BYU May Lose ROTC program over Coffee

The BYU Student newspaper, The Daily Universe, published a scoop last week.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense requires all Air Force officers to sign an oath to defend the constitution — the only obligation for officers in terms of signatory requirements. BYU, however, requires that all faculty, staff and employees sign and abide by its Honor Code, which requires abstinence from tobacco, alcohol and coffee, among other things.

“I told the (university) president in an interview that I would happily abide by the Honor Code on campus, in uniform and on duty, but if I wanted to have a cup of coffee at my house they said, ‘No, that’s not acceptable,’” BYU Air Force ROTC commander Col. Timothy Hogan said.

BYU has one-year limited private exclusions for certain visiting professors. Hogan’s position, however, is a three-year assignment, and the university did not accept his waiver, according to Hogan.

Seriously?  You won’t grant a waiver for a non-LDS teacher to drink coffee in his own home?  Do you really support religious freedom, religious plurality?

According to the Daily Universe,

The commander of BYU’s Air Force ROTC cadets said the program will move to Utah Valley University.

UVU is just 4 miles down the road from BYU.  The story got picked up by both the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, although the News soft-peddled the issue.

Do you agree with BYU’s response?  Do you agree with the Air Force’s response?



8 comments on “BYU May Lose ROTC program over Coffee

  1. The Church has no business telling nonmembers who are enrolled as students or are professors to not drink coffee in their own homes.

  2. It is part of the application to BYU. If you don’t want to be bound by the Honor Code, then have enough integrity not to apply to go to BYU. The Honor Code is not a secret & should come as a surprise to no one.

    I went thru BYU for the nursing program decades ago, specifically because I was not willing to assist in abortions as part of my training, which was required by the university nursing programs in my home state. I did not apply to those programs, because I was not willing to follow their program. If you apply to BYU as either a student or a professor, the Honor Code is part of the program, period.

  3. This is not a student, but an Air Force officer. Are you saying only Mormon officers can serve at Byu?

  4. No, but I am saying that the Honor Code is part & parcel of BYU. If you want to serve at BYU, the Honor Code is part of that.

    My oldest sister, who is not LDS, went to a college in Ohio that was very good, but required that all the students attend chapel every morning. She was not of that denomination, but it was a requirement, & she was aware of it when she applied. She attended chapel every morning. She sat in the back & worked on either her math or German homework, but it was a requirement, & she had agreed to it, & she went. To me this is the same thing.

  5. Serving in the military, it’s part and parcel for military to serve anywhere they are asked. I’m pretty sure that this commander did not request to go to BYU, but was assigned there. I have an air force friend that was required to live in Saudi Arabia. He did not choose to go there. He was also assigned to Abilene, TX. He did not want to go there, but did. He was also assigned to Honolulu, HI. He enjoyed his term of service there. The fact of the matter is that when the US Military assigns you to do a job, you do it where ever they ask, whether you like it or not. It seems HIGHLY likely that this commander was assigned to the ROTC program at BYU and had no choice in the matter.

    I suppose he could have lied and said he would not drink coffee in his home. That would also go against he spirit of the Honor Code. I think it’s ridiculous for BYU to force a non-member, who didn’t choose to teach there but was assigned by the US military. Surely BYU could bend on this issue. If the ROTC program goes to UVU, then it’s BYU’s loss, and UVU’s gain. BYU is being pedantic and stupid on this issue. It’s beyond belief that they can’t be flexible with a non-LDS US Military commander on the subject of coffee. Brigham Young drank coffee, but couldn’t attend the University named after him.

  6. For a church that wants to make the case for “religious freedom” and “”religious liberty”, this is a case of “religious intolerance.” It makes the calls for religious freedom sound hollow when they won’t afford others the freedom to worship and practice according “to the dictates of their own conscience. Let them worship how, when, or what they may.” Why is BYU so hypocritical with non-LDS that they won’t follow this Article of Faith?

  7. The Salt Lake Tribune had an update on this last night.

  8. Oh, it’s BYU. Home of the FAIRisee Mormons. They are all about the letter of the law. I have huge respect for the integrity of this officer for stating that he was definitely going to drink coffee at home, whereas hundreds of students who have signed the honor code blatantly disregard it in secret.

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