*Added Ocober 13th– After receiving some feedback from different people, I just want to make it clear that I understand this is just a rant, I am not expecting things to change.I simply wrote this, because I could. These are, in fact, just my opinions. This is not an actual “letter to the BYU-I President.” Simply a title. Once again, I am very grateful to attend here and although I don’t agree with all the rules, I do follow them. This really is a wonderful university. Sorry if I give off any attitude to the contrary.*
First off, before I go into anything I want to make it very clear that I’m unbelievably thankful for the opportunity to attend Brigham Young University-Idaho(BYU-I). I’ve had amazing professors, church leaders, and met people here that I can safely say will be a presence in my life from now on. However, while attending this university I’ve noticed that, while it is a great institution, there are definitely some aspects of it that I’m having some trouble with.
A quick back story:
I transferred to this school in the winter semester of 2015. It was a long road that made me end up at BYU-I. For those who don’t know, BYU-I, and it’s sister campuses, BYU-Provo and BYU-Hawaii, are Latter-Day Saint(LDS) colleges. With that being said, all three campuses are heavily religious oriented, obviously.
Well, while I did grow up in a LDS home, I went through my own rebellious stage during my teenage years. And no, I don’t mean I just watched a couple R rated movies and drank a red bull to turn up. With that being said, when it came around to me picking a college to go to, going to any of the BYU’s was not on my list of places to go. So instead I went to an instate school in Pennsylvania. While there I had my own “come to Jesus” moment and decided that I do, in fact, believe in the teachings of my church and so from that moment on I decided to make changes in my life.
The changes started slowly, but eventually I decided to go on a mission for my church.
When I came home from my mission, I decided that I didn’t want to attend the same university I had previously. While I’ve met some of my best friends at that school; the partying atmosphere and lack of people to date and hangout with that didn’t involve a bar was limited. So I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to change it up and now here I am.
If you had asked me when I was 15 if I would ever go to BYU I probably would have laughed in your face and flipped you off.
So now here I am, in Rexburg, Idaho. It’s been some getting used to, going from a campus where most people don’t believe in a God and have designated drinking nights like ‘Thirsty Thursday’ to a place where classes start off with a prayer(which, honestly, I dig it) and I can actually have a nice fall wreath on my apartment door without worrying about someone stealing it or drunken individuals puking on my doorstep.
While these few examples of change have been very welcome, there are quite a few that I’m having a really hard time with.
Yes, you read that right. This school has a curfew. Saturday-Thursday it’s 12 am while on Friday nights we are allowed out until 1 am. Now, it’s not like there’s a whole lot to do in Rexburg anyway, but a curfew? This is college. You can’t tell a bunch of college kids that they still need to be in bed by a certain time. I’m 23-years-old. Being told when I need be home is just humiliating.
2. The “Chastity Line”
There is a rule that no one of the opposite sex is allowed in the bedrooms. Which, being a religious school I somewhat get it. You don’t want us boning. So in every apartment there is a point where there is a door that leads to the bedrooms and the bathrooms and where that door sits has been dubbed, “The Chastity Line.”
Like, technically we’re not even supposed to let anyone of the opposite sex back there just to go to the bathroom. Seriously?
Once again, being a religious school I understand you don’t want us having sex, but I’m going to let you in on a few little secrets.
- Contrary to popular belief, boys and girls can be JUST FRIENDS. Which means we can hangout without worrying about any penetration occurring. EVEN if we’re in our bedrooms! I know, crazy.
2. Guess what? If people are really bound and determined to have sex, they’re going to have sex. You can have as many rules as you want, but when there is a will there is a way.
Honestly, it’s just really insulting to me. Once again, I’m 23-years-old, you can’t tell me, as an ADULT, who I am and am not allowed to have in my bedroom. I don’t even have these rules in my parent’s house and my parents are very church oriented.
And on the topic of us being ADULTS, how is this teaching us to live on our own after college? While yes, I understand this school assumes we’ll all be married before we graduate, that’s not the case for everyone. Some of us will actually be single when we leave this place. *gasp* And guess what? When we’re living outside of the Mormon bubble and have roommates that may not be members, are we going to have someone dictating and making sure we’re home by a certain time or that no one is in our bedrooms?
3. Our Appearance
So appearance is a big deal at this school. They say it’s because they want to establish a ‘business’ feel to the campus and to have us look ‘professional.’ In so doing we have a dress code we are supposed to follow. A few being
- No flip-flops
- No Shorts
- No piercings other than our ears(for the girls)
But the rule of appearance that bothers me the most would be the one of “no extreme hairstyles.” Ummm what? What even constitutes as extreme hairstyles? What one person deems as extreme might not be extreme to another. Apparently, ‘extreme’ here means no unnatural hair colors, man-buns, or beards.
I get that you don’t want us to look ratchet, I don’t want to look ratchet either. But just because a girl has purple hair or a guy has a beard doesn’t mean that they don’t look professional.
^Classy looking individuals if you ask me.^
To me, it’s just like they keep adding to these appearance rules so that we all look exactly the same. We are all carbon copies of one another. And for a church that has invested so much money into ads and PR to show others that Mormons look and act differently, you sure aren’t helping your case when you’re having us walking around campus looking like clones.
Another thing, for being such a heavily religious institution, can you please explain to me why my brother can have a beard to enter the Temple, but can’t have one to go take a test in the testing center? Where is the logic in that? Last I checked, I think Jesus had a beard.
Also, the whole no ‘unnatural’ hair color? Umm, I didn’t realize fried, platinum blonde hair was natural. Or my ‘black cherry’ hair was natural either, but for whatever reason, THOSE are ok.
Now, I’m really not trying to be a rebellious, or ungrateful person here. As I stated before, I already went through that stage during my teens. I really am grateful to attend this school, the spirit it provides, and the connections I’ve made. I just think there are some things that could be improved upon. Mostly just treating us like actual adults. Now, unfortunately for myself, I already don’t do well with people telling me what to do and I have to work on that in general. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to be treated as a respected adult rather than petulant teenager.