Ambiguity continues over the intent of BYU Honor Code changes announced Feb. 19.
In response to confusion regarding the changes, BYU Clubs sent an email later in the day on Monday, Feb. 24, announcing that Honor Code Office Director Kevin Utt would “be presenting on the recent changes and adjustments to the Honor Code” in an open meeting, but university spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said that was incorrect and the Honor Code office would continue meeting individually with students who have Honor Code concerns.
The wording change eliminated any mention of homosexual behavior, including the clause prohibiting “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.” Members of the campus LGBT community have interpreted it as allowing gay dating. A university statement in a tweet on Feb. 20 seems to imply that’s not the case. And groups are forming to take shots at the university for either being too liberal or too vague.
“We have removed the more prescriptive language and kept the focus on the principles of the Honor Code, which remain the same. The principles of the Honor Code align with the doctrine and policies of the Church,” university information manager Todd Hollingshead said Monday, Feb. 24, echoing what the university had said almost a week earlier in a tweet about the wording changes. “We will support and guide each student according to the principles outlined in the Honor Code. As we have said so often in the past, we will handle questions that arise on an individual, case-by-case basis.”
Neither BYU Communications nor the Honor Code Office have made any official statements besides last week’s tweet to clarify the Honor Code wording changes. Some BYU students and others said they spoke to Honor Code Office representatives and confirmed that gay students are allowed to date, hold hands, kiss and do anything straight students are allowed to do and remain in good standing with the Honor Code.