BYU students put on their craziest zombie, princess or Avenger’s suit for Halloween and head out for an evening of dancing and picture taking.
While BYU students celebrate Halloween like the rest of the world, they set themselves apart in several aspects — one being the costumes worn.
As students head out to purchase their Halloween costumes, the Honor Code’s dress and grooming standards loom in the background. BYU’s Honor Code policy for dress and grooming states men and women should always be modest, representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For women, this means no sleeveless, strapless, backless or revealing clothing. Also, dresses, skirts and shorts should be at least knee length. For men, the Honor Code says, “Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, revealing, or form fitting,” and shorts must be at least knee length too.
Carri Jenkins, BYU spokesperson and assistant to the president for University Communications, said Halloween is no exception to the Honor Code.
“(Students) should keep in mind that with their costumes they should uphold the Honor Code,” Jenkins said.
Sara Starita, a junior from Lakeville, Minn., majoring in elementary education, said while living at Alpine Village, the Halloween parties had several immodestly dressed people in attendance. Starita said costumes go too far when people begin to justify them as a means to dress immodestly.
“People should definitely, definitely maintain their modesty,” Starita said. “I think if you start by justifying things that you wear just because it is Halloween, then it is an easy road to start justifying other things. So, it is probably safer to just stick to your standards, no matter what the holiday.”
Tyler Toronto, a junior from Farmington majoring in business management, said leggings can sometimes be an excuse among the female population when the shorts or skirt are too short.
“Girls will maybe have the excuse of having their leggings, like ‘Oh, it’s covering, right?'” Toronto said.
In most instances, Toronto said his experiences have been positive with students on Halloween. He said the dancing is much more clean at BYU and that students dress appropriately. Toronto said as a man, he does not worry about modesty as much as do women.
“I could imagine it would be really hard to always stay modest,” Toronto said. “I could see it being hard, but we don’t run away from our standards.”
Jessie Valentine, a junior from Brea, Calif., majoring in nursing, said she has never seen anything immodest during her stay at BYU. She said Halloween should not be a day to lower one’s standards.
“It is important to never lower your standards,” Valentine said. “Being modest shows respect for your body, and it shows respect for Heavenly Father and what he has given us.”
Valentine said modesty is something Latter-day Saints have been taught since youth.
“Is your modesty and spirituality even worth justifying with a Halloween costume?” Valentine said. “It is one day of the year, and you are modest every other day of the year.”