By now you’ve probably heard about Brigham Young University’s decision to dismiss aspiring athlete Brandon Davies from its basketball team because of a violation of the honor code. Davies admitted to having sexual relations with his girlfriend which disobeys the honor code rule to “live a chaste and virtuous life.” The BYU honor code includes the following:
- Be honest
- Live a chaste and virtuous life
- Obey the law and all campus policies
- Use clean language
- Respect others
- Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
- Participate regularly in church services
- Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
- Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code
Initially I read about this and pretty much disregarded it. It’s no secret that BYU, a private university, has very high standards. Then I saw all of the press this was getting. I immediately turned on defense mode. You see, I’m Mormon myself, and the vast number of people that are misinformed about Mormons is overwhelming, so we’re not always reflected in the best or most “normal” light.
This time was different. As I saw each report I realized that many of them weren’t focusing on the standards in the honor code, but the fact that BYU actually upholds them. Bravo, BYU.
Looking through the list on the honor code, I’m pleased to know that BYU doesn’t back down when people infringe upon it. Applying the first principle to myself, I have to admit a sense of longing when reading and hearing about BYU recently.
Ever since I was around 7 and got a BYU cheerleader Barbie doll, my dream was to go to one of the three BYU schools: Provo, UT; Rexburg, ID; or Hawaii. A friend that went to BYU gave me a tour of the campus when I was 13 and I fell head-over-heels in love. When it came down to apply for college I applied to three schools: BYU, BYU-Idaho, and UNK. I was accepted to all three and given scholarships to all three but in the end, Kearney won because of cost. I don’t regret my decision in the slightest but there are times when I wonder, “What if?”
I wish more people understood Mormons. Yes, we use electricity and, no, we don’t have multiple wives. If I had a nickel for all of the misinformed people that have asked me strange questions about Mormonism, I would have had enough money to attend BYU. I guess that’s why they say ignorance is bliss. Thinking Mormons are weird is more fun than realizing the truth.