As temperatures are rising in Rexburg, students at BYU-Idaho are expressing varied opinions on the dress and grooming standards they are required to follow.
BYU-I’s dress standards have been around for years. Dating all the way back to 1921 when the honor code was adopted, according to the History of the Honor Code from the BYU-I Special Collections and Archives.
The original dress code was more heavily restrictive. Girls were required to wear simple dresses, with no fancy features such as garters or transparency. Dresses had to hang below the knee, and if a woman wore a skirt, it could be no less than 13 inches from the floor. In addition, there was no extreme hair or lipstick allowed.
By the 1960s, the honor code changed, allowing women to wear slacks.
“Although it’s not okay to walk around in booty shorts and a tank top, I do believe that dress code here at BYU-I is too strict with reasons that are not concrete,” said Tim McClure, a freshman studying public health. “Why can’t we wear shorts? ‘Cause reasons. Why can’t guys grow beards? ‘Cause reasons, Jesus had a beard, so why not we?”
“What I don’t understand is the rule with shorts,” said Jarom Hoezler, a freshman studying business finance. “In the summer, everyone can be warm and find discomfort in the blazing sun wearing pants. If I could change one rule, it would be to allow us to wear shorts.”
According to the BYU-I Dress and Grooming Standards, “Shorts are not appropriate campus attire” and “Flip-Flops and other casual footwear are inappropriate on campus.”
Sonny Middlebrook, a freshman studying mathematical sciences, disagrees with a change in dress code.
“We all came to BYU-I fully aware that there is a dress code implemented and expected for us to follow,” Middlebrook said. “We signed the contract agreeing to follow the rules, so why is there any need to change the dress code when it’s been the same for years? There are worse things in life than sweating.”
Hailey Bone is a senior studying animal science. Similar to Sonny, she agrees with the dress code.
“I don’t know why people are struggling so hard to follow dress code procedures,” Bones said. “I see girls wearing leggings, booty shorts and all sorts of immodest clothing on campus. It is distracting often and inappropriate for a learning environment. Shorts would be nice on campus, but people will take advantage and push the limits.”
Although some girls share similar beliefs with Hailey, others disagree.
“The required athletic dress code [sucks],” said Hayley Westenskow, a junior studying art who likes to express her personality through her outfits. “If I want to work out at the gym, why can’t I wear solids? And why do I need to wear BYU-I approved shirts and bottoms?”
The dress code at BYU-I has changed multiple times throughout the years, but in the 1990s, a set dress code was worked out. Despite the wide variety of opinions on it, it has changed little since.