Brigham Young University sign on campus
Brigham Young University is in the news after students recently protested issues with the university’s Honor Code, which dictates proper student behavior.

Chanting God forgives me, why can’t you? some 300 Mormon students gathered on campus to question the same strict Honor Code they allege has allowed Brigham Young University to mistreat female victims of assault and LGBTQ students.

“We believe in the Gospel and we think the Honor Code Office has forgotten that. And it’s our job to remind them,” declared BYU 2018 graduate Sidney Draughon to the crowd. Her Instagram account first shed light on how she was first called into the Office over an old photo and tweet at the end of her freshman year, and again over another allegation during her senior year, which ultimately delayed her diploma.

Honor Code Issues

The BYU Honor Code requires a clean mouth, modest clothing, and regular church attendance.

The Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day Saints-sponsored University is known for its strict adherence to church teachings. The BYU Honor Code prohibits everything from premarital sex to wearing a beard to drinking coffee and tea. Students are required to adhere to the Honor Code at all times, whether on or off campus.  

Student protest at the school is all but unheard of.

Yet now, some students allege they’ve actually received Honor Code violations for reporting their own sexual assaults. Brigham Young University attendance is predicated on an ecclesiastical endorsement from a bishop (which can be revoked at any time). After Brigham Young University separated the Honor Code office and the Title IX office in 2016, they offered an amnesty policy: If a student reports her own sexual assault, she won’t be investigated for Honor Code violations, like alcohol consumption. But if her bishop finds out she did violate the Honor Code, they can revoke their endorsement, regardless of the assault. The student can appeal the decision, but it’s likely the school will stand firm with the bishop’s decision.

Others claim the university’s Honor Code office is creepily curious about their sex lives. One anonymous student detailed how the office called him in for having sexual relations with his girlfriend of two years, and asked intrusive and inappropriate questions.

And LGBTQ students feel left out in the rain by the Honor Code as well. The school has routinely refused to let the student-created ‘Understanding Same Gender Attraction’ group meet on campus, and some students believe that even attending the group’s meetings might put their enrollment in jeopardy. Former student JD Goates minced no words over the school’s refusal to acknowledge the USGA group: “There are people wanting to kill themselves.”

Campus Response

The director of the Honor Code office, meanwhile, points out only a dozen or so of the school’s 33,000 students are expelled each year for violations, and that his office has met with over 200 concerned students. Whether they revise their policies is yet to be seen.

And while the university considers how to proceed, not all students on campus sympathetic to the cause of protestors.

One 22-year-old student named Dayson Damuni actually broke the moment of silence dedicated to LGBTQ students mistreated by the Honor Code office by shouting “If you don’t like the Honor Code, go to a different school!” Another student, 25-year-old Mack Huntsman, agreed: “The majority of students are in favor of the Honor Code. I mean, they chose to come to this university … and then [to] say that they’re oppressing you does not make a lot of sense.”

This sort of clash between traditional church teachings and a new wave of progressive Millennials will likely continue to play out amongst many of our nation’s Christian denominations.

What do you think? Is the Honor Code office out of line for punishing people for reporting their own sexual assaults, asking creepy questions and hurting LGBTQ students? Or did students know what they were signing up for when they enrolled?

19 comments

  1. Kirk says:

    Private school, private rules. Also, why does the question say “hurting LGBTQ students”? The article didn’t say how those students were being hurt.

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      People always seem to forget or ignore that Universities like this indirectly cost everyone of us because they use their faith as a shield from paying their fare dues to society.

      And in the case of mormons, they are not a valid faith, they are a terrorist faction that is far more of a threat to any of us in the U.S. then any group in the middle east.

      We know this because we know joseph smith was no prophet because prophets are a thing of fantasy and fiction. We know they indocritnate, molest, and abuse their children to turn them into mindless followers.

      We know that those that possess enough common sense to see the flaws in their society and struggle to break free are often assaulted, imprisoned in their own homes, and brutalized by their own parents who see them as touched by the devil and other nonsense.

      No person of reason and humanity looks at mormons as anything other then the vile cancer upon the world.

  2. ET says:

    If the university rules are not in line with the path the student wishes to take, perhaps the student’s interests would best be served by enrolling in a university more in line with the student’s own values.

  3. Lionheart says:

    Students know the rules of the University and agree to them when they sign up.

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      A pointless comment. Students do not serve the university, the university exist to serve its students. if the students band together to seek change they are doing what is right. No institution should be able to use what was as a defense against change.

      The world belongs to the young, the old exist only at the tolerance of the young. The elderly should be greatful for the young that look after them in their dotage rather then act entitled to it.

  4. directortice says:

    I’ve had the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon. IMHO……This is a real assault.

    For a group of people who spend their entire day keeping family and values, as set by the group, in tact…. this has got to be a pretty significant blow.

    It’s not like facing the powers and principalities, as all of us do, this is pressure that will not relent. While my first thoughts were “private entity…. private rule”, my next thought came from a much darker place.

    I truly wish the LGBTQ people would just leave the church alone. Yes… I want to tell them about Jesus and Salvation… Yes it’s my goal to make sure that the word gets out… and I believe everyone needs to hear it… regardless of every single thing or thought…. BUT…. why does this have to happen?

    Why do the Mormons have to be assaulted at all? Is this a test of their faith by God Himself? Does He want the Mormons to be an example and allow the LGBTQ community in… welcoming them with open arms? That won’t go over smoothly and I believe the LGBTQ community is fully aware that this assault will create a loud cry.

    Are they doing it for publicity? Why would anyone from the LGBTQ community want to push their way into somewhere they are clearly not wanted YET?

    A friend of mine invited me to a couple of meetings. I wore a nice slacks and a pretty top the first time…. I was the only woman in the whole church who had on slacks. They just don’t do that. The next time I went back…. I wore a skirt and a pretty little blouse…. but the blouse did not completely cover my shoulders…. I had no idea….. I was so embarrassed when one of the women pointed out my wardrobe error… I left in tears… and never went back.

    My friend told me that my departure had caused quite a discussion…. but the group agreed… I was in error and they have strict rules on the subject…. and anyone who does not drink coffee or tea because it is against their very strict rules… has my respect…. If I go back I will wear appropriate attire.

    I read the Book of Mormon… I’ve attended a Mormon meeting…. there is no place in that society for the LGBTQ community and the LGBTQ community is well aware of that fact. This is an assault… and I’m not sure the REASON for the assault has anything to do with gaining Salvation through Christ.

    Sorry… I think the LGBTQ community should leave these people alone. But that’s only my opinion… based on the facts as I know them.

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      The so called book of mormon, their so called prophet, and every so called member of their faith are enemies of all the world. They are either willfully or blindly following the teachings of a con man and would be dictator, that there is no truth or useful aspects of the so called prophets teachings, purely an indoctrination tool to turn generations of humans into something less free thinking then a stray dog.

    2. Lionheart says:

      I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormons) for many years. Yes, now I believe their teachings are not based on truth, but then again I now feel the same way about all religions.

      When I was a member I found them to be extremely warm and friendly, even though I now see it’s based on false doctrine, just like other religions. There are con men in all religions, they stand out by their wealth.

      Whenever there were world disasters the LDS church were often there first with aid. I had a position in the Church as a High Priest. I never witnessed any brutality, or people committing molestations. Often people get the RLDS Church mixed with the LDS church. Yes I’ve heard of sexual improprieties with the RLDS Church. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any in the LDS Church because it happens in all societies, I just wasn’t aware of any when I was a member.

      For the record, I was christened Church of England (as a baby I had no choice) raised Methodist as a child (again had no choice), joined the LDS Church years later, (my choice) gravitated towards Wicca as Pagan, and have now been in recovery from all religion for about 16 years. Married a recovering Jehovah Witness, now a secular humanist like myself, though she still has some slight feelings towards pagan metaphysics. Some of my family are still Mormons. Some, like me, have left the church, and those that have, have left all churches.

      🦁❤️

      1. directortice says:

        I was baptised Baptist at the age of 12…. my decision…. my grandmother use to preach when the regular preacher couldn’t make it across the river and up into the holler…. and my uncle is a preacher… retired now…. and my great great great whatever grandfather was a Primative Baptist Church preacher. So I come from a long line of believers….. then I came home and found my husband with a man…. and that just blew my boat out of the water….. That was… ironically… the day the first man walked on the moon…. I crawled out of a bottle after three kids… and he tried to throw me out of a car going down the interstate… because I might tell someone he did something illegal…. I left my first husband…. took my three kids and ran…. I thought the church would support me… since what my husband was doing was such a “sin”…. but they did not…. on top of that… my last church invited a friend of mine to leave because she had mental issues… “by-polar” so she could not be there….

        There’s a lot of false preaching and there are a lot of poorly run churches…. but one thing has never changed….

        I love the Lord with all my heart…. always have and hopefully I always will….

        I am “seekeroftruth” on another site… I have been posting a daily Bible study for years…. here’s the link… https://forums.somd.com/forums/religion.30/

        Becky

        1. Lionheart says:

          It’s interesting how lives change as we grow. Some stay in the church, some move out altogether, some find the church, some are glad they haven’t found it, each saying we have found our truth.

          Thank you for your life’s story, Becky.

          🦁❤️

  5. Rod Gesner says:

    Because of the Strict Authoritarian Male Dominated Mormon Family Structure;
    I doubt if These students had any Choice of Where to Go to University…
    And despite their “Religious Freedoms” All Schools; All Citizens…
    Deserve the Same Basic Rights and Protections;
    as afforded By Our Constitution and Bill of Rights..

  6. Rev. Brien says:

    Here we freaking go again. Ok youngsters, gather around and let me lay out some truth for you:
    1. Life is not fair, get over it.
    2. Not everyone is going to like you. That is being human, get over it.
    3. If you wish to attend ANYTHING that has its’ own rules and conduct, you need to conform. They did not ask you to join, you asked them. Get over it.
    4. Stop all of your damn pity party whining. You have made your life. If you cannot deal with it, then change it. I am ok with mine, get over it.
    5. If you are the victim of a CRIME the only correct choice is to REPORT IT TO THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY! Any other option chosen is WRONG and will lead you to harm and disappointment. Get over it.
    Now all of the above we older folk call commen sense. I have come to realize that most of the younger generation are missing this. I will do my very best to give you some. Get over it.

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      1. Life is fair, and things are not in themselves unfair just because they are negative.. The point of society and civilization is to seek constant improvement, Improvement comes via change. The young should always be encouraged to seek change. Change even if it has moments of negativity are not inherently bad nor unfair.

      2. Being likable is a sign of charisma. We should all seek to be as charismatic, diplomatic, and talented socially as possible. People who defend their intolerable behavior are pretty much what we call arse holes. I am pretty sure you do not know what being human is as you clearly are not a human.

      3. Conformity that requires surrendering free will, self identity, and humanity is the definition of evil tyranny. Actually universities are always advertising, asking for donations and support, so they actually are the ones that need to adapt and change or die off.

      4. Wanting equality and an end to oppression due to sexual preference or self identity is not a pity party, a pity party would be going boo hoo the young want to change things for the better and we old folks that are lucky to not just be tossed in a soylent green vat because we offer no use to society or the world dont like change. You clearly are not happy with your life because you feel it is being threatened by change.

      5. Part of the issue only touched upon in the article is that if you are assaulted on campus, you are not allowed to seek the aid of the law. You are to keep it in house so to speak. and if you speak out about an assault to the news you can be kicked from the school and have all the time and money youve invested taken from you by those you paid to provide a service.

      I dont think you understand what common sense is. But then again your not a human so it doesnt surprise me.

      1. Rev. Brien says:

        You are one of those with no common sense. Life is NOT fair, you have to WORK HARD in order to make it good for you. If you ask to attend anything, then follow the damn rules or take your poor me butt somewhere else. Why should people have to put up with you? They did not ask you to join them, YOU ASKED THEM. Please explain to me what part of that you do not understand. And if you are freaking dumb enough to not report a crime IMMEDIATELY, then you have no room to complain. Grow a damn backbone. No one can tell me not to talk to the police, and I am CERTAIN they would be very interested in some made up rule that says not to. And as far as common sense goes you little brainless twit, it is people just like you that are taking this world straight down the toilet. I support your right to express your opinion, that does not mean I think you are intelligent. GET OVER IT.

  7. Gerardo Defendini says:

    Look. It’s not as complicated as that.
    1. School rules. If you don’t agree with them, you have three options. A. Go to another school that is more in line with your beliefs, B. Start your own church, you can use this same website for that and they are great. 3. Drop out and study something else. So called “Educators” at dozens of Universities all over are in fact teaching students their own thoughts. Political, Spiritual and otherwise because the educators have “freedom of speech”. I don’t necessarily agree with this but if they can do it, this University certainly has that right also.
    2. If the issue is a legal one (sexual abuse, criminal acts, clear discrimination in violation of the law, etc.) then report it to the police or sue. Remember, though, in this country everyone is innocent until proven guilty, so do whatever you need to do to gather evidence.

    There is no need to insult the Mormon Church, Christianity, The LGBTQ students, the Democrats, Republicans, or any other group. I am an interdenominational minister and I will always accept the faith of my clients without judgement. I quote from this very website where you are posting your comments. I assume you are all ordained here. Look under “get ordained” at the bottom of the page and then read the very first paragraph.

    I quote,

    “One of the ULC’s fundamental beliefs is that everyone should be afforded equal freedom to exercise their religious beliefs – whatever those beliefs may be.”

    If you don’t agree, you should not be ordained in a website that believes just that.

    This is, in my opinion, an easy one.

    1. Lionheart says:

      Totally agree with you Gerardo. Schools have rules. Nations have rules. City’s have rules. Even homes have rules. Abide by them or move on.

      Sadly, insults are very common on this blog, especially by those involved in religion.

      🦁♥️

      1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        Lets keep what you say in mind while tackling a serious issue I am very familiar with. PTSD sufferingcombt vets. Pretty much everyone of them is psychologically incapable of fully assimilating back into society. Many due to their mental health and common incidents like attacking a family member or drawing a weapon on one while in the throes of a flashback are typical stripped of their right to own weapons.

        Everyone one of them I have ever treated ignores that and continues to keep firearms illegally.They always say a nearly identical thing. That they fought for this country, it is their country more so then any who did not fight, and no one can tell them that they cant own weapons to be able to defend themselves with. This combined with abuse of substances from alcohol to pain killers to harder drugs always leads them to further conflict with the law, becoming a chronic guest of the jail or prison or rehab depending on the tolerance of the judges.

        This situation plays out all over our country on likely a daily basis.

        So should those wounded mentally ill vets just move on and not be allowed back into our society at all? Because they can not. Should we just lock them away?

        Or should we be able to recognize that rules are ideas that need to be challenged and changed as society changes?

    2. Rev. Brien says:

      Thank you. I understood every word and agree with all of it. Just for the record, I am Catholic, baptized and raised. I do question the Catholic behavior as I find some of it to be horrible. I will debate issues concerning this religion and am proud to do so because it does not practice what it preaches. And in keeping with my own common sense I do not attend a Catholic church because I cannot abide by the rules. I want all people to be good with their beliefs but many are not. Those people need to find another path. ☮️ Peace

  8. Secretary3rd says:

    Private school with rules fellow the rules or go to another school. If a student is attack and the school does nothing he or she or trans can go to the police. Then you have the Net where washing ones problem seems to be worst than people doing nothing about a problem.

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