The Honor Code: An Integral part of life at BYU

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By Larry Neal, Director, Honor Code Office

BYU provides students with unique educational and student life experiences. There really is no other university quite like BYU. One of the things that make for this unique experience is BYU’s Honor Code. Each of us has made a personal commitment to conduct our lives in harmony with the principles and spirit of the Honor Code. With that commitment comes a trust that we will live lives of honor.

President Gordon B. Hinckley addressed the importance of the Honor Code.

“Everyone of us here has accepted a sacred and compelling trust. With that trust, there must be accountability. That trust involves standards of behavior as well as standards of academic excellence. For each of us it carries with it a larger interest than our own interest. It carries with it the interest of the university, and the interest of the Church, which must be the interest of each and all of us,” he said.

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

Elder Holland, when serving as President of BYU, stated, “There is a great deal of freedom here. We want you to be happy and comfortable… . The great secret I want to share with you this morning is that this isn’t your former high school or any other university. It is a school with a mission, a mission that has been called to by prophets, and we want you the medium … to be representative of the message. That is the agreement we made in coming here.”

As a member of the BYU community, take time to recognize the wonderful spirit the Honor Code brings to campus life. Appreciate and strive to celebrate the “Spirit of the Y” as you honor your commitment, pursue your educational endeavors and enjoy your BYU experience.

Finally, I wish to dispel one great myth. The work done in the Honor Code Office is not meant to be punishment. The purpose and function establish a baseline for how we conduct our lives as members of the BYU community. The Honor Code Office is focused on educating and counseling with students regarding the commitment they’ve made. Action is taken in consequence of not honoring that commitment, but those actions only occur when necessary.

If sometime you find yourself straying or struggling in your commitment, know that there are people available to help you. Don’t wait too long. Come visit us at the Honor Code Office or visit your ecclesiastical leader and let us counsel together to preserve your great privilege and opportunity to be here at BYU.

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