New Online Section Added to Ecclesiastical Endorsements

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The BYU Honor Code has always required students to turn in an ecclesiastic endorsement to be enrolled for the next academic school year; however, this year students will have to complete an extra unexpected task.

In addition to getting an endorsement from their ecclesiastical leader and signing a personal agreement to adhere to the Honor Code,  students will also be required to take an online quiz to be enrolled for the Fall Semester 2012.

According to Larry Neal, the director of the Honor Code Office, the process of adding this new tutorial has been underway for a couple of years and was designed in an effort to test students’ knowledge of the Honor Code. He said university believes this online addition to be a more effective way to renew ecclesiastic endorsements. Another goal is to help remind students to focus on other aspects of the Honor Code they may have overlooked or forgotten.

“The intent of the tutorial is to educate students on principles of the Honor Code that may need to be reviewed,” said Larry Neal, director of the Honor Code Office in an email. “As they complete the online process, it is hoped that students will reflect upon their commitment to conduct their lives in harmony with the principles of the Honor Code.”

This is the first attempt BYU has made in conducting a supplement to the ecclesiastical endorsement process, and like most new processes, it was not expected to be perfect the first time. Students who have taken the quiz have commented  on the subject matter.

“I was surprised that I had to take a quiz to get an interview,” said Reed Kleinman, 24, a junior from Mesa, Ariz., studying information technology. “The questions were hard.”

Another student voiced his concern regarding how the online tutorial’s questions and pictures of things that were deemed inappropriate by the Honor Code could be viewed as a double standard.

“I don’t think the online process is unique,” said David Ballard, 25, a senior from Wisconsin studying physics. “I think it just shows a few really good examples of an odd double standard that we encounter.”

Although there have been issues pointed out regarding the new online quiz, the underlying theme of abiding the Honor Code remains intact.

“I think the idea of reviewing ecclesiastical endorsement and having to review the standards … is a good thing,” Ballard said.

According to Neal, the online tutorial process is still in the beginnings stages. However, the overall goal of continuing to educate students of the Honor Code and holding them to abide by the standards remains the primary reason of adjusting the endorsement system. The Honor Code sets BYU students apart from other universities. Students at BYU hold themselves to a higher standard, which reflects on the university as a whole.

“Students should remember they came to BYU to learn in this unique environment in preparation to go forth and serve in the world,” Neal said. “Through that service they will have the opportunity to share the message and the mission of this great university.”

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