Honor Code Office incorporates internal assessment system, new student communication

Protesters gather at the Restore Honor protest on BYU campus in April. (Arianna Davidson)

The BYU Honor Code Office released a statement today about new improvements in the way it communicates with students and tracks the progress of its work through a new software system.

Students previously would receive a phone call from the Honor Code Office to schedule an appointment without being informed why.

Now, students will receive a message with a secure link with information about why the meeting has been requested, the reported misconduct and what the students’ rights are through the process. Students may also receive a letter with an invitation to meet with an administrator as a witness.

“Our review of how we serve students showed the importance of clear communication from our office,” said Honor Code Office director Kevin Utt. “This new system allows us to provide the details students want to know upfront while still protecting student privacy.”

Utt explained that the initial detailed communication in both secure letter scenarios will offer more transparency and help students have reduced anxiety during the process.

BYU said in a recent Instagram post that the Honor Code Office met with more than 800 students over the past few months to receive feedback on what changes to implement.

This new system will also measure staff performance and track important patterns. This will help Honor Code Office leadership determine whether all student misconduct cases are being directed in a timely and consistent manner.

Utt said the hires over the past few years have increased the Honor Code Office’s diversity and the new software will indicate areas for training and overall progress.

Aside from the new software and student communication, Utt said there were times when students came to the Honor Code Office to resolve conflicts that could have been settled through effective communication.

The Center of Conflict Resolution is a free resource BYU provides to students. These professionally-certified mediators meet one-on-one with students to give them guidance and prepare them to resolve the conflict.

“Learning how to resolve conflict effectively is such a vital life skill. It can help you improve relationships and experience more peace in in your life,” Center for Conflict Resolution director Ben Cook said.

Cook said these professionals are there to help empower students with better communications skills and an understanding of conflict resolution that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.

Resident assistants, hall advisors and the Off-Campus Housing Office are there to help students resolve situations with roommates that are not connected to the Honor Code.

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