Brigham Young University Will No Longer Link Sexual Assaults to Possible Honor Code Violations

advisorycouncilreport-copyEarlier this year, women students at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, alleged that victims of sexual assault on campus were reluctant to report many incidents to campus authorities because they feared they would be expelled for violations of the university’s honor code. The honor code prohibits students from using drugs or alcohol or engaging in consensual pre-marital sex. There is also a dress code and a curfew. Students who were sexually assaulted but were also in violation of the honor code, therefore did not report the sexual assault due to the expected repercussions to their status as students.

In response, the president of Brigham Young University established the Advisory Council on Campus Response to Sexual Assault. The council has now issued its report and the president has accepted its recommendations. Now the university, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has announced that information about a sexual assault offered to the Title IX office at the university will no longer be shared with the Honor Code office. The university also stated that “being a victim of sexual assault is never a violation of the Honor Code.”

The university also will hire a new full-time Title IX coordinator and a victim advocate/counselor. The Title IX office will be moved to a new location not adjacent to the Honor Code office.

In a letter to the campus community, Brigham Young University President Kevin J Worthen, wrote: “Our top priority has always been the safety and well-being of our students. This is particularly true for those who have been the victims of sexual assault.  They have been through a devastating experience, and they are looking for our help and support. We have an obligation not only to provide that support, both emotionally and spiritually, but also to create an environment where sexual assault is eliminated.”

Filed Under: Sexual Assault/Harassment


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