Byu’s Honor Code Needs A Make Over

1452 words - 6 pages

A big disappointment comes just days before Brigham Young University (BYU) basketball team was to kick start the NCAA tournament. 19-year-old sophomore Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team for having consensual premarital sex with his girlfriend Danica Mendivil (Mackall). Davies did not violate any government laws, however the University’s Honor Code states students to “live a chaste and virtuous life” (2010-2011 Undergraduate). The BYU Honor Code prohibits many behaviors ordinarily considered part of normal society such as: drinking herbal tea, coffee, alcohol, and swearing among other things. Generally, when an Honor Code violation makes the news, it is usually for cheating on tests or unlawful activities such as drugs or crimes. Hearing that students cannot have premarital sex was startling, mostly because it is not what crosses one’s mind when hearing of Honor Code violation. BYU is a private University located in Salt Lake City, Utah and owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Most students are Mormons; even those who are not, are still required to abide by the same rules. BYU’s Honor Code is too strict and arbitrarily enforced, which places students in position to hide infractions, lie and is antiquated policy for the 21st century.
Honor Code requirements have evolved over the years, the University's atmosphere has allowed more strict and flawed on how it is being interpreted. “Taggert accused the administration of using the code to punish rather than to help students improve themselves” (Bergera). The list of forbidden acts are antiquated and invade the students’ sense of privacy without truly defining the quality of honor. (define honor here). Other’s seemingly arbitrary rules such as no short skirts along with no beards are strictly enforced. Even Jesus Christ could not have attended BYU without shaving first. As a matter of fact, Brigham Young himself had a long beard at one time. Just like a golfer calls a penalty on himself, Davies come forward and confess (Lee, Tony). The humiliation of publicly admitting a private act, would discourage many students from coming forward. Davies openly admitted he made a mistake. He was still suspended from the team for the rest of the season despite his honesty, because this was a violation of the Honor Code. The situation has been blown out of proportion. A reasonable punishment should have been a suspension for a game or two. The University is mixing water and oil together and leaving a bitter taste for the students and setting them up for failure.
The “common law protects minors from business contracts because they are assumed prior having the maturity to make difficult financial decisions. If the honor code was a legal contract, it wouldn’t even be valid because it was signed by a minor” (Yasinskas). Critics state Davies “knew what he signed up for” when he agreed to a life of no sex or alcohol as a high school senior (Yasinskas). It is difficult to believe...

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