BYU's Honor Code goes far beyond chastity

brandon-daviesBrandon Davies, forward for the BYU Cougars, was suspended from the team this week after it was discovered that he violated the schools Honor Code. The portion of the Honor Code he violated has become a pretty hot topic in the last 24 hours. Plain and simple, he had sex with his girlfriend which is a violation of the schools Conduct portion of its Honor Code.

I know that you are thinking that is insane, but what you have to realize is that all of these kids, Mormon or not, know what they are getting into when they sign the schools Honor Code. It clearly states what is acceptable and what is not acceptable at BYU and below is an excerpt from the conduct section.

“Students must abstain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal substances and from the intentional misuse or abuse of any substance. Sexual misconduct; obscene or indecent conduct or expressions; disorderly or disruptive conduct; participation in gambling activities; involvement with pornographic, erotic, indecent, or offensive material; and any other conduct or action inconsistent with the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Honor Code is not permitted.”

So, for those of you who like to kick back and have a couple beers and maybe have a smoke, perhaps BYU isn’t the place for you. I don’t know about my readership, but I have definitely violated everything in the conduct section.  Everything.

The conduct section may not be a big surprise to some of you. We know that the school is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so most think that this comes with the territory. What might surprise you, though, is the other sections of the Honor Code that jumped out at me.



For instance, it is a little weird that under the Grooming Standards of the Honor Code, a man is allowed to have a moustache but not a full beard. Yes, they would rather have their student body looking like Tom Selleck than Zach Galifinakis…Actually, when I make that comparison it makes sense. The best part of not being allowed to have a beard? There is an application process to be able to have one. I’m serious. Per the Honor Code webpage:


“A student who wishes to obtain a beard exception must visit a BYU Student Health Center doctor by appointment (422.5156). The doctor will fax his recommendation. The student then needs to come to the Honor Code Office to fill out some paperwork and receive the letter allowing the growth of the beard, if approved. If a yearly beard exception is granted, a new Student ID will be issued after the beard has been fully grown, and must be renewed every year by repeating the process.”

By the way, you can only grow a beard if it is because of a medical purpose. 

byu_logoThat, as well as the conduct portion, had me laughing out loud. The next part, however, did not. I know that the Mormons are a wacked out bunch (if you are a Morman reading this, I have to think that you are violating some kind of code) but there is an entire section on Homosexual Behavior. I will give them props for maintaining the same conduct policy as is with the heterosexual students by saying that all members of the university community are to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity. We get it, no sex. But they seem to take it a step further with the last part of the section. Just to drive home the fact that Homosexual Behavior is unacceptable, they need to define it.


“Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”

So, say a guy see’s a friend of the opposite sex and they embrace in a friendly hug, that is ok. However if said guy is gay and see’s another man and gives him the same embrace, he is in violation of the Honor Code and could face penalty? A guy and a girl holding hands while walking on campus is hardly a violation, but if it is two women they are in direct violation.

I recently had two friends go to Provo, Utah on a business trip. At night, they searched out the local watering hole, looking to have a couple beers to unwind. That was a little harder than they originally thought.

“looking for a bar on campus is nearly impossible, and when we found one, the neon sign, blinking and buzzine, just said “BAR”.”

No name, just Bar. He went on to tell me about the experience inside Bar.

“Inside the “BAR” was what appeared to be all the outcast/goths from the city… the scrap and leftovers made of 4 or 5 people who were obviously stuck in Provo for one reason or another and have been denied in that society’s daily routines.”

If it looks like a cult…and smells like a cult…and acts like a cult…they must be Mormon.

Basically, all I am saying here is that people need to look at the Honor Code as a whole, not just the chastity portion of it. Sure, most of the Honor Code is unethical (who shouldn’t be allowed to grow a beard? JESUS had one!) but, as I said before, the kids knew what they were doing when they signed up. Personally, it would probably only take me one paragraph into the Honor Code to realize that BYU wasn’t for me. Of course, I have a beard, drink beer, chew tobacco, follow porn stars on Twitter and love to gamble…so it’s a long shot that I would even be allowed in Utah, let alone the Brigham Young Campus.

Off topic…How much does Brandon Davies look like Drake? 

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