Welcome back: Here’s what you should know about what happened this summer


From campus construction and Church news to the Honor Code and sports, here is some of the news you might have missed while you were gone this summer.

Campus construction

Construction in the Cougareat is scheduled to be completed by September 3, the first day of the fall semester. (Hannah Miner)

Heritage Halls, 450 East and the Cougareat have been under construction since the beginning of the summer. The orange cones, construction workers and blocked roads will be around for the foreseeable future, but administrators say the Cougareat will be completed by the start of the fall semester.

According to Dining Services, a Wendy’s and the connecting space between the BYU Bookstore and the Cougareat will open September 3.

Choices — a restaurant that will cater to vegetarian and vegan guests and those with food allergy needs — was supposed to be finished by Education Week, but the date for completion was pushed back to September 3.

Milk and Cookies is a lounge that will honor BYU’s stone-cold sober legacy. It will serve signature baked goods and BYU Creamery milk with an option to blend mix-in flavors like mint brownie or cookies and cream. It will be located between the Cougareat and the BYU Bookstore, and Dining Services said it will hopefully be operating by late September.

The Cougar Express has been relocated to the northeast corner of the Cougareat and is now open.

In Provo

Two hundred Zagster electric scooters have come to Provo and 300 more will be added in the coming months. (Addie Blacker)

Electric scooters arrived, a fire blazed, some construction began and other construction continued in Provo this summer.

Provo partnered with the company Zagster and released 200 Spin scooters and 100 bikes into the city on Aug. 9. The scooters, which cost $1 to activate and 15 cents per minute, stop working on temple grounds and on the BYU campus. Three hundred more scooters will be added in the coming months.

On July 29, more than 100 firefighters worked to put out the blaze named the Alaska Fire. The human-caused fire burned over 489 acres in southeast Provo near Oregon and Alaska avenues. It quickly burned uphill and did not result in any evacuations.

Provo City closed 500 West and parts of Center Street to install a new storm drain and pave the road in concrete. The previous storm drains were decades old and in need of replacement, according to Utah Department of Transportation communications manager Geoff Dupaix. The roads reopened mid-August, but construction remains on Bulldog Blvd. and will continue through March to improve sidewalks, driveways and landscaping, replace water lines and add bike lanes and raised medians.

Church announcements

Dani Jardine
The members of the new First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints share a laugh together during a press conference at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake, January 16, 2018.

Temple sealings are now allowed immediately after civil marriage

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on May 6 that couples will be allowed to be sealed in the temple immediately after their civil marriage takes place. Previously, couples who chose to have a civil marriage before being sealed in the temple would have to wait a year before being sealed.

Full-time mission costs rise for missionaries from select countries

According to a First Presidency letter sent to the Church’s international and local leaders in 18 North American and European countries, the cost for full-time missionaries will increase by 25% next year, from $400 to $500 a month. The price increase will only apply to missionaries from 18 nations, which include the United States, Australia and Japan. Changes will take effect on July 1, 2020.

Church announces updates to ‘Children and Youth’ initiative

On May 8, 2018, the First Presidency announced an initiative that will replace current children and youth programs within the Church beginning January 1, 2020. On July 15, a notice was outlining program changes and the timeline local Church leaders should expect between now and the new year.

FSY to replace EFY in US and Canada

The Church announced on July 19 that it will launch For the Strength of Youth conferences in the U.S. and Canada starting in 2020, bringing an end to BYU’s Especially for Youth conferences. For the Strength of Youth conferences, known as FSY, are largely modeled after BYU’s Especially for Youth conferences and have taken place outside of the U.S. for more than a decade.

Church releases clarifications on the Word of Wisdom

The Church released a statement on August 15 clarifying the Word of Wisdom. A New Era article clarified that the Word of Wisdom prohibits various substances, including vaping and e-cigarettes, as well as green tea and coffee-based products.

Church launches mandatory abuse prevention training for leaders of children and youth

On August 16, the Church announced new, mandatory abuse prevention training for all adults who interact with children and youth as part of their Church calling. The Church also strongly encouraged parents to participate in this training. The Church said this training will align with Church teaching on Christ’s love and ministry to children.

Honor Code updates

Students, alumni and community members gather outside the J. Reuben Clark Law Building on April 12 for a protest against the Honor Code. (Hannah Miner)

The BYU Honor Code Office made changes to its procedures following a student-led demonstration conducted on campus on April 12.

Honor Code Office director Kevin Utt released a statement on May 14 announcing the first of many changes made to Honor Code Office procedures. It stated students will be notified immediately regarding why they have been asked to come to the Honor Code Office.

Some groups pressing for reform said the change was not enough. Two months later, the BYU Honor Code Office updated its website with new procedures and student resources.

There is now a statement of good faith, which will presume the student to not be in violation of an Honor Code policy unless the student accepts responsibility or the investigation determines a violation did occur.

Students are now able to bring someone such as a friend, faculty member or staff member to accompany them to an Honor Code Office meeting.

Students will also have the option to appeal any Honor Code action if the student feels it was not supported by facts, the action was too harsh, the Honor Code Office was biased or new information became available that may change the findings.

Honor Code Office employees will now be called administrators and not counselors. The website states, “To reflect their role as student conduct professionals — and not therapists — staff are now called Honor Code Office administrators. These administrators refer students to Counseling and Psychological Services for mental health counseling if needed.”

As of August 21, the Honor Code Office began using new software to improve initial communication with students and conduct internal assessments.

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 throughout 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,” Utt said. “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.

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 explained the Honor Code Office deals with situations strictly in conjunction with the Honor Code and does not resolve conflicts that could have been settled through effective communication.

Utt said 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.

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.

BYU sports

Clayton Young is the first BYU NCAA track and field national champion in the 10,000-meter event since track and field coach Ed Eyestone won the event in 1985. (Aaron Fitzner)

Yoeli Childs announces return, suspended for first nine games

BYU basketball star forward Yoeli Childs announced via twitter that he would return for his senior season. Unfortunately for the draft hopeful, the NCAA elected to suspend him for the first nine games of the 2019-20 season due to improper benefits received from his agent and mishandling of paperwork.

Clayton Young wins national title

Track and Field star Clayton Young captured an NCAA national title on June 5th, finishing first in the 10,000 meter. This was BYU’s first national title in this event since Ed Eyestone, BYU’s current track and field coach, won the event in 1985.

Jackson Cluff taken in sixth round of MLB draft

BYU shortstop Jackson Cluff was taken 183rd overall by the Cleveland Indians in the MLB draft. In 2019, Cluff started 53 games and held a .327 batting average. He recorded four home runs, 56 RBIs, 65 hits, 20 doubles and four triples. He finished with a .458 on-base percentage while boasting a fielding percentage of 0.97.

Women’s rugby wins national title

On May 4th, BYU women’s rugby captured its first-ever national title with a commanding 48-0 win over Virginia Tech. This was the fifth year in a row that BYU has made at least the national semifinals.

This update was a collaboration by Daily Universe reporters Rachel Keeler, Lauren Lethbridge, Arianna Davidson and Aaron Fitzner.

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