Go ahead. Fill in the blank. Out loud. Fill it in with some nasty comment about how horrible, absurd, self-righteous, ignorant, judgmental, clueless, homophobic, racist and toxic the student body there really is. Tell everyone how much you hate it, hate stupid Utah and everyone who lives there. Tell it just like you see it. Go on! Feed the hate. Feed the anger. Because if you want to be cool and intellectual and acceptable to the rest of the world, there is one thing a person must never do - and that is to approve of and share anything positive about Brigham Young University, its students or culture. And sharing positive things about icky Utah? Never.
You see, Brigham Young University is a private university run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And everyone should really hate this place. Why?! Because there is this horrible thing there called the "Honor Code"! It requires that you comply with clear standards of modesty in dress and action, entertainment, curfews, and church attendance! It is all about control I tell you! BYU's honor code is a bit less lax than BYU-Idaho's honor code, but still too demanding by any public university's standards nonetheless. Some of the more controversial parts of the honor code include men needing to be clean shaven (unless they have express written permission and a special "Beard Card" to prove they are cleared to have a beard) *gasp!*, and girls needing to keep their skirts and shorts to the knee (whether they are sporting their dress with or without leggings), and their shoulders and cleavage covered. *The horror!!*
Go on. Keep on gasping. Keep on hating. Because we know you have it in you to nit-pick about the injustice and the strictness and the ridiculousness of every last tittle and iota in that honor code until your fingers and eyes bleed . . .
Just know that all that nit-picking won't change the fact that students who were accepted to that university chose to attend, knowing full well what was expected of them when they signed their name - their word - to that contract.
The way I see it, it is the young-American-college-student-culture is lacking in integrity and proper judgement. Judgement that allows you to see the larger picture. Ultimately a society that values tolerance and catering to everyone's sense of comfort or entitlement over speaking truth or encouraging integrity and responsibility is one that is doomed to fail. I'd rather be surrounded by people who encourage me to honor my contracts to the letter (even in seemingly silly matters) over being in a world full of people who have no sense of morality at all.
Why must so many try to deconstruct an institution that at its heart and most often in practice is the embodiment of truth, integrity, and honor? Why do individuals promise to abide by the tenants of a contract, but then become offended or laugh in the face of those who challenge that obvious lack of compliance? Why do they bring it as far as to try to change the whole culture? "Get rid of that horrible contract! Justify those who break the contract! Hate on the enforcers of the contract!" they say. Go on! Spread the word about what a terrible, horrible judgmental culture it is that try to keep their word and disapprove when you don't keep yours!
Seriously? What good comes of that? What justice is served because of that? How is anyone better off or more inclined to improve with that kind of speech? Don't BYU haters - who are also incidentally often BYU grads or LDS themeselves - realize how destructive they are? If you're over 18 and living in Utah or attending BYU and hating the culture with a firey passion, go somewhere else for school! Live in another state! There are hundreds of institutions that can serve you up the cynicism, moral reletavism, and highly liberal world view that you seem to crave so much.
Don't get me wrong - I know there are some quirky things about the culture of BYU and Utah. Sometimes really quirky and annoying things about the culture. In fact I used to be a bit of a Utah hater myself until I lived there for 5 years and grew up a bit. Yes, there is some ignorance on that campus, and when defending principles or ideas, not everything is said in the perfect, tactful, and loving way that it should be said. Sometimes, the culture focuses a bit too much application of principles instead of the actual principles. I've even caught myself complaining about the students at BYU from time to time. Like for example, when I did an extensive survey about BYU's mate selection and found data that confirmed that women at the school valued a man's higher education more than their own. "WHAT?! HOW DARE THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION THAN MINE OR VALUE DIFFERENT WAYS OF SPENDING THEIR TIME AND ENERGY THAN I DO?!?!" I thought, in so many words. Yeah, I've repented of that. Because ultimately when push came to shove and God told me one thing and feminist culture were telling me something different, I found myself choosing what God wanted me to choose. I found myself fitting into the box on my survey that a couple years earlier I had despised. I learned from those so-called ignorant BYU students. They had some wisdom I was too proud to accept for a time.
News flash to all you BYU haters: The world is full of people who are imperfect. All people and all cultures have imperfect things about them. BYU is different. And so it creates a different kind of culture -with different imperfections.
While you may hate BYU culture for its particular imperfections, I propose that is exactly BYU's "differentness" that makes it so great.
You can go read any college edition of Newsweek to find out about how BYU is the most popular university in the country, or how their business program is top-tier, or how there is an extremely disproportionate amount of BYU graduates working for Pixar. But to me, BYU is so much more than that!
Brigham Young University is a university where students, and assisting parents, benefit from incredible value. Students receive a world class quality education at an extremely low cost because tuition is subsidized by tithing collected by our church. I was able to graduate debt free.
Brigham Young University is filled with people who are wholesome, kind, and good. People who are not perfect, but are trying their best to live how God wants them to live. People who go out of their way to help, love and support you in any way they can. People who care more about others more than themselves. People who try to honor their word and to encourage you to do the same. A few of my most favorite people and very dearest friends were roommates or classmates at BYU.
Brigham Young University is filled with professors who not only teach the secular curriculum (and very well I might add), but who also teach the spiritual components of those secular topics. Professors who know your name, who will talk with you after class, who make you fall in love with life and learning and truth.
Brigham Young University is a place where many people find their spouses. A place where you can find people who share your same values and ideals for life. A person who you can build a life and a family and forever with. I know I found my forever lover at BYU.
Brigham Young University is a place where you can actually say all that you want to say. In secular universities, religious talk is often viewed as anti-intellectual, counter-productive, or just simply not appropriate. But at BYU, you don't have to be a afraid to make connections between secular and spiritual truth. In fact, you learn there that truth whether secular or spiritual are deeply intertwined.
Brigham Young University has a code of honor that keeps the environment wholesome, pleasant, safe and clean. It protects the virtue of students. It creates an opportunity to exercise integrity and to be accountable for your actions. It calls for students to live a higher, better way. A way that benefits themselves and those around them.
Brigham Young University is a place where students routinely hear speeches from the top leaders of their faith about how to be better and to come closer to God. The speeches are directed specifically to them and their stage of life.
Brigham Young University's student wards give oppurtunities to many young people to serve in leadership positions that they otherwise wouldn't usually experience. They are growing leaders and teaching young people responsibility. I know I had experience serving in several capacities that I would not have experienced for another 10 or 15 years at least (if that!), had I not attended BYU.
Brigham Young University's honor code while restrictive in some ways actually contributes to a very lively and creative student body who know how to have good clean old-fashioned fun.
I love my Alma Mater. I will always be proud to be a Brigham Young University graduate. I own all the funkiness of the culture and the benefits, privledges, and responsibilities being a graduate from that beautiful university has provided me. I love BYU!!!
My newsfeed was getting too clogged up with that silly and hateful BYU rhetoric. So, I thought it was time to take my stand on the issue and offer up a voice for you who feel the same. Now keep the positive words coming!
Tell me, what do you love about BYU?