and take institute classes because they want to, not because they have to, and they don't tattle on each other.

  • MileHighGuy Melbourne, FL
    April 6, 2019 7:27 a.m.

    So the students who feel so wronged and shamed are apparently role model citizens of the school and it’s church, who totally support the honor code that they adhere to. But they have issues with the honor code being enforced? Something doesn’t add up here... if you agree with the tenets of the honor code, are living the aspects of the honor code, then you would want and expect the honor code to be enforced upon you and others. Now, it has to be enforced equally and fairly, and maybe the office needs to improve there, but that doesn’t seem to be their point. You can’t have codes without enforcement, otherwise there is no reason to have a code. They seem to be saying, “trust me, I am a role model of this school and church, and I don’t want you to point out anything otherwise. You need me here.” There is a lot rightfully earned pride in being a BYU student and graduate, and some of that pride seems to be getting in the way of some student’s perception of the honor code enforcement.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    April 6, 2019 6:45 a.m.

    So what were Hans Olsen and Sidney Draughton accused of doing? The article got me curious but never satisfied my curiosity.

  • Mr. Boris Layton, UT
    April 6, 2019 6:36 a.m.

    I'm sure there have been mistakes through the years on how the honor code was enforced. I'm also sure there could be some adjustments on certain aspects of the honor code. There have also been hundreds of thousands of BYU students go through the university and never have an issue with the honor code office.

    But on the other hand if you don't like the honor code there are hundreds of universities that don't have an honor code so go to one of those places instead. Nothing wrong with that.

    This is a bigger issue and that is this entitled generation thinks that if you don't like something you get on Instachat or Snapagram and complain and somebody will fix it for you. Or everything doesn't go exactly your way all of the time that it should be changed because that's what Mommy and Daddy always did at home for you.

    As far as Hans and Derek go. I'm a big BYU football fan and I listen to Hans every day but he and Derek are two adults that act like hot headed kids. I doubt you are getting the whole story about either one of their honor code situations. I enjoy listening to both of them on the radio but I'm not buying the victim role they are trying to play.

  • rkl Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2019 6:27 a.m.

    It is disappointing that a group of BYU students could so misunderstand both the BYU honor code and Gospel of Jesus Christ to the point of participating in a sit in or protest of this nature. Attending BYU is not a right, it is a privilege, given to those that both qualify and agree to a higher standard of living. The honor code is well known before hand is not sprung on them at the last minute, or after they have paid their very modest tuition. The honor code is not a curse or a burden, it is there to increase learning, and it does. Without the honor code and the positive aspects that it represents, then BYU is just another university.

    Rather than change the honor code and the enforcement of it, what would happen if you lived it completely and accepts responsibility for mistakes or infractions?

  • Max Upstate, NY
    April 6, 2019 5:54 a.m.

    I posted earlier (and ran out of room) about how my son was falsely accused of downloading porn on his phone. After they could not force a confession and putting him through all kinds of humiliation, they cleared him and THEN admitted they had been having trouble with their technology that detected such things. But none of that deterred them from pursuing this to the point of heartbreak. He wanted to transfer. This was a boy who wanted to go to BYU all his life and was finally there after serving a very honorable mission. To see the heartbreak in my son is something I have never completely recovered from (about five years ago). He did stay and graduate (but he never dared use the BYU network again). I have defended the church time and again. I currently serve in my ward's bishopric. I am a solid and faithful member of the church and a BYU grad and supporter. But I will never defend the BYU Honor Code Office. There is nothing Christian about the BYU Honor Code Office. They would rather prosecute and persecute 10 innocent students than to see one guilty one go unpunished. You are guilty until proven innocent. They are such an embarrassment to an otherwise great university.

  • Max Upstate, NY
    April 6, 2019 5:32 a.m.

    This article sure brings back a painful experience. Just a month after my son returned home from his mission he received a phone call to come to the honor code office. When he got there he was accused of downloading pornography on his phone. He told them he did not do that. The man interviewing him completely ignored anything he had to say. My son would not relent. He had not done that. He was forced to sign some kind of agreement and to endure the humiliation of having another student who worked there (a young woman) witness the signature. I called to see what in the world was going on and the man told me that my son still had that missionary glow. I told him that my son does not lie. If he had downloaded porn he would admit it. My bishop and my former stake president (who had then become a general authority) gave character statements. Still they put him through this painful and humiliating process. My son would not crack. He would not admit to something he did not do. BUT his heart was broken. He wanted to transfer. He had to drop several classes -- adding to our expense. After it was over, he was cleared and they admitted they had been having problems with their technology.

  • Sportsfan123 Herriman, UT
    April 6, 2019 2:27 a.m.

    This honor code issue is very sad and also stands as a major hurdle to attract top tier athletes to the sports programs.

    Anything that breeds contempt and encourages people to snitch, embellish allegations and to not make the accuser's name available to the accusee is absolute nonsense, how is it fair that the accuser get's to remain anonymous while the person who is accussed is put on probation while someone gets to probe and pry into your personal life all in the same time you are in good standing with the church and are a temple recommend holder is worse than the Kavanaugh witch trial the democrats held in the public square. One should be able to face their accuser.

    I don't know how the church can allow this to continue.

    How is it that members of the church are held to a higher standard than regular church members who do not attend the school.

    Whats worse is how women who had been sexually assaulted were punished for a violent act committed against them because it was considered a sin because they had a sexual act which is against the law of chastity even though it was involuntary and the women did not make the choice for this to happen.

    Sounds like abuse to me.

  • slackoff green river, WY
    April 6, 2019 2:22 a.m.


  • J in the Desert Maricopa, AZ
    April 6, 2019 2:03 a.m.

    Institutions have to have rules. Universities need to have mechanisms for enforcing those rules. Tens of thousands of BYU students have gone through school, obeyed the rules, and graduated without any contact with the Honor Code unless they knew someone who worked there. It is a mistake to make the rules of the university more lax and in line with the expectations of this fallen world. If these students have a problem with the honor code, they need to take it up with the University president and the Board of Trustees, and not harass the people working in the honor code office.

  • Scott1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2019 12:55 a.m.

    BYU is famous for 1984. Not because BYU won the national championship in football, but because BYU is like the George Orwell novel 1984 with Big Brother watching over the student body.

  • ND95CA Lincoln Park, IL
    April 6, 2019 12:12 a.m.

    It’s time for the HCO to be stripped of authority to investigate moral issues that should rightly be addressed by ecclesiastical leaders.

  • LDSRealityCheck247 Herriman, UT
    April 6, 2019 12:11 a.m.

    I didn’t even bother to apply at BYU. I felt and still feel like the honor code office is FULL of Sadducees and Pharisees just waiting for imperfect people to make a mistake or grow facial hair. It’s a relic of an old mindset. It’s time to abolish it.