Editor’s Note: *Some names have been changed.
Curfew has always been a part of BYU-Idaho’s Honor Code. Tyler J. Barton, an administrator at the Student Honor Office, gave the school’s reasoning for the rule. Barton said that curfew exists “to protect students.”
“I’ve found that if students come to understand it is a protection rather than a restriction, it will be a blessing in their lives,” Barton said.
Some students take Barton’s side.
“I think if they’ve asked us to obey it, there are reasons we should follow it,” said Mikenna Draney, a freshman studying psychology.
Other students adhere to the same principle.
“I follow it because I agreed to follow it,” said Lola Jones,* a sophomore studying public health. “It’s a responsible adult thing.”
The BYUs are not the only universities with curfews. Bob Jones University has a strict curfew in place. According to their student handbook, “Curfew times are Sunday–Thursday, 10:25 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 10:55 p.m.”
Other students, however, tend to disagree with curfew for a variety of reasons.
Karen Stewart,* a freshman majoring in international studies, said curfew is a pointless rule.
“The majority of places don’t even check to see if we keep it,”Stewart said. “If I’m not doing anything bad then I should be able to break it.”
Other students agree with Stewart, claiming as students are adults they should be responsible for their own actions.
“I think it’s kind of ridiculous,” said Katrina Smith*, a sophomore studying fine arts. “I understand their rules, but I think that we are adults. Be accountable for your own self.”
One popular activity for students who break curfew is McMidnight. On Monday at midnight, students flood both McDonalds in Rexburg looking for a midnight snack. Lines inside the restaurant reach the parking lot and the average wait time for the drive-thru is 20-30 minutes.
In addition, some students just lose track of time while watching movies on Netflix and playing games. Others like to go stargazing by Beaver Dick Park.
Some students, like Robert Dickinson*, a sophomore studying computer information technology, are just indifferent to the rule.
“On the one hand I think it’s unnecessary because sins aren’t nocturnal,” Dickinson said. “On the other hand, it’s nice to use as an excuse to ditch whatever you’re doing and go to bed.”
Many students on campus believe the ruling of curfew tampers with agency. “Yes, you do have agency, and you exercised it when you committed to your ecclesiastical leaders and to BYU-Idaho that you would obey all of the principles of student honor as a condition of admission and attendance,” Barton said to students who say curfew limits choice.
Barton said once students have pledged to abide by the Honor Code, following curfew becomes a matter of personal integrity. Regardless of the debate, this continues to be BYU-I’s standard.
Barton said the Student Honor Office typically visits with students who are caught breaking curfew. “We commit them to live it in the future. If they are reported again, we have to look at it more seriously.”
There are exceptions to the rule. According to the BYU-I Spiritual Environment document, “When attending university functions that end later than established curfew hours, such as plays and concerts, students should be in within 30 minutes after the event is over.”
Another exception to the rule is students who work overnight, such as the janitorial staff.