Talk:Church Educational System Honor Code

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The Honor Code prohibits beards (unless special permission is granted), but in most pictures I've seen Brigham Young has produced a fine crop of facial hair. What gives? Kram2 (talk) 13:57, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

A description has been added in regards to facial hair exemptions. It is fully sourced and informative as to the required procedure if a beard exemption is needed. This must not be deleted arbitrarily. MacamemeandCheese (talk) 21:15, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the comment. If you remember what Wikipedia is, an enclyclopedia of sorts, this is still far too detailed for inclusion in an article. The exception was summarized in sufficient detail. The procedures of getting an ID picture and all that sort of detail would never be included in a encyclopedia article. You are stretching to indicate removal is unwarranted and arbitrary - no more so than including it! If you feel strongly about the need to help others out, perhaps you can include a link or reference to reflect the procedures. ChristensenMJ (talk) 21:34, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

You're welcome. I disagree that the procedures in regards to facial hair exemption would not be included in an encyclopedia. Facial hair exceptions are an area of Brigham Young University's honor code which have special provisions unlike any other element of the honor code. This fact warrants better description within an encyclopedic article. In my view, there was not sufficient detail in the article as it was in regards to obtaining an exemption. Having the procedure simply laid out in the wikipedia entry is very useful for those wishing to understand how exemptions might be obtained. Moreover, the procedure as described is in fact part of the honor code itself. You said this addition lacks neutrality. You accuse me of stretching things to demonstrate they are "unwarranted and arbitrary," but my additions neutrally lay out the basic procedure--within the Honor Code itself--to obtain a beard exemption. If you believe the policies are "unwarranted and arbitrary" that is your opinion, but my description of them is factually neutral. It may be your own bias about the policy procedures which leads you to delete my addition. However, I think you are correct in observing that the longer explanation does not fit well in the location I originally placed it. It is too unwieldy for the honor code policy section, as that basically consists of a bullet-point list. Since the procedure for facial hair exemptions pertains more to Enforcement, and since the Enforcement section contains paragraphs rather than a bullet point list, this seems a much more appropriate location. I trimmed the word count from 230 to about 130, making it smaller in context of the overall encyclopedia entry. In this way, the information about the exemption is still available, but not in a way that distracts from the entry's overall content. I hope this is a sufficient compromise, and thank you for your attentive eye.MacamemeandCheese (talk) 22:30, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

This does seem to work much better. There is some confusion in the above comments about "unwarranted and arbitrary" portions - this wasn't to indicate that the content (assertions or policy) were not presented in neutral fashion - it had been indicated the removal itself was "unwarranted and arbitrary" - that was the part that needed to stay neutral, avoiding direct implications against another editor. As you noted, particularly with the bullet-point list, this was not a good placement and it was far too detailed for the setting and context. That prompted the removal - as I have absolutely no bias, as asserted above, which led to the removal. There was never any attempt to dispute the facts of the policy, one with which I am very aware, as I am with many CES policies. Thank you for the word reduction as well, it reads much better and more concisely. ChristensenMJ (talk) 01:47, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Excellent, your clarification on "arbitrary" etc. makes sense now. Glad we could work together on it, thanks for the help.MacamemeandCheese (talk) 02:31, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Other campuses[edit]

The BYU campuses in Idaho and Hawaii also have this honor code. It may be appropriate for some portions of this article to be rewritten to be not quite so Provo-centric or at least to address the other campuses. For example, regional variations such as the BYU-H issue of kava can be noted. Alanraywiki (talk) 05:58, 4 February 2008 (UTC)


The cheating section needs citation from a reliable sources, non-scientific poll does not qualify.Schnarr 04:45, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

If you have a better source, add it. Otherwise, we'll use the best we've got. Wrad (talk) 05:16, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
The education literature generally reports that schools with honor codes have a lower incidence of cheating. See for example Cheating in Academic Institutions: A Decade of Research. The results are mentioned in the article but no citation is provided, and the source of these results is obviously questionable.
Unfortunately, the Cheating section seems devoted to explaining the bogus results, so I'm not sure what, if anything, should be kept. And the final sentence of the section is an unsubstantiated slam on students of other institutions, suggesting that students of other schools are not as used to living honestly:
Also, many students are used to living honestly, making the honor code more of a continued commitment than a new one.
I honestly don't see anything in the Cheating section worth retaining. Is there content that needs to go there, or should the entire section be deleted?
--JWaters (talk) 19:35, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I've removed the Cheating section for now given the above issues.

--JWaters (talk) 20:37, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Southern Virginia University[edit]

I noticed an anonymous editor has added a mention of Southern Virginia University into this article. I thought about simply removing the reference, but on second thought decided to keep it since SVU's honor code is likely based on or is at least very similar to the honor codes used at the CES Schools, so the mention is relevant to this article. I reworded the sentence to make it clear that although SVU holds LDS standards, it is not an "LDS school" since that implies the LDS Church owns the school or is affiliated with it in some way, of which neither is true. --JonRidinger (talk) 18:46, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I moved it to the history section, since UTSA also has a similar honor code; and it does not belong in the lead since it is tangentially related to this article. --Eustress (talk) 00:29, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Makes sense, especially with the mention of UTSA. I was not aware of the UTSA Honor Code. Good find! --JonRidinger (talk) 03:48, 8 January 2009 (UTC)


Soulforce has criticized BYU's honor code, saying it is discriminatory against LGBT students at BYU. LGBT students at BYU have in turn complained that Soulforce does not represent LGBT students at BYU. The fact that LGBT students have made that complaint was deleted from the article, with the argument that Soulforce didn't claim to represent LGBT students at BYU. I disagree. According to the website, Soulforce claims to fight for the freedom of LGBT people. I think it is very relevant that some LGBT people do not think they are doing a good job fighting for their rights. But what I think really doesn't matter and amounts to original research. We are supposed to report what is being said, not what we think should be said. Whether a Wikipedia editor believes the complaint is a valid complaint or not, it is a complaint that was covered in news. If Soulforce had made some statement in response to the accusation, then such a statement would appropriate to include in this article. However, the original accusation should remain. Joshuajohanson (talk) 21:46, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

In the end, this article isn't about the debate whether Soulforce or any like group represents all LGBT people, but is instead about the BYU Honor Code. The article mentioned how the section of the Honor Code dealing with homosexuality was criticized by many gay advocacy groups, including Soulforce. Any controversy about whether Soulforce is a valid representative of LGBT students at BYU would belong in the Soulforce article, not here. It's not that the statements you refer to aren't notable or important, but for this article, they aren't really relevant. The statement in this article about Soulforce is only to verify that some gay advocacy groups did criticize BYU's policies. --JonRidinger (talk) 23:18, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I think it is relevant because the reader should be aware that not all gay BYU students agree with statements by these gay advocacy groups. If I reworded it to say "Some gay students at have defended the BYU honor code, saying allegations by these gay advocacy groups do not represent actual students dealing with homosexuality on campus." That keeps the focus on the Honor Code. Joshuajohanson (talk) 23:42, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, the article doesn't imply that all gay students share these views since it attributes them to the groups that made them. Again, I think the main point is that the policy was criticized by outside groups, identified as "civil rights groups, including Soulforce." If you want to show some dissent in terms of other LGBT students, that would go near the beginning of the paragraph where it mentions the LGBT students who criticized the Honor Code's wording. For instance, you could say in the second sentence: "While many LGBT students at BYU have defended the honor code (add source to that statement), others thought that the previous wording was confusing and unclear." Your points are important, but in this article are far more tangential than supplemental. I think they should be included (if sourced) in the articles about those specific groups. --JonRidinger (talk) 00:10, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
They had problems with the previous wording, not the current wording. Soulforce has made an accusation that BYU discriminates against gays. They claim to be acting for the freedom of LGBT people. Then gays at BYU got offended and said that Soulforce doesn't speak for gay students at BYU. The response was a rebuttal to the accusation of Soulforce, which I think is appropriate for this article. The Honor Code had already been changed by then. Joshuajohanson (talk) 01:16, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
All of this is very valid for the article on Soulforce. This article, as it currently stands, makes no specific reference to what Soulforce actually said other than that it was one of the "civil rights groups" that criticized BYU and the honor code, so including a rebuttal from some LGBT BYU students doesn't fit, which is why I removed it. Again, they are related, yes, but only tangentially. Perhaps the section needs to be rewritten to make sure the reader knows that these "civil rights groups" continue to criticize BYU and the honor code in spite of and even after the modifications have been made but that not all LGBT students at BYU agree with the criticism. We just need to make sure that we don't have this spinning off into a statement and philosophical debate about Soulforce and if they "represent all gays" or not or if what LGBT BYU students think of Soulforce or any like group since that isn't the topic for this article; the Honor Code is the topic: what it contains and how it is perceived and used. --JonRidinger (talk) 02:06, 29 April 2009 (UTC)


I have removed the sentence that stated the following: "BYU also does not permit fraternities nor sororities." I have done so because (1) there was no reliable citation to support the claim and (2) because I have found a couple sources that state otherwise. For instance, a 2000 BYU NewsNet article explains that BYU banned "social units" in 1994 but that frats can exist as BYUSA clubs if they adhere to certain standards. Furthermore, this opinion piece says that frats do exist at BYU.

Anyway, if anyone can provide more evidence one way or the other, that would be great. But until the matter is clear, I suggest removing the text. —Eustress talk 04:34, 10 April 2010 (UTC)


There needs to be a section about the criticism of the honor code, as presented by students, alumni and 3rd parties. I spent two years at the school, and the number one talked about thing on campus was how biased, irrational and elementary the honor code was. The school is in denial if it tries to hide this fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:21, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Also, the "No one may advocate homosexuality or promote homosexual relations as being morally acceptable" line needs to be removed. The clause supporting that claim was quietly removed in January 2011. Mistahdoom (talk) 23:53, 5 October 2011 (UTC)mistahdoom

It is also worthwhile to note the restriction on religious freedom. LDS students who convert to another religion, or who publicly become atheist, are not allowed to enroll in classes, graduate, or receive a diploma. ( - "Former LDS students are not eligible to receive an ecclesiastical endorsement"). Mistahdoom (talk) 23:53, 5 October 2011 (UTC)mistahdoom

The standards section presents value based POVs. For example, words that describe certain lifestyles and behaviors as "appropriate", "indecent", "inappropriate", and "clean" are absolutely opinions and personal values that are not shared by everyone. This section would be fine if it were quoted verbatim from the honor code. However, it's not. The language could be made more neutral by saying "Living what the LDS church considers to be a chaste and virtuous life" for example. Now, the Conflict with Official Doctrine section... There are no opinions there. There is only the fact (from the honor code) that former LDS students cannot practice their new religion and still receive an endorsement, and only the fact (from official LDS scripture) that the LDS church claims the privilege of allowing everyone to worship however they may. There are no opinions there. Yet it keeps getting deleted. Why?

-PonderosaPineapple  — Preceding unsigned comment added by PonderosaPineapple (talkcontribs) 19:09, 26 November 2013 (UTC) 
From what I'm seeing, this is a case of WP:SYNTHESIS, which states: "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources." Criticism sections need to cite actual criticisms, not present what an editor believes to be a flaw. Simply putting this fact together and this fact together and then "letting the reader decide" is a form of original research. This is not an argumentative or persuasive paper; it's an article that states actual published facts. Citing the Honor Code and the 11th article of faith does not, in itself, constitute a sourced criticism. You would need an article from a reliable source where that specific criticism (in this case the apparent contradiction between the Honor Code and the 11th AoF) has been addressed. --JonRidinger (talk) 21:43, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, JonRidinger understands and has tried to convey the reality. Even though PonderosaPineapple has tried to slam my efforts and threaten to report me, including looking to find out how to do it, the revert edits & associated comments I have made have tried to convey this thought. The edits amount to wp:or. I am not a resident groundskeeper, nor do I think the article is mine, nor is it the LDS Church's. An edit has to be verifiable. You'll see that as this discussion takes place. I have not reverted things that are still an issue to allow this discussion to take place. As to the Standards section, the entire article is pretty clear that it honor code is based on beliefs or values of the LDS Church. There isn't need to note that in every instance because that in and of itself can be a way of implying those values aren't value, within the scope of their religious beliefs. ChristensenMJ (talk) 22:33, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

ChristensenMJ, as you can see, the Conflict with Official Doctrine section now says nothing about criticism or contradiction, so your point is moot. It is simply two sourced facts, placed together, that just happen to conflict. That's all. It's a legitimate conflict with doctrine and it is what it is. It's not my problem if makes you uncomfortable. And you've reverted plenty of non-controversial edits. For example, you reverted the correction to the Word of Wisdom prohibiting illicit drugs. It doesn't. You blanket reverted everything without even looking over it. You are the resident groundkeeper. -PonderosaPineapple — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Whether wanting to be known by PonderosaPineapple or it would seem Wikipedia may be something new to the user. That may include not only misunderstanding what it means to have appropriate verifiability and citing references, but also how to interact in good faith with other editors. I guess it feels like a heavy slam to call someone a "resident groundkeeper" and that's fine. The user seems to feel any of the ongoing edits that are not cited or just constitute original research make me uncomfortable. Rest assured, that is off base. If that is intended to imply I just want to defend the LDS Church at any and all cost, again, way off base. On the other hand, with the exception of one minor edit in August 2013, both "accounts" have been focused only on this article, so it seems there is just an axe to grind and trying to find a way to do that. Just because nothing is said about criticism or contradiction does not make the point moot. One also can't just add a section header - that perhaps tries to imply that equal time is given for conflicting issues and that makes it ok - then not add any content. References to illicit drug use were already previously included in the article prior to recent activity. Please read again what JonRidinger said above and maybe you can focus on the issues, rather than grinding as a one-issue band. So, take the time to review the help and counsel that has been offered for a new user on the talk page for PonderosaPineapple. ChristensenMJ (talk) 06:45, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Whether or not the two sourced statements appear to conflict or not is irrelevant. Because there is no source that directly states the apparent contradiction you clearly want to convey, you are not free to imply it in a Wikipedia article. ALL facts must be properly sourced. Drawing conclusions, especially on something controversial like this, is not appropriate for any Wikipedia article. Like I mentioned earlier, if you were writing a persuasive paper, yes, you could make those two statements and make the case that they contradict each other. No problem. But this isn't a persuasive paper, so it can't be set up like one. You need to find an actual article in a reliable source that has covered this specific criticism. In this article, that fact would be presented as a criticism from whatever group was quoted. If an article can't be found at this time on that specific topic, leave it out. Also be sure to look at WP:WEASEL for wording suggestions too. Avoid statements like "some say..." --JonRidinger (talk) 15:25, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

First, you say it has to be sourced. It is sourced. Then you say it can't state a conclusion. That issue is fixed. Now you say a conclusion cannot be implied. You are moving the goalposts and you absolutely have an agenda here to suppress anything that shows the conflict with doctrine here. You are resident groundskeepers, through and through. Now, tell me, what will you accept for the blatant contradiction with doctrine to be made known to the public here? Any news article? Any study? What? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:42, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry, no, it is not sourced. There is no source that states there is a conflict of doctrine or even mentions it. You simply source the Honor Code and the 11th article of faith. That is not sufficient since neither actually state the conflict; you imply one. The only place that states there is a conflict is your own writing. That is the very definition of WP:SYNTHESIS. Simply putting a "conflict" and "consensus" section does not mean the article has neutrality either. You must find a reliable source that clearly mentions this specific conflict you wish to present or it will continue to be removed. Simply stating what appear to be two conflicting statements (which is a matter of opinion) without a source on the "apparent conflict" is not appropriate in any Wikipedia article. Please understand I'm not saying there isn't one or that reliable sources don't exist for the subject. No, I'm saying the way you have attempted to include this, so far, has fallen outside the established Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Again: whatever you write must have reliable sources that back up every idea and statement, but especially controversial ones. A more appropriate inclusion would be sourcing an article that mentions an instance where that specific "conflict" drew attention (such as a case of a student who may have been unable to stay at BYU because they left the LDS Church or something like that). --JonRidinger (talk) 22:31, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Nothing has changed - there is still a lack of WP understanding. And this snippet from the message left on my talk page "I'm in this for the long haul. Revert how you will, but I will continue to make sure the hypocritical, LDS-sourced facts get out there occasionally" seems to demonstrate the continuing lack of npov. The user has indicated I have an agenda. While I don't believe that's true, but if that is intended to represent that fair and balanced WP use regarding the LDS Church and its related issues exists, that is accurate. I have reverted far too many "faithful" postings by those trying to lay claim to things the church believes to be true that aren't to be stated as fact. The user, through use of 2 different "accounts" - as referenced above - continues to just focus on one article, or parts of it. Until there is balance, npov and following of established WP guidelines, the WP experience will likely continue to be frustrating. ChristensenMJ (talk) 22:39, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

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