By ASHLEY MCKELL
Both are LDS church-owned. Both require an ecclesiastical endorsement. Both are BYU. But the Provo campus and its counterpart in Rexburg, Idaho, differ widely in their dress and grooming standards.
Only a state boundary line appears to separate the two universities, which are virtually identical in their education, values and religion, but they have conflicting dress code rules.
?I do not see them as stricter but as different,? said Steven Baker, director of the Honor Code Office at BYU. ?The Honor Code is the same for all CES schools; variations are fine but the principles remain the same. Modesty is theirs just as it is ours.?
Dress and grooming standards may not coincide because BYU and BYU-Idaho vary in culture, styles and climate, Baker said.
The BYU-Idaho dress and grooming standards prohibit students and faculty from wearing overalls, flip-flops, hats, shorts and capris on campus. BYU, however, allows students to wear these items, as long as shorts reach the knee.
?Each institution of higher education within CES has a specific mission and responsibility, as well as their own traditions and personalities,? said James Sessions, dean of students at BYU-Idaho.
BYU-Idaho strives to maintain a conservative learning environment, shying away from a grubby atmosphere, he said.
?The brethren I talk to are quite complimentary of our dress and grooming expectations and what they see on our campus,? Sessions said. ?It works well for us.?
Many students at both universities question why the two standards are so different. Heather Dunn, 21, from Bluffdale, attended BYU-Idaho two years ago and is currently a senior, majoring in home and family living at BYU. She grew up constantly wearing flip-flops, but as soon as she stepped on BYU-Idaho turf, her sandals were banned.
Dunn said the most confusing part of these arrangements is not knowing why she wasn?t allowed to wear them when she would have been allowed to wear them at BYU.
She said whenever she asked people the reason for the restrictions, she never got an official answer. Rumors circled the campus as to why the dress codes differed.
But with Rexburg?s often harsh weather, it would be foolish to wear flip-flops and shorts not only on campus, but anywhere outdoors, Dunn said.
After transferring her credits to BYU, she said she felt much happier about the dress and grooming standards she followed.
?It was a lot nicer to come down to Provo,? Dunn said. ?I could wear my flip-flops again, as well as overalls and capris?I could wear my overall capris!?