Thursday, September 29, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
For years Brigham Young University has been known throughout the world for the Honor Code that its students adhere to. It has been a hallmark of the university and what it stands for. It stands for integrity in academic and personal life. Its values are an excellent guideline for students both temporally and spiritually. While I value the Honor Code and the people who live by it, I think that some elements, like facial hair and visiting hours, are outdated.
Many people wonder where the Honor Code comes from, or how long it has been in effect. The Honor Code dates as far back as the Brigham Young Academy. President Karl G. Maeser created a group of teachers who would visit students’ homes to check if the school’s moral rules were being followed. However, he relied largely on the students’ sense of honor to enforce the rules. Over the years, as the Brigham Young Academy converted into Brigham Young University, the Honor Code changed and evolved until it became what it is today.
The BYU Honor Code: http://saas.byu.edu/catalog/2010-2011ucat/GeneralInfo/HonorCode.php
In the 1960s, there were several rules added against longer hairstyles in men. These rules were added at the time because of current national events. At the time, communism was a major problem in the United States. Long hair was seen as a sign of communistic sympathies and emulation of undesirable contemporary characters, so it was outlawed as part of the Honor Code. Currently in America, long hair has nothing to do with communism. To continue to ban long hairstyles in men because of this long-dead prejudice would be pointless. We are not communist, and do not desire to emulate undesirable contemporary characters. Men at Brigham Young University should be allowed to wear their hair long if they so desire.
Very closely related to the issue of long hairstyles is the ever-prevalent issue of whether or not to allow facial hair, specifically beards to be worn by men at BYU. There is a constant battle between the male students and the testing center in regards to taking tests while not being clean-shaven. I had always heard stories from people about these constant battles between test takers and testing center employees, but I had never really believed any of them. Then one day a few semesters ago, I woke up late. I had a test that morning, and I had no time to shave, but I didn’t give it a second thought. When I got to the testing center, I was handed a nasty, cheap razor and told to go to the bathroom and shave because I was not completely clean-shaven. No shaving cream, just a cheap razor and a bathroom sink. It was very painful. I did not even have very much stubble at all. What confuses me about the rule about beards is that in the church beards are acceptable.
A bearded member of the church, when worthy, is even permitted to enter into the most holy place on earth: the House of the Lord. I do not see why I can enter into the Temple and perform sacred ordinances, but I cannot take a test on chemistry. If I can enter the Temple with a beard, I should be able to do anything on campus. There is nowhere on campus that is more sacred than the House of the Lord, not even the testing center. The rule that requires me to shave before I take a test is outdated. While beards were thought to emulate undesirable contemporary characters back in the late 70s, they do not now.
Another Reason that could be argued in favor of allowing beards is the dating factor. One of the focuses that Brigham Young University has is helping students find their eternal companions. We hear abut it all the time. At church, in class, during FHE, and basically anywhere you can imagine. I have spoken to many girls who say that beards are very attractive. You would think that Brigham Young University would allow, or even encourage, something that would help its students get married faster.
Another part of the Honor Code is not just outdated, but downright confusing. Why is it that Friday nights are different than every other night of the week? The fact that it is acceptable to be in a member of the opposite sex’s apartment until 1:30 am on Friday nights and only midnight every other night is ridiculous. What is the difference? We students here at Brigham Young University are adults. We should be treated as such. There is no need for a curfew, or if there is one, it should be uniform. I just can’t fathom why I am trusted until 1:30 on Friday nights, but only until midnight the rest of the week. It is interesting that in the Church, we always hear the joke that the spirit goes to bed at midnight. I just did not realize that it went to bed later on Friday nights. We are being trained to be the future leaders of the church and the future providers for our families. If we cannot be trusted to be prudent with what time we leave the apartment of the opposite sex, can we really be trusted with the future?
Many people would argue that the Honor Code is timeless and that it needs no changes. One thing we strongly believe in this church in is modern day revelation. While correct principles never change, programs and how they are implemented do. I have witnessed this many times, as have all of you. One example of changes in the church is the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Over the years it has changed many times. This shows that rules that are given are not set in stone, but that they can change over time. I believe that this is the case with the Honor Code. It has been a long time since it has had any changes.
While the vast majority of the Honor Code is great and is a benefit to the students who abide by it, there are definitely a few small changes that the board of trustees can make to bring the Honor Code up with the times. Some people would say that it is timeless and it does not need change, but everything can be improved. I urge the students of this university to go to the Honor Code office, to the administrators, in order to petition these changes in the Honor Code. I believe that making these alterations to the Honor Code would make everyone’s experience at Brigham Young University much more pleasant.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
So, the purpose of this blog is twofold. First of all, it is for my Writing 150 class, and as such will often have posts that will not make sense to people not in my class.