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The Honor Code

March 6, 2011 - Al Stephenson
Everyone who follows college basketball is aware of Brandon Davies from Brigham Young. Davies was dismissed from the BYU basketball team for violating the school's honor code. Eventually it was revealed that the part of the code that Davies did not comply with was the leading of a chaste and virtuous life. In plainer terms, he had sex with his girlfriend and premarital sex is a violation of the code.

As most people snickered upon hearing of the violation, I was curious as to what else could be found in the honor code. So I looked it up and here is what I found.

Some of the rules are simple. Be honest. Obey the law. Respect others. These are axioms that we all can, and should, live by. The code becomes a little more stringent though as you read on.

BYU students are expected to use clean language. If you have been to an athletic competition lately - this does not often happen. There are also dress and grooming standards for students. Skirts and shorts should reach the knee. No beards or goatees for men. Some college age "kids" would have difficulty with these requirements. It gets tougher.

Abstaining from illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea. Maybe the last two are shaky, but we would all benefit from staying away from the first three. Most college students do not abstain from these things however. Then there is the matter of leading a chaste life.

It is hard to visualize college students abstaining from sex. Many were sexually active before arriving on campus. So is this part of the honor code unrealistic? I don't think so.

When you arrive at BYU, you know the expectations. Students and faculty at Brigham Young are expected to abide by the code. Since the university is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there is an emphasis on morality. You are aware of this and most students expect to follow the code.

I think you have to give Brandon Davies some credit. He is not whining about the punishment. He admits he made a mistake and is truly regretful. Will he be allowed to play basketball at BYU next season. Time will tell.

The view from my seat would suggest that I have no problem with BYU's honor code. People have the option of attending the school, or not. If they do, the code applies, and you live with the consequences of violating it.


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