Brigham Young Honor Code Live A Chaste And Virtuous Life

January 30, 2012 by staff 

Brigham Young Honor Code Live A Chaste And Virtuous Life, The Brigham Young University Honor Code is a set of standards by which students and faculty at Brigham Young University, a school owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are required to live. The standards derive in many ways from codes of conduct of the LDS Church, and were not put into written form until the 1940s. Since then, they have undergone several changes. Similar honor codes exist for BYU’s sister schools Brigham Young University-Idaho, Brigham Young University Hawaii, and the LDS Business College.
Early forms of the BYU Honor Code are found as far back as the days of the Brigham Young Academy and early school President Karl G. Maeser. Maeser created the “Domestic Organization”, which was a group of teachers who would visit students at their homes to see that they were following the schools moral rules prohibiting obscenity, profanity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Maeser also, however, relied largely on students’ honor and honesty in keeping such rules, intending faculty visits as times of counsel rather than espionage. After Brimhall, enforcement became somewhat more lax (there were no more faculty visits). However, the same basic principles were encouraged: morality, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and a dependence on the honor and honesty of students. The 1930s and 40s saw increased standards regarding rules related to student housing, as well as dress codes. Women were allowed to wear slacks only on Saturdays, and men wore uniform for a short time.

The Honor Code itself was not created until about 1940, and was used mainly for cases of cheating and academic dishonesty. The Student Honor Council, created around 1949 oversaw case violations. This council met with enough success among students in alleviating cheating that President Ernest L. Wilkinson suggested in 1957 that the Honor Code expand to include other school standards. This led to an expansion during the 1960s which created the bulk of what the Honor Code represents today: rules regarding chastity, dress, grooming, drugs, and alcohol.

In the 1960s several rules regarding longer hairstyles in men were introduced as a result of the many liberal movements occurring around the country. However, long hair and beards were not completely against the rules until the mid-1970s. The 1960s also saw changes in rules regarding women’s dress, as Church leaders made statements against low-cut dresses and short skirts. Women by this time were allowed to wear slacks and pant-suits, but jeans were not allowed until 1981.

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