BYU makes changes to reduce 'misunderstanding and anxiety' over Honor Code

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  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    July 17, 2019 10:37 a.m.

    "99.95% of BYU students in a given school year remain in school and don't have Honor Code issues."
    BYU has a 90% retention rate for Freshmen. 78.5% of students graduate with 6 years.

    To be clear, these are good numbers. BYU is excellent for overall retention and graduation.

    Which makes your decision to blatantly lie so very, very weird.

  • GoRed Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2019 9:18 a.m.

    The idea of now being presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. What a novel idea!

  • Misseleer71 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2019 4:31 a.m.

    There is nothing wrong with honor codes, and many honor codes violates people thoughts that there shouild be only one code of honor, personal and private and no one can be forced to obey other peoples rules and codes of honor. Personal honor codes test a student resolve to do good and be honorable and that personal beliefs are not deemed honorable to the majority. Honor codes are for everyone and only one code can be allowed and if you don't want to honor the code then you are excused from your job or the school.

  • Ute Among Cougars Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2019 7:29 p.m.

    Utah State Code: 53-13-103 (xii), allows for private universities to create their own police departments. Regardless of what side you are on, please write to your legislators specifically about this aspect of state law.

  • Ute Among Cougars Provo, UT
    July 11, 2019 7:18 p.m.

    I'm confused about the BYU POLICE.

    1) They are funded by a private entity and not by taxpayer dollars, yet they are state certified by UT POST. Where does their authority begin and end? How does that factor into their records access?

    2) All other LDS/BYU colleges and universities have campus security. Are their campus crime rates at or below that of BYU?

    3) What are the pros and cons of BYU Police transitioning to BYU Security and city police handling all criminal matters on campus?

  • Crazy in California Acampo, CA
    July 11, 2019 12:25 p.m.


    You agree that BYU is not a church but then criticize it for not being one.

    When a student enters into an agreement, a promise, a contract to satisfy the requirement of the school he is committed; he agrees/promises to behave in a certain way; for it's part the school agrees/promises, to behave in a certain way.

    It is a free will choice by both parties, to obligate each other, to each other.

    Please explain how that is hypocritical.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2019 11:32 a.m.

    @Crazy in California,

    I am not conflating BYU with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    However, I am pointing out; that BYU's Honor Code is often purported BY BYU as representing the Standards of said church. And further that BYU continually proclaims that its standards, its staff, AND even its students as being representatives of said church to the world (hence the supposed need for higher standards in the first place).

    If BYU is promoting itself as representing the church; but its rules and regulations actually go against church teachings; then it is clearly showing itself full of hypocrisy.

    Yes, the church run school and church org serve extremely different purposes; no doubt about that; as I have pointed out as well in many other articles. And again; why then does 99% of the Honor Code even apply. So called "worthiness" in the church should have no baring on whether or not a person can receive an education, the two things aren't related.

    Sure, tithing is used to supplement tuition. Non tithe payers such as non-members or "serious sinners" should simply be required to pay full tuition; that would be a reasonable CONSEQUENCE to violation of honor code.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    July 11, 2019 10:48 a.m.

    I am totally fine with BYu, their honor code and situation in society as of today. That is freedom of religion, which I support. However, the BYu Police will be decertified shortly, a "true blessing" for all Utahns and everyone else in the USA. And, Y sports fans should NEVER expect any conference to give them the time of day, let alone invite them..........way too much water under the bridge already and normal society will never tolerate the blatantly intolerant.

    BYu is a private school........good for them!

  • Crazy in California Acampo, CA
    July 11, 2019 10:30 a.m.

    NeifyT ,

    You, along with others, conflate/confuse BYU with The Church.

    They are not the same; they are different.

    One is a church.

    One is a school.

    They have different requirements, functions, expectations, missions; more specifically different acceptance/attendance requirements.

    This is one reason why Church Bishops are not suited to administer the HC.

    When you promise to live the HC you are committing to BYU (school), not The Church.

    Commitment to live the HC is a promise to contribute to the specific environment that BYU provides.

    By making this commitment you are entering into a contract to do your part.

    It is a choice to become part of a learning community within a specific learning context.

    BYU attendance, living the BYU HC, are not requirements to be a Church member in good standing.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2019 9:44 a.m.

    @Michigan Cougsfan68,

    An employment "contract" is just that; a contract. An honor code is NOT a contract; it is an "expectation" in this case a very unrealistic expectation. And I am pretty sure the professor was NOT aware of the expectation to not drink coffee on campus; it wasn't until he had a mug of coffee on his desk that things blew up.

    If the Honor Code is to be a contract CALL it "The BYU Contract"!


    Sorry if my truncated explanations (due to character limitations) don't always make sense. What I was trying to say is that the punishments should fit the crime so to speak. Yes, there are many very important aspects of the Honor Code; such as women not having men in their dorms at night; good reason for that. But some things in there do not fit Gospel Principles as taught in the LDS Church; in fact are extremely the opposite of what the church teaches. No Coffee is part of the WofW, but only for baptized members.

    My wife is not a member, would be extremely hypocritical for me to refuse to buy coffee or to tell her to go over to the neighbors if she wants to drink coffee; just because I don't drink coffee. Same with facial hair; its not against Gospel Principles.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    July 11, 2019 8:55 a.m.

    @ Mayfair,

    You are 100% correct! BYu's owners' sole goal is creating dependable, lifetime tithe paying members in the future. That is whY they subsidize it so much. It is all a #s game indeed.

    It is a private school so they can do whatever they want, except their police force that are Utah state public certified/enabled..........that will be gone shortly, rightfully so.

  • Mayfair Logan, UT
    July 11, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    Seagull Suz asks:. "Why the double standard? ...should members be saying the same at church?...telling members if they can't follow "For the Strength of Youth" to go find another church?"

    It's not a double standard--there is unlimited space for people to be in the Church.

    There is a very limited number of spots available at BYU.

    If someone has issues with the Honor Code, or it's supposed fairness, or it's enforcement or anything negative about it, their spot should be vacated and given to one of the tens of thousands of other Church members across the Earth who have zero issues with anything related to the Honor Code. And who would rejoice at the chance to attend BYU and follow the Code completely and willingly.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    July 11, 2019 8:35 a.m.

    99% of BYu students are ardent LDS that come from very protective/sheltered backgrounds and their parents are the ones beyond concerned about their hopefully wholesome college life. It is getting far more strict at the Y than it used to be last century. Obedience is paramount, nothing less will be tolerated.

  • Dennis Harrisville, UT
    July 11, 2019 8:19 a.m.

    Why have a rule at all? The church spends a members entire life before school teaching and telling them how to act, feel and behave. They send 18 year olds out on their own for 2 years but can't leave the kids at school alone. I've never understood it.

  • Gpagentry Orem, UT
    July 11, 2019 8:09 a.m.

    Thank you Silvex. Exactly! If you plan on attending BYU you are aware of the implications of following the Honor Code. If not, go elsewhere

  • Say No to BO Springville, UT
    July 11, 2019 8:07 a.m.

    BYU is trying to be like other schools. It's sad, really.

  • sunshiner, ut
    July 11, 2019 7:31 a.m.

    It's so simple even a kindergartner can understand. Just abide by the rules and you'll be fine - the rules you agreed to when you signed your acceptance letter. The statistically small amount of people having trouble with the honor code (and who are getting way too much attention for it thanks to social media) are the ones who have stepped outside the clearly drawn lines. Boundaries are not meant to be elastic or stretchable. There are hundreds of thousands of successful, rule-abiding alumni who have gone before. BYU is a church sponsored school that has every right, legally and religiously, to have a moral and ethical honor code. It also has every right to expel those who chose not to abide by it.

  • DHuber Palmyra, NY
    July 11, 2019 6:17 a.m.

    A BYU education is underpriced by at least $25,000 a year. This rest is paid for by the tithes of the faithful. If you can't obey the rules get out and let someone who can obey have your place.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    July 11, 2019 3:27 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin:
    "And what about the thousands of other schools around the world that don't have BYU-P's HC? What about Harvard and MIT? Is there no reason for them to exist?"

    You are mistaken. Harvard does have an honor code. The difference between BYU and Harvard is the transparency. BYU is clear about their honor code and Harvard is not. BYU's honor code is public knowledge, Harvard's is not. And Harvard will look back at applicant's previous life to see if there are instances where they have ever violated the honor code before they ever applied to Harvard.

    Just four weeks ago, an offer to an applicant was rescinded in a highly publicized incident because the applicant had violated their honor code when he was 16.

    In fact, at the time you commented and defended Harvard's actions. Either your computer has been hacked by a some random right winger or you are not logging out of the internet when you use computers in a public place.

  • Seagull Suz Sandy, UT
    July 11, 2019 1:32 a.m.

    What I find interesting is the discrepancy between the language of the code at BYU institutions and the 'acceptable' worthiness standards of being a member of the church outside of BYU.

    Seems to be a very large gap in how the processes of handling violations in each scenario is administered.

    For example, the BYU honor code for Dress and Grooming Standards states specific standards and also references the "For the Strength of Youth" booklet. At any given LDS ward, there are visual violations of those same HC standards. I doubt that members are calling out every one of those violations to their bishops. Yet at BYU institutions it is common practice to report the same kinds of dress and grooming violations to the HC office.

    Why the double standard? So if those who respond by saying if you don't like the HC, go to a different (non-LDS ) university...should members be saying the same at church?...telling members if they can't follow "For the Strength of Youth" to go find another church?

    Or is the HC just a tactic to force 'integrity' with rules and punishment for infractions

    Or do the members who aren't following the booklet, have less integrity than a BYU student?

  • M_Hawke Golden, CO
    July 11, 2019 1:24 a.m.

    @NeifyT Your reasoning doesn't make sense to me. Yes, the Savior just requires repentance or a change of heart, but there are still consequences for sinning in the first place. And that just doesn't cut it in real life situations. After all, that's why we have laws and rules throughout every facet of our lives. BYU students are subsidized by tithing money--sacred money. And as such, for those of you who say the HC should be abolished, I say that great care should be had by whoever attends BYU to honor those tithing funds. That's what the HC is all about.

    For those that say that it is a simple thing, just follow the rules and you're OK, I agree. However, the imperfect enforcement of the HC is what is being scrutinized. For example, there have been several examples of if a woman was raped on campus, SHE was put on probation or kicked out of school for violating chastity. Yet the woman wasn't the one to violate the rule, right? So that was an injustice.

  • WallE Walla Walla, WA
    July 10, 2019 11:12 p.m.

    The rules are necessary.

    BYU - quit calling the rules an "Honor Code". An "Honor Code" does not require an enforcement branch of the University. Honor implies self enforcement.

    Call it something like "BYU Standards".

  • Robert F. Smith Provo, UT
    July 10, 2019 10:21 p.m.

    As an alumnus, I appreciate these changes. A big step forward. Brother Utt is to be congratulated.

  • Mayfair Logan, UT
    July 10, 2019 10:11 p.m.

    It's not difficult.

    If you want to go to BYU, then don't do anything that would get you in trouble for disobeying the Code.

    As with many others, I and huge number of family/extended family and friends all went there and nobody ever had any interaction with the Honor Code Office at all.

    So simple--just follow the rules you signed up for.

    Some small % of the students who for some reason feel entitled to not abide by what they agreed to when they signed up (and are then offened when they get caught) are keeping this issue in the news.

  • Crazy in California Acampo, CA
    July 10, 2019 10:05 p.m.

    A school wants to provide a certain kind of education.

    Tens of thousands of students line up to get that education.

    People can't accept it; everyone has to be like them.

  • It wasn’t me ,
    July 10, 2019 9:47 p.m.

    "Each student has a bishop - the bishop is called and set apart to assess matters of worthiness. The HC office is not."

    That should be sufficient. However, previously some bishops have required reporting to the honor code office while others have not- for the same offense. Some students who self reported were dealt with more harshly than others.
    I think you’re very naive if you think every student in violation of the code has been forthcoming. I’ve seen firsthand those who graduated while in clear violation, without any report to the hc office. I’m sure there are many who never report. Not all is as pure as it seems at BYU

  • Sky King , 00
    July 10, 2019 9:30 p.m.

    From the article: *The latest updates include presuming students are not in violation of the Honor Code unless they accept responsibility or the office makes a determination...*. I wonder why this presumption wasn’t already part of the policy.

  • Michigan Cougsfan68 Ann Arbor, MI
    July 10, 2019 8:03 p.m.

    An employment contract is a legal and binding document that the visiting professor would have signed to be hired by BYU! If this person didn't check out the school or read the contract, how is that the fault of the school? Where is the personal responsibility and integrity of the visiting professor?

  • worf McAllen, TX
    July 10, 2019 7:52 p.m.

    "changes to reduce 'misunderstanding and anxiety"?

    Anxiety occurs when a person can't justify, spin, or create an excuse for wrong doing.

    There's no misunderstanding of the honor code. It's pretty simple!

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 10, 2019 7:40 p.m.

    @search diligently

    "Without it, there is not a lot of reason for the school to exist."

    Really? You can't think of a reason for the school to exist besides the HC? What about the chance to get a degree? Or go to school with other latter day saints?

    And what about the thousands of other schools around the world that don't have BYU-P's HC? What about Harvard and MIT? Is there no reason for them to exist?

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    July 10, 2019 7:11 p.m.

    Some of you seem to misunderstand the issue here. Most BYU students--even those who were protesting -- support the Honor Code itself and don't want it abolished. The real issue was how the Honor Code was administered, Too often, the *process* was flawed and unfair to the students, and that's why BYU has agreed to improve it.

    Similarly, very few of us will ever be charged with a crime, but the Constitution gives us reason to believe that if we are, the process will be predictable and fair. It's crucial to remember that not everyone who's charged with a wrongdoing is guilty or deserves to be treated harshly.

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    July 10, 2019 6:18 p.m.

    99.95% of BYU students in a given school year remain in school and don't have Honor Code issues.

    Let that sink in as you hear this small minority of complainers.

  • Harrison Bergeron Salt Lake City, UT
    July 10, 2019 5:11 p.m.

    “I’m 100% confident still that i would of never ever gone to that school.”

    Precisely! Imagine how weird it would be for you to actually go through the admissions process (having turned down scholarships from other schools) and then complain when you get there!

    And you would not be complaining about housing or the cafeteria; you would literally by complaining about the one thing that is completely unique to that school.

    It makes absolutely no sense.

  • Aggielove Caldwell, ID
    July 10, 2019 4:49 p.m.

    I’m 100% confident still that i would of never ever gone to that school.
    Strange place..

  • kbee Syracuse, UT
    July 10, 2019 4:28 p.m.

    I agree with @Independent. I went to BYU. I never even thought about tattling on someone. I thought anyone could talk privately with their bishop and repent. If something illegal happened then the Provo police should be called. I really think this way of running things at BYU is forced and authoritarian in nature.

  • search diligently Lehi, UT
    July 10, 2019 4:15 p.m.

    Certainly, the naysayers will be out to say that the code sb abolished. But the Honor Code is fundamental to the reason so many of us have attended the school or supported our children going there. Without it, there is not a lot of reason for the school to exist.

    Those who don't like it, by all means, go elsewhere. Don't go and see if you can get around the code or modify it. The majority attending do not want that negativity.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 10, 2019 4:16 p.m.

    @a_voice_of_REASON - "Accepting the Honor Code is ... the same way accepting a corporate Code of Conduct is part of accepting a job with many companies."

    Let's be REASONABLE here. You mention jobs (and liken that to schooling). So, I want to delve more into my mentioning of the guest professor as a good example to your statement about job. The professor they hired as a "guest professor" who was told he could live on campus; and would be in a position for a couple of years; was kicked off the campus because he wanted to drink coffee.

    Not a member of the church; sure his "employment" was based on the Code of Conduct of not drinking coffee on campus. But really, is that what The Church is about being so strict that someone who isn't even a member is not allowed to drink coffee?

    Sure he may (or may not) have been aware of not drinking coffee on campus as a part of his employment. But is that a reasonable requirement for an employer to expect? I can see an employer telling people they can't have alcoholic beverages in the office. But, coffee?

    When an employer has such "standards" that are outside societal norms; they become UNREASONABLE expectations. The Honor Code is UNREASONABLE!

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    July 10, 2019 4:02 p.m.

    Glad to see they are accepting the feedback and making changes. While I don't doubt many have had negative experiences with the Honor Code office, I think the outrage is over corner cases. I spent 5 years at BYU. Never had any kind of interaction with the Honor Code office, nor did I ever know anybody who did (either reporting or being reported on). I think it's a remarkably small population of the 33,000 students who ever interact with them in any way. It's just a non-issue for nearly everyone.

    That being said, I'm glad to see that they are making efforts to make the interactions that do occur better. It shouldn't be a negative experience unless the individual has no intent or desire to abide by the Honor Code. If that is the case the individual shouldn't continue as a student as BYU. That's a conclusion that should be obvious to that student, with or without Honor Code office involvement. Accepting the Honor Code is part of pursuing an education at BYU in the same way accepting a corporate Code of Conduct is part of accepting a job with many companies.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 10, 2019 3:47 p.m.

    For all the changes; they still don't do what needs to be done.

    Make the honor code; just that an HONOR code. Change it from a disciplinarian code; to a teaching code.

    If someone is found in violation of the code; teach them the purpose and reason for the code and get them to work toward living it (you know like the LDS church actually teaches); instead of just going straight to punishing them for their violation.

    Christ doesn't punish people who sin; he only asks for repentance; a change of heart and following him; and then readily forgives; even if the person commits the same sin over and over and over.

    The entire Honor Code Office has become nothing short of "let's punish people who don't live up to our extremely elitist standards."

    They even punished that guest professor who they invited onto campus and who is not a member of the LDS church but heaven forbid he drinks a cup of coffee on campus. The entire Honor Code has become a farce.

    Let's get back to it being about HONOR and teaching; and less about "rules and regulations, that if not strictly followed results in punishment."

  • Silvex Salt Lake, UT
    July 10, 2019 3:31 p.m.

    The basic admission requirements for BYU will get you a good scholarship at most every other in-state school. So why would anyone choose to go there and then be unhappy with what they signed up for? Wouldn't it make sense to go somewhere else if you don't like the honor code? Virtually anywhere else you choose, this will not be a problem and they will pay you to attend if you have the ability to get into BYU.

    There are tons of kids who would love to attend BYU and would love to live by the honor code, but did not make the grade. Many are devastated not to go there. If you don't like the Honor Code, find a school that better fits your lifestyle. You will be happier and you'll make one of those kids who takes your place very happy. In fact you will make their dream come true!

  • worf McAllen, TX
    July 10, 2019 3:05 p.m.

    Nothing difficult to understand. How do students make it through college if they find such easy things non understandable?

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    July 10, 2019 3:03 p.m.

    "Each student has a bishop - the bishop is called and set apart to assess matters of worthiness. The HC office is not."

    Amen. This is really what it comes down to. I see no rational connection between your very personal private personal worthiness and college. The whole concept is icky.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    July 10, 2019 2:54 p.m.

    This will not help BYU football. It just means that a player accused of DUI is presumed innocent right up until the police report comes out.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 10, 2019 2:43 p.m.

    Just get rid of the Honor Code. It's a relic of 1960's McCarthyist fear of Communists and hippies. Each student has a bishop - the bishop is called and set apart to assess matters of worthiness. The HC office is not.

    Despite what the pearl-clutching purists think, getting rid of the Honor Code would not see BYU-P descend into a cesspool of sin. Honestly, I doubt much of anything would change, except that everyone would stop being so nervous about being ratted out.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 10, 2019 2:33 p.m.

    I get the changes to the reporting and what not, they are good changes.

    But come on, get rid of the clean shaven, and no beard, mustache rules. Just modify it just as you have with the hair. Let it read that Beards and mustaches should be clean and neat, avoiding extreme styles or colors, edged and neatly trimmed.

    Nobody should be required to get a beard card, or "ticketed" for stubble. The church is making changes, why can't the university.

  • Alex T Murray, UT
    July 10, 2019 1:56 p.m.

    still not enough.

  • Utah_State_Fan Logan, Utah
    July 10, 2019 1:56 p.m.

    I think this is a good move. It will help the students and the student athletes.

    I really like Coach Sitake and I think the new Honor Code changes will ultimately help out the football program.