Enforcing BYU's honor code with threats of arrest | Buzz Blog

Enforcing BYU's honor code with threats of arrest

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An issue I had wanted to delve into more for this week’s cover story was how BYU has considered students who don’t comply with the Honor Code as trespassing. ---One former student was threatened with criminal trespass for having facial hair on campus.

Jason Brown, a former student at BYU recalls on numerous occasions flaunting BYU’s rule on unauthorized facial hair, but recalls a time in 2007 he pushed his luck enough that he was escorted out of the BYU library by campus police. “I didn’t have a computer and it’s like a discreet computer lab within the library,” Brown says. “But they have people that are staffing the lab and some of the guys have a tendency to patrol the place looking for scruffy men I guess.”

Brown says he was asked to leave and decided to tell the staff he wasn’t leaving until he finished the assignment he was working on. After refusing the order, Brown says a supervisor repeated the warning. After Brown still wouldn’t budge, campus police soon came in and escorted him out. As Brown was being led out of the library he shouted to the library that he was being arrested for not shaving. While the students assembled got a laugh out of it Brown says the campus police officer did not find the outburst amusing.

“The cop said ‘do you think this is funny?’” Brown recalls. “I said 'I don’t think this is funny. I think this is ridiculous'. He then took my name and information and said the next time it happened I would be arrested for trespassing.”

The issue of honor code non-compliance as trespass also extended to a number of students who joined in protests against the policy in 2007 that lead to it’s clarification regarding gay students. Student protesters were told they also could be arrested for trespass. When asked about the honor code being enforced with the added threat of arrest for trespass, BYU’s Honor Code Office Director Steve Baker wrote via e-mail: “I am not familiar with either of these situations.”

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