BYU-Idaho President gets criticism, support after posting dress code reminder

Posted at 5:08 PM, Sep 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-19 19:12:24-04
A screen capture of the President of BYU-Idaho's Facebook page.

A screen capture of the President of BYU-Idaho’s Facebook page.

REXBURG, Idaho — The President of Brigham Young University-Idaho has drawn messages of both criticism and support after he posted a reminder to students regarding the school’s dress code.

BYU-Idaho is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and students agree to abide by an honor code, which includes a dress code more strict than is found at many colleges in the country.

The statement reads:

“Good Afternoon! I had the opportunity yesterday to get out of my office to visit the Constitution Day display in the McKay quad. It was inspiring to see the flags and read the words of the prophets about the U.S. constitution. I am grateful for all the people who made the display possible.

While out and about yesterday I noticed that a few of you (and it was a few) may need a refresher or perhaps an introduction to three items in the dress and grooming standards. The three things that caught my eye yesterday were pants that did not make it down to the ankle (some hemmed off 4-8 inches above the ankle, some pants rolled up that far); faces of young men not clean-shaven; and shorts on campus (mostly BYU-I shorts – just remember to wear warm-ups).

You may wonder why the president of BYU-Idaho would spend time on these small things. Here is the reason: The dress and grooming standards are one of those small things on which big things depend. Obedience in the small things creates a spirit of obedience in all things. And obedience brings the blessings of heaven, to you individually and to the whole campus community. I hope you will help each other to be obedient in even these small, but important, things. I send my love and hope you will share this message with roommates and friends.”

The post has inspired many comments, ranging from supportive to critical. Click here for the conversation that has sprung up on the school president’s Facebook page.

One commenter,  Lori Keller, said she didn’t understand why the school’s dress code differs from that of other schools owned by The LDS Church: “While I understand the obedience portion of your comments, as a parent, I’m trying to understand why the dress code for BYUI is different than BYU. Why no Capri pants or shorts to the knee? They aren’t against the church dress standards so someone help me understand why both church schools don’t have the same dress code.”

Brittany Littlefield expressed her support, stating in part: “I am grateful for the dress and grooming standards at BYU-I. I always loved how the student body took it to Elder Clark’s request to heart and choose to wear attire that was professional rather than the sloppy look.”

Other comments on the post, like those of Aaron Brown, seemed to take on a more sarcastic tone: “As someone who can’t control his own thoughts if a woman dressed in anything less than a full-body cast comes within 100 yards, I’d really appreciate it if BYU-I would modify its Honor Code to take account of my sensitivities. Since we know the Celestial Kingdom will feature similarly modest attire, all the more reason to embrace a Celestial standard now. As things stand, your school is a den of iniquity and I dare not set foot on campus.”

What do you think of the school’s dress code and the president’s reminder? Let us know in the comments.