With the BYU Housing changes starting to take effect, students everywhere are wondering what happens next.
At the beginning of this year, BYU announced a drastic change to their honor code policy taking effect this fall (details in the link) which essentially opened up any Provo housing to both BYU and UVU students after a BYU student’s first year at the school. For the most part, students have responded very positively to this news, since it represents a step towards greater freedom for both BYU and UVU students when it comes to housing.
However, as this policy is about to take effect, some students are realizing that with these changes come some unanticipated challenges. We spoke with Brandon, a BYUSA member and BYU student who has listened to many student concerns about the upcoming policy implementation, and thus has valuable insights about these challenges.
Here were the two biggest obstacles that he observed:
1. A large portion of apartment complexes are no longer going to be BYU-approved, meaning that tenants lose much of BYU’s housing protection when they seek legal recourse.
Essentially, this means students won’t be able to appeal as easily to BYU Housing authority if they ever have issues with their housing and landlord, like they could before. As Brandon said:
…BYU is basically still able to help a little bit, but there’s not a whole lot that they can do anymore. So I think that’s one of the biggest unforeseen consequences, that if you have an issue that pops up… it’s going to be a little bit harder for you to get a third party involved. You’re going to have to fight it with the landlord, and they usually have a lot of [negotiating] power.
So, before you end up signing your contract, make sure to check our ratings pages (made by wonderful tenants like you!) to make sure that your management is top-notch.
2. Due to the Fair Housing Act (which states that landlords cannot discriminate based on race, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or disability), landlords cannot enforce sex separation for dorms.
This means that BYU students are placed in a difficult situation if someone from the opposite sex decides to move into their dorms. The 2022 BYU housing policy states that “Single BYU students who find themselves in individual dwelling units where sex-separation is not maintained, that is, where a roommate (or apartment-mate or housemate) who is a member of the opposite sex has moved in, are required to find other housing arrangements, at the student’s cost.” As Brandon observed:
There’s not a whole lot that BYU can do. Their answer was kind of like, ‘Well, come talk to our office. We’ll see if we can work something out.’ But policy-wise, there’s not a whole lot of protection against that.
Though the potential of being forced to move out of a lease mid-contract may sound alarming, is this situation really that likely? Brandon doesn’t think so.
I think it will be very uncommon. There’s not a lot of college students that I think would want to move in with a group of the opposite gender.
All in all, the biggest takeaway from our conversation with Brandon is just how unknown everything still is. This policy is unprecedented for BYU, and many of the potential ripple effects are yet to be seen. However, he did have some words of comfort. If you’re in a tricky housing situation, BYU won’t abandon you. He said:
If you do run into any of these issues, like if someone’s trying to move in, or if you’re having problems with the landlord, still come and talk to BYU and go to the office to make sure your voice is heard. They’re willing to help you through it.