Housing invokes a host of words: exciting, frustrating, liberating and in Utah Valley, restrictive.
For many, even after college, student housing is the most affordable solution available. But student housing in Utah Valley is inseparably connected with unique stipulations. Many housing options boast “BYU-approval,” and those options require people to abide by the honor code –a set of BYU rules –whether or not they attend the university or, more bothersome, share the same conservative standards.
But why not look for housing options that are not BYU approved? BYU-approved housing offers a variety of amenities and are also cleaner and of better quality, in part because BYU imposes its rules in order to get approval. The Branbury, Crestwood, Riviera and Raintree Commons offer residents additional amenities such as a pool, hot tubs, free tanning, cable TV and Internet in addition to a long list of free activities.
In exchange these complexes require people to “avoid extreme hair color and styles,” men cannot wear earrings, neither men nor women can have body piercings of any kind, bikinis are forbidden at the pool and “everyone [must] abstain from possessing tea and coffee at all times.”
For those who do not adhere to BYU standards, and even for some that do, the restrictions are patronizing. Property owners are insinuating that people who have body piercings are a negative influence and have low moral standards. It’s also a bit ridiculous to compare coffee and tea to alcohol and drugs.
Bottom line, the largest expense of BYU-approved housing may not be monetary. For some, the lifestyle is simply a steeper price than they are willing to pay. Affordable, safe housing should be available to every young person, but rules require that some settle for less.