BYU Honor Code open thread

No links. Just a rant. And then the floor is yours, commenters.

Anything goes, but reminiscence and nostalgia related to good times at BYU are highly encouraged. 😉

But before that party gets started, let me just say …

My sense is that Brandon Davies has been offered up as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of LDS PR. Yes, that’s my read of BYU’s decision to sign off on the latest public parading of a student athlete’s failure to keep to the Honor Code.

Why now? Because it’s been a rough few months for TSCC, namely …

The Book of Mormon dancing and singing on Broadway. Family guy dinging Marriott on the small box. Pro-equality Mormon videos going viral. Warren Jeffs and his prophetic pedofilling. Hot sauce mom and her Dr. Philling. DADT repealing. White House DOMA rejecting. Mormon neo-Nazis running the Arizona senate. LDS father of The 5 Browns busted for daughter abusing. Dallin Oaks failing. Romney flailing. Huntsman hinting. Missions closing. Growth prospects fading. Informal cultural pressures mounting. Gay agenda winning. Young people yawning. Secular ranks swelling. Mormon ads tanking. BYU students opining and objecting.

When an institution sees its legitimacy slipping, what does it do?

It offers up one of its own.

Because it stands for something, dammit. And that’s why ESPN has been tasked with explaining what that might be, exactly.

For the Bloggernacle version of this open thread, see:

Nine Moons: BYU’s Honor Code Strikes Again

Chino Blanco

--- We are men of action, lies do not become us. ---

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58 Responses

  1. SLK in SF says:

    Mixed feelings about this. No real problem with BYU having an honor code, or enforcing it. (The content of the code is another matter.) When I met my first boyfriend at BYU (I’m male), we immediately shook the dust of Provo from our feet and moved to California rather than live under rules that violated our own integrity as humans.

  2. Carla says:

    @ Seth – You are presenting as an ideal something that is actually just one variation of human relationships. Life-long partnership is one thing that makes some people very happy and fulfilled. Some people are not happy in monogamy, and that doesn’t make them a victim of a demoralized society. It’s just who they are. Some people are not interested in a life-long relationship. That doesn’t mean their shorter relationships are devoid of intimacy as you imply. Everybody is different. All of your arguments are founded on your bias for life-long monogamous relationships, and a belief that they are the perfect ideal that everyone would be happy with if they just tried harder or something, which is not representative of reality.

  3. Alan says:

    chanson @42:

    If youre not a member anymore, you are automatically unenrolled, at which point youre welcome to apply again, and see if you get accepted as a non-member student.

    The problem I’m seeing is that on the admissions form, they ask: “Are you currently on informal or formal probation with, disfellowshipped or excommunicated from, or voluntarily disaffiliated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? (An applicant who is currently excommunicated or disfellowshipped from, on informal or
    formal probation with, or voluntarily disaffiliated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is generally inadmissible until reinstated to full fellowship.)” IOW, I don’t think an ex-Mormon has the same chances as a never-Mormon.

    Interestingly, that section of that admissions form has only 3 questions. The third has to do with whether you’ve been convicted of a crime, and the second one is:

    “Are you affiliated with a church or other religious group that advocates the current practice of plural marriage? If yes, you must provide a letter of explanation.” 😀

  4. chanson says:

    Alan @53 — Right, that’s exactly the problem. In some sort of theoretical sense they reserve the right to readmit X’s (and/or polygs), but in reality universe — ain’t gonna happen. 😉

    Great discussion, all! I have nothing to add to what others have said to the marriage-n-sex question except to say that — as exasperating as Seth can be — I appreciate his tireless efforts to keep this place from being an echo chamber. 🙂

  5. Goldarn says:

    I’m coming in late, so I’ll just say this:

    My big beef was the so-called “Honor Code” at BYU is the way it is haphazardly enforced. I knew two people who lived in my ward who got “in trouble” and went to see the bishop. They got informal bishop’s probation. Nobody at the honor code office was informed at all. Was it just an easy-going bishop? Was it the fact that both of the people were returned missionaries?
    And here’s the thing: A few of us knew about what they were doing. How come we didn’t get in trouble? I’m pretty sure that living by the honor code requires us to report on our fellow students.
    At the end of the day, BYU would have a huge yearly turnover and really lousy graduation stats if they had expelled most students who violated the honor code when I was there. I believe that the honor code is in place to make BYU look good (to the alumni, the mormon church leadership, the parents of the students, the world at large). That’s all.
    Oh, and the honor code office is a good place for the honor-nazis to find work.

  6. Chino Blanco says:

    This right here is the Mormon surveillance culture that empowers anonymous snitches, got Brandon Davies kicked off a BYU team, and Brian Devine fired:

    The other day I was working on campus and I hit my shin pretty hard. As a reflex, I let out an expletive. Oops. Later that day my boss spoke with me and let me know someone had heard me and was so upset that they called in to complain, and as a result I was fired.

  7. chanson says:


    I love that the comments thread has the obligatory “BYU is special — if you’re not up to standards, you can leave.” Fair enough, as long as they make sure that all of the sixteen-and-seventeen-year-old Mormons filling out their college application forms are informed about just how “special” BYU is….

  1. March 6, 2011

    […] player had sex with his girlfriend — if you can believe it! This led to lots of very amusing discussion about control and the BYU honor code, musings on parenting, and the obvious observation that this […]

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