So you want to apply for an exception to the honor code’s ecclesiastical endorsement requirement

Application for Exception Decision Tree

tree
BYU students can apply for an exception to the honor code’s ecclesiastical endorsement requirement. Generally, students who desire to either (A) formally leave the LDS Church, or (B) cease LDS practice such as church attendance and participation in their ward, should use this process.

 

As of November 2016, FreeBYU is aware of three cases where students applied for an exception after the November 2015 change. In all cases, after some interaction from the Dean of Students Office, that same office ceased responding to the applicant, and returned neither an accept nor a denial to the application. There is also evidence that exceptions are rarely if ever granted. Until further actual cases are documented, we recommend following this decision tree.

 

  1. You have nothing to lose, either because you intend to transfer, have been irrevocably suspended, or some other reason.
    1. Yes: go to next
    2. No: we recommend you stop. Do not apply for an exception, as the risks (non-response, denial, and increased honor code office interactions) materially jeopardize mental health and educational prospects.
  2. Your ecclesiastical endorsement was withdrawn, you resigned from the LDS Church, or your Bishop refused to sign your annual endorsement renewal.
    1. Yes: go to next right away- you have five business days to apply for the exception.
    2. No: wait- one of these must occur as a prerequisite to apply.
  3. You plan to resign, or have recently resigned, from the LDS Church.
    1. Yes: Go to next
    2. No:
      1. Submit your populated Application for Exception (http://www.freebyu.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Application-for-Exception-to-Policy.pdf) to the Dean of Students Office (deanofstudents@byu.edu); CC vernon_heperi@byu.edu
      2. For the written statement, write something like “My application should be granted because I followed the dictates of my conscience to resign from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have observed the standards of the Honor Code, and will continue to do so.”
      3. Comply with whatever the Dean requests (e.g. interview)
      4. Email us the outcome (pr@freebyu.org), and we will inform other students in general terms, so they will have a data point when deciding whether to follow the same steps 
  4. Resign (e.g. via https://quitmormon.com/#/)
    1. Make a soft copy of the resignation confirmation letter
    2. Within five days of receiving your confirmation letter, Submit your populated Application for Exception (http://www.freebyu.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Application-for-Exception-to-Policy.pdf) to the Dean of Students Office (deanofstudents@byu.edu); CC vernon_heperi@byu.edu
    3. For the written statement, write something like “My application should be granted because, although I must cease participating in LDS practice in order to follow my religious conscience, I will continue to observe the standards of the Honor Code.”
    4. Comply with whatever the Dean requests (e.g. interview)
    5. Email us the outcome (pr@freebyu.org), and we will inform other students in general terms, so they will have a data point when deciding whether to follow the same steps 

 

Reach out to pr@freebyu.org with questions.

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