History and controversy behind the Honor Code

BYU-Idaho adopted the Honor Code in 1921 when it was still the Bannock and Fremont Stake of Academics, according to the History of the Honor Code from the BYU-I Special Collections and Archives.

Boys and girls met in separate meetings and each group adopted their own code, according to the BYU-I Special Collections and Archives.

The girls chose to have simplicity in dress, no transparent or party dresses, no french heels, no rolled stockings or fancy garters below the knees, no skirts shorter than thirteen inches from the floor and no extreme hair or lipsticks, according to the document.

The boys paid no special attention to dress standards, but concentrated on dance standards, according to the document.

“Honor Code policies and principles are promoted by BYUSA, the campus student association and the Honor Code Office,” according to the Church Educational System Honor Code, operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

During the application process, every student agrees to comply with the policies and terms of the Honor Code, according to the CES Honor Code webpage.

Silas Morris, a junior studying neurobiology, said the Honor Code is fundamental and a small price to pay in order to receive abundant and spiritual resources through upholding the spirit of Ricks.

“It’s an outward expression of an inner commitment to follow the Savior,” said Dalton Hoffman, a junior majoring in interdisciplinary studies. “It is the highest standard that we abide by in order to receive the blessings that are available by following the path of our Savior.”

Hoffman said professionalism is a nice by-product of the Honor Code but the Honor Code is not about professionalism.

“Once you adopt that attitude in regards to the Honor Code you lose sight of why we have the Honor Code and what it’s really about,” Hoffman said. “It’s about individual commitment. It’s to believe the policies given to us are of God and not of man. It’s God who upholds those policies that in return we receive those blessings.”

Shawn Squires, a sophomore studying history, said men are given principles to live by and they should govern themselves.

“When I see other people judge others’ spirituality because they may or may not live by the honor code, honestly, it makes me mad,” Squires said. “It’s not our place to judge, just like Christ teaches repeatedly in the scriptures. It’s very easy to have a pharisaical attitude about the Honor Code and that isn’t what the honor code should be about.”

Tanner Gilliland, a writer for Mormon Millennial, said if there is a blessing to be obtained from observing the Honor Code, it is only when that observance is founded in the keeping of a commandment.

“If aspects of the Honor Code are not predicated upon a law, then there is no inherent blessing for following them,” Gilliland said.

Gilliland said the Honor Code may bring positive results but does not grant blessings from God.

“I sincerely hope that students will have more agency and choice in the matter, to be able to be more involved in the revision of the honor code,” Squires said.

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