The following is part 1 of a 2-part post regarding BYU’s Honor Code Dress and Grooming Standards for Men:
I would like to preface this blog post by addressing the very likely possibility that the hyperactive Honor Code Police get wind of this and determine that I am not “Encourag[ing] others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code,” which is, obviously, part of BYU’s Honor Code Statement.
I encourage students to abide by the Honor Code. You agreed to it upon enrollment, and you should be honorable in your fulfillment of that contract.
I do not, however, encourage students to be content with the Honor Code as it is currently constituted, particularly with regard to dress and grooming standards for male students and staff. The Honor Code did not drop from the sky; it was not written upon the tablets given to Moses on Mount Sinai; it did not even exist in its current form when your grandparents were going to school. Far be it from me to discourage obedience and honesty. But the Honor Code is NOT doctrine and should NOT be treated as such. It is a living, highly alterable document about which we, as students, should have some say.
Ironically, the bulk of my post today might actually be shorter than my above attempt at covering my bases should I be reported to the Honor Code Police by holier-than-thou types too common to our campus.
Here is the full text of the Honor Code Dress and Grooming Standards for Men:
“A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained. Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, revealing, or form fitting. Shorts must be knee-length or longer. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extreme styles or colors, and trimmed above the collar, leaving the ear uncovered. Sideburns should not extend below the earlobe or onto the cheek. If worn, moustaches should be neatly trimmed and may not extend beyond or below the corners of the mouth. Men are expected to be clean-shaven; beards are not acceptable. Earrings and other body piercing are not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.”
My first point in this series of two blog posts is quite simple, and it should be obvious by the two pictures above: Both Brigham Young and Jesus of Nazareth (or as far as he is portrayed in modern worship) maintained clean and well-cared-for appearances. Their hairstyles were relatively clean and neat, avoiding extremes in styles and length. Neither of them, however, would be allowed to take classes at BYU. Their hair, as demonstrated here, is NOT trimmed above the collar and does NOT leave the ear uncovered. Their facial hair likewise DOES extend beyond the corners of the mouth. NEITHER are clean-shaven. Their beards are simply unacceptable at campus.
Because their respective hairstyles are neat and were typical of their times, the Honor Code Police would be forced to cite Brigham Young and Jesus Christ for their apparent association with “the appearance, not only of evil, but also of the emulation of undesirable contemporary characters.”*
*Taken from comments from President Wilkinson to parents and students in the Daily Universe on the 12th of November, 1968