Wednesday, May 7, 2008

BYU-Idaho's Honor Code, or, Beating a Dead Horse

Many know about BYU-Idaho's honor code. It is strict, much moreso than our siblings at BYU-Provo. We aren't allowed to wear shorts, wear flip-flops, have facial hair, wear hats on campus, etc.

But I don't want to provide a full discourse on the Honor code. It's not beating a dead horse. It's beating it, burning it, beating the ashes, and then re-burning the ashes. Let's let the poor horse have some dignity and leave it alone!

I read the newspaper here on campus for 3 reasons.

1. I read the police blotter. Nothing better than reading about someone drilling a hole in a watermelon, pumping it full of fireworks, and exploding it in an apartment complex parking lot. I was privleged to be a part of that aftermath, and it made last summer very interesting.

2. I read the opinion pieces. While they leave much to be desired, they also leave themselves wide open to mockery. There's nothing more important going on in the world to develop an opinion on than the benefits of Super Walmart? Obviously the opinions are thoroughly sanitized for our protection (and the protection of the University), but getting people talking isn't always a bad idea. I could go on and on about it, but...

3. I read for the letters to the editor. I've debated on multiple occasions about writing a letter, but have never gotten aroudn to it. I really think that the letters to the editor and the opinion pieces tell who we are on campus.

So what's the point? In yesterday's edition of the paper, there was a letter to the editor about the honor code. It discussed how we have an honor code, how there was almost a double-standard (some teachers enforce it, some don't), and this quote.

We are all adults who (for the most part) have bee raised with a great Mormon background and but can neither dress ourselves nor apply the honor code.

As a convert, this is very troubling, and a topic which needs to be looked into. We all need to stop looking for shortcuts and just live the honor code.

I hope I'm not the only one who sees some flaws in this. Here's what I think...

Numero uno - LEAVE THE POOR HORSE ALONE! There will be people you encounter, people you meet, who don't follow those same standards that you have. Give it a rest.

Numero Dos (I'm trying to be more cultural because I saw someone from Saudi Arabia stumbled upon my blog...but I don't it Arabic?) - There's more to life than the honor code. What about the opinions on a 14-week semester? Or the amount of construction on campus (Parking is another beaten dead horse). What about politics, or things that the politicians are saying? The possible expansion of BYU-Idaho as a university? Choose something interesting to talk about!

Numero Tres - There is no reason to bring up your religion in every single aspect of your life. Go to NYC and complain that the Naked Cowboy (who I desire greatly to meet) isn't following an honor code. Religion is brought up way to much around here. I don't think bringing religion up is a bad thing, but I think people around here get way too uptight about anything relating to their religion. Believe me, it's a privledge, but honestly? Seriously? Is that all you do is complain?

But then, there I am, the Monday morning quarterback, calling the shots as to how I think the University newspaper should be. If I did have my say, President Kim Clark would probably cringe every time I opened my mouth.

That's why I write here. I can get away with all that stuff


Chad said...

Here here!! There are far more important and troubling things happening at this university than a strict honor code. Let's talk about the fact that the school controls many small businesses in Rexburg and chooses the ones that will live and die. Or the fact that anything political is NOT allowed on campus. The "Kim" says that it is to protect the tax-exemption status of the Church but BYU had the Chief Supreme Court Justice, the Vice President of the United States and the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate speak on their campus in the period of 6 moths. Freedom does NOT affect tax-exemption status Kim!!
Let's open up the campus so we can talk about REAL issues, things that actually affect us all as citizens and PEOPLE! Who really cares that much about flip-flops?

brandt said...

Chad -

You make a valid point. While I respectfully disagree with some points, you are dead on about more to life in Rexburg than the honor code.

While I'm not sure about the school controlling many small business in Rexburg, I do know that the city council is a very strong proponent of the small business here in Rexburg. Dick Broulim, from what I understand, is somewhat of a legend around here.

Though BYU did allow those political figures to appear on their campus, I'm sure they made it clear that it was the position of the office, not the political affiliation (though the culture out here is very much Republican)

Let me say this - I am 100% in agreement with opening up the campus. As soon as an opinion that might differ from the organization is brought up, the sentiments of "You can go to another school" or questioning one's belief in the Church are immediately brought up.

Thanks for the comment Chad!