First ever Honor Day creates spirit of service during Homecoming

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Dani Jardine
BYUSA Executive Director of Student Honor Mimi Ross mans the raffle table at the first ever Honor Day activity. (Dani Jardine)

Over 2,500 acts of service were completed in a two-hour period during BYU’s first ever Honor Day on Oct. 6. Inspired by the university’s annual Honor Week held every winter semester, Honor Day brought a day of service to Homecoming week.

BYUSA Vice President of Student Honor Simeon Toronto spearheaded the activity alongside the department’s executive and program directors.

“A life of honor starts with service,” Toronto said. “We feel like students are at their best when they’re looking outside themselves.”

Honor Day featured a service activity scavenger hunt with ten simple acts of service for students to complete. Activities on the checklist included writing a note to the football team, holding the door open for someone, and cheering on students outside the testing center.

Students were entered into a prize raffle upon completing all the activities. Prizes included a $200 Visa gift card and BYU Nike gear.

BYUSA organized Honor Day over the course of the last month, despite the standard 12 week planning guidelines they follow for most activities. Executive Director of Student Honor Mimi Ross worked closely with Toronto to make the noontime activity happen.

We throw all of these events in BYUSA to reach out to the student body and to bring us all together, to unite us,” Ross said. “As you go out and serve other people, you’ll forget yourself and you’ll be happier.”

BYUSA’s Student Honor department focuses on celebrating and embracing the university’s Honor Code with planned events. The unit plans activities like the Honor Speech contest and Honor Week. Student Honor also focuses on serving students on campus while Y-Serve, another on-campus organization, facilities student involvement in community outreach.

Honor Day also included activities like posting on social media and students recommitting themselves to the Honor Code by reading it and signing a banner.

Dani Jardine
Kaylie Johnson, a student majoring in nutritional science and psychology, participates in the service scavenger hunt and shares that BYU students’ desire to serve sets them apart. (Dani Jardine)

Kaylie Johnson, a student majoring in nutritional science and psychology, participated in the Honor Day activities. She is grateful for the unifying aspect of the Honor Code and BYU’s commitment to service.

“Our motto is ‘enter to learn go forth to serve’,” Johnson said. “When you come (to BYU), it is all about growing and using your talents to serve other people.”

BYU’s first ever Honor Day proved to be a success with the completion of a combined 3,690 service and honor activities, surpassing the initial goal of 2,000. Toronto is optimistic about Honor Day’s potential to continue in years to come.

Dani Jardine
BYUSA Vice President of Student Honor Simeon Toronto directs students to the different activity booths during Honor Day. (Dani Jardine)

“We hope (Honor Day) sticks to campus culture like gorilla glue,” Toronto said. “We have totally missed it every year during Homecoming to not celebrate the best part of BYU, which is our integrity, our honor, our virtue.”