Integrity and Compliance Office offers safe way for students to report noncompliance

The Integrity and Compliance Office is located on the C-wing of the 2nd floor in the Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building. The office’s hours of operation are between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Hassan El-Cheikh)

The Integrity and Compliance Office, located in the C-wing of the Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building, seeks to keep the university safe by managing a hotline in which anyone can report any corrupt, suspicious, dangerous or illegal happenings at BYU.

According to its website, the purpose of BYU’s Integrity and Compliance Office is “to help the campus community follow statutory obligations, regulatory requirements and university policies.”

To accomplish this, the university uses a compliance hotline where employees and students can report suspicious activity. Both employees and students can choose to report anonymously.

As explained on its website, the compliance hotline “promotes a safe campus environment, protects BYU resources, promotes compliance with the law and internal policies and procedures and reduces financial losses due to fraud, waste and abuse.”

Rod Aguayo, public relations representative at the ICO and known by many on campus as the accordion player, said the office also helps the university write its policies.

When students come to the Integrity and Compliance Office, they can expect to be greeted by the ICO’s Rod Aguayo. While most know him as the accordion player on campus, he also works for the ICO and is a junior majoring in psychology. (Hassan El-Cheikh)

“The policies website where all the BYU policies can be found is managed by the ICO,” Aguayo said.

Aguayo explained the university has created policies for things such as animals, unfair grading and skateboards.

Despite its presence on BYU campus, many students have never heard of the ICO office. Aguayo said many students on campus mistake the ICO for the Honor Code Office.

“I would say the biggest challenge we face is that no one knows about us, and the few people that think to know about us think we are the Honor Code Office,” Aguayo said.

It is the ICO’s hope that when students realize the office is meant to protect the community from issues like fraud or abuse of power, they will be more willing to report.

The ICO’s hotline has an option where those who submit reports can remain anonymous for students who may be hesitant to come forward with concerns.

“Something cool about the compliance hotline is that it can be anonymous, which means that if someone is afraid of retaliation, students let the university know about it without putting themselves in danger,” Aguayo said.

Chief Integrity and Compliance officer Sarah Brinton explained compliance is a dry and unattractive concept to many people, which makes it difficult to promote to the campus community. To combat this, Brinton said the ICO hopes to dispel some of the “boringness” associated with compliance.

“We use that perceived somber, serious boringness as an opportunity to reach students and employees through things that both inform and delight,” Brinton said.

In fact, surprising students by showing them how interesting it can be to learn about the ICO’s role is one of Brinton’s favorite aspects of the job.

As office area in the Integrity and Compliance Office. Students are always welcome to visit the ICO. (Hassan El-Cheikh)

“My students, staff and I get to think through what the most fun and … professional way to talk to students about the hotline is and the answer often involves wit,” Brinton said.

Through fun and professional education, the ICO hopes more students will feel comfortable about the idea of compliance and report problems they may see.  

BYU freshman Porter Rasmussen from Reno, Nevada said the hotline is a great option for students who want to keep their integrity without compromising their relationship with someone else.

“I think it’s a good option to be able to have a place to report stuff anonymously, so you don’t feel like you’re betraying the person you’re reporting and can feel honest without compromising yourself,” Rasmussen said.

Students can contact or submit a report the ICO on its website or by calling at 801-422-6103. They can also visit the office in person at C-286 in the Smoot Building.

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