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BYU life for a non-practicing mormon

ahtnaramaahtnarama 0 replies1 threads New Member
edited September 2012 in College Life
Hello, I've been thinking about attending BYU or BYU business college because I know they're great and inexpensive schools, but I'm having issues with their standards.
I was raised mormon and have been baptized at 8 like I was supposed to.
But I don't believe in this church. I actually don't believe in any religion. I don't believe in God, for various reasons.
I know you can go to a BYU college even if you aren't an LDS, but I think the way they see it, I am an LDS because I was baptized into to. So I assume they expect those beliefs of me.
I know that there is a Honor Code, which I don't mind, but I don't know the specifics of the code. You have to dress, speak, & act appropriately. Which I have no problem with. No smoking, drinking, sex, or drugs.
Is this just an on campus thing though? I like to smoke a little now and then and drink a glass when I'm in the mood. I'm not a party person at all, I stay home and keep to myself. I don't believe in marriage right now and I'm attracted to both sexes. So this is why I ask if the Honor Code is just an on campus rule and not a life style.
Does anyone know?
edited September 2012
9 replies
Post edited by ahtnarama on
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Replies to: BYU life for a non-practicing mormon

  • musicallylatinmusicallylatin 3593 replies221 threads Senior Member
    Oh BYU.

    PREFACE: I'm a BYU-Idaho drop out. I did not enjoy it there, even though I'm fully practicing Mormon.

    First thing you need to find out before you even begin is if you are considered LDS by church standards. If not, you're tuition increases.

    Second thing you need to know: regardless of activity in the faith, you are required to get Bishop (ecclesiastical leader) endorsement.

    The next crucial thing that must be asked is are you contemplating BYU-Idaho or BYU-Provo? They are two VERY different schools. While they have the basic similarities, BYU-Idaho is much stricter. Regardless of this, PLEASE read the honor code ahead of time for whichever school you are interested in. It is very strict.

    BYU-Provo's Honor Code: 2011 - 2012 Undergraduate Catalog | Church Educational System Honor Code

    BYU-Idaho's Honor Code: Student Honor Office – BYU–Idaho

    Notice, for any violations of either of these codes at their respective schools you can potentially be suspended or kicked out.

    Also, no one of the opposite sex in your room, period. Curfews of 12:00 midnight.

    I had a roommate at BYU-Idaho who was suspended for a semester for having minor sexual relations with her boyfriend. I also had an ecclesiastical leader proudly profess to having kicked a young man out for drinking coffee.

    These are all serious things you need to consider about the school. It is it's own culture at those two schools. (I can't speak too much for LDS business college.) Religion will be a huge aspect of your life there. That includes addressing your professors as "Brother" or "Sister" and their last name. That includes a prayer and sometimes a song before each class. Church attendance is expected. Your classes will almost ALWAYS work in the religion somehow, and religious classes are required to graduate.

    However, on a better note, you are right they are good schools. My classes at BYU-Idaho were small given the student population. My largest class was a Gen Ed science class with 45 students. I'm even less of a BYU fan as I am a BYU-Idaho fan, so I can't give you too many perks there, however, I've been told it's a nice place.

    Choosing to go to a CES (Church Educational System) school is a huge deal that I would definitely put a ton of thought into. TOUR THEM FIRST! I HIGHLY encourage it. BYU-I especially. BUT TOUR THE SCHOOL! Sit in on a class or two if you can. Look in the dorms/housing. Talk to a few professors. It's essential.

    Good luck!
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  • steellord321steellord321 349 replies0 threads Member
    Just from interviews I've seen of students who were kicked out, I think you're kind of downplaying the significance of their "honor code." They even suspended a star basketball player and what if you change your mind later? What if you decide screw it, you're going to have a relationship or drink caffeine? It is a lifestyle you're expected to follow.

    They have kicked out many over what aren't even legal issues or violations at hardly any other college. Sometimes all it's taken is someone's room gets searched while they're away on break and the college finds whatever evidence. How you going to follow all this when you don't even believe in it? Sounds like a miserable 4 years.
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  • Jared53Jared53 188 replies28 threads Junior Member
    Steer clear of BYU if you are not a practicing Mormon. There is a reason why 98% of that school is Mormon, and a very good one.

    You will be sick and tired with the outright tyranny of the honor code within a few weeks.

    They suspended one of there best basketball players because he had sex. Is that really where you want to be?

    There are other great bargains for your education out there, seek those out. Leave BYU for the people who want to be there. If your having doubts than it's probably not for you.
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  • nerdygradnerdygrad 16 replies8 threads New Member
    Perhaps you should apply to the University of Idaho or the University of Utah instead?
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  • musicallylatinmusicallylatin 3593 replies221 threads Senior Member
    Off topic moment:
    They suspended one of there best basketball players because he had sex.

    Can I just point out, at least they punished him like they would have punished any other student. I'm not saying that banning student sex is right, however, at least the consequence of his action met up with the same as any other students who would have come forward.

    Now back on topic:
    None the less, I just have to jump back in and say that I agree with the earlier statements. The honor code is crazy if you are not LDS.

    This is an article outlining what I like to refer to the Skinny Jean Debacle of 2011. THis happened while I went to BYU-Idaho and made national news. The skinny on a supposed jeans ban at BYU-Idaho | Deseret News Pay special attention to the end of the article where the notes of the testing center manager are included. These really were posted. The school newspaper covered it as well. While it wasn't school policy, it did happen. Just something to consider.
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  • IvytIvyt 3497 replies33 threads Senior Member
    I don't think they were saying it like it was wrong to suspend him; I think they were pointing out that if BYU is willing to suspended their star player think of what could happen to a normal student if they are caught
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  • steellord321steellord321 349 replies0 threads Member
    It was wrong to suspend him, but yes i meant it as in OP is totally screwed if he's caught doing anything similar. Doesn't matter if 1 week from graduation either.

    I mean even most 10 year olds would find some of this like the no caffeine overbearing. You have more rights in the military.
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  • musicallylatinmusicallylatin 3593 replies221 threads Senior Member
    Ah! Gotcha. Sorry, the argument on that earlier when it happened frustrated me.

    However, I do want to point out the school doesn't bad caffeine (even if it doesn't sell any on campus). They do bad coffee, non-herbal teas, and alcohol, as well as any tobacco product.

    No one of the opposite gender is allowed in the bedroom portion of the dorms. Actually, the line between the main area and the bedroom tends to be called the "Chastity Line". While that one isn't a school named term, instead a culturally gained one, it's still pretty ridiculous. Trust me. "Chastity line" is used at, at least BYU-Idaho and BYU-Provo.

    Midnight curfew. 1:00 am on Friday nights. You must be in your room if you are staying on campus and not with a friend (of the same gender). If you miss curfew too many times there can and will be repercussions, including semester or longer suspension.

    I know there's other things I can use to scare the OP away... Hmmm... What else is on my list.

    The dating scene is NUTS! If you are male and want a dependent needy girlfriend to wants to get married quickly BYU/BYU-I is the place for you! If you are an independent, self-reliant, strong girl who is looking for a guy who likes that in a girl, lose all hope now. I wasn't there to date, but the amount of girls who were there for not only that but for marriage is CRAZY.

    While I was there I knew this guy and girl. They met each other summer semester. Started dating by fall. No big deal. Well, they were also engaged by January, married by February. She had never been in a relationship PERIOD. She was barely nineteen for a month by the time they were married. While this is an individual example, it's fairly common of what you see there.

    Seriously... it's a world of its own.
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  • momofteensmomofteens 4 replies0 threads New Member
    I'm LDS, didn't attend BYU myself, but have had lots of friends and relatives attend. My impression is that those who are enthusiastic, cheerful, devout Mormons absolutely love the setting, but those with a little bit more of a rebellious or independent streak often chafe against the strict rules and quirky culture.

    I'd suggest that you go take a visit, talk with students, attend a couple classes, see how you like it. I agree that it's a very good school for a very reasonable price.

    For non-Mormons, I think it would feel a little bit like being a foreign exchange student - you'd need to learn to negotiate your way in an unfamiliar culture. You have an LDS background, so you might have a better sense of whether or not this is an environment you'd enjoy. Did you attend and enjoy LDS youth conferences, camps, firesides, dances, activities, etc.? If so, there's a good chance you'd enjoy your time at BYU. But given the info you shared, I think you might prefer a different experience.

    Also, I'm not positive, but I think all BYU students are expected to keep the honor code rules both on-campus and off-campus. I believe you're required to live in BYU approved housing (even off-campus apartments must be approved), and the terms of the housing agreement stipulates that you agree to follow the honor code on the premises. Maybe somebody more knowledgeable than I am could confirm that.

    Good luck with your decision! I hope you find a great fit, and have a wonderful time, wherever you wind up!

    p.s. I'm new to this website; I found it while researching information for my own kids. The oldest is a senior in high school, and I'm wondering where to steer him. I'm having some of the same questions as you: Would BYU (a great bargain and a great school) be the right fit for my son?
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