BYU-Idaho has updated the shaving exemption procedure for students with the addition of a seminar each semester.
According to the Honor Code section of the BYU-I website, a student must meet the following criteria in order to obtain the shaving exemption. The criteria are:
— Medical condition.
— LDS Church Media video production assignments.
— Actively participating in an officially recognized religion which advocates the wearing of a beard as one of its religious tenets.
If a student does not meet these criteria, they will not be able to obtain the shaving exemption card.
“The (procedure) hasn’t really changed much,” said Christian Turley, a sophomore studying business development. “It’s more that the administration wants to make sure that people know what the policy is and that there is an exemption, but it’s obviously not a rule that anyone and everyone can break.”
Turley said the main change includes the addition of a seminar that students requesting a shaving exemption are required to attend.
“You go to a seminar now where they just explain the beard policy: obviously people should be clean-shaven to look respectful, and then you go meet with an administrator who runs over the ruling again in a personal, one-on-one conversation with you,” Turley said.
Bryson Swann, a junior studying business finance, has also experienced the shaving exemption procedure changes. He has mixed feelings about the new seminar.
According to Swann, previously students only had to go to a doctor, who would provide them with a slip of paper that could then be used to obtain a shaving exemption card from the Student Honor Office.
He said one of the big reasons for this change in procedure is because too many students are abusing the system.
“I feel like these changes don’t really prevent anyone from abusing the system; it just creates more of a hassle to the students and to the school itself by trying to implement this,” Swann said.
Swann thinks the attitude of students would change if the Student Honor Office explained why they implemented these changes and how it affects the campus.
Earlier this semester, the Student Honor Office met with over 200 young men, both in the classroom and in one-on-one settings.
“Our experience with them was positive and enjoyable,” said William Riggins, Student Honor Office director. “Most, if not all, left having a better understanding of why we uphold the Honor Code and an elevated commitment to meet the standard as close to medically possible.”
For more information on the shaving exemption procedure visit the BYU-I Honor Code website.