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OFF-CAMPUS MANAGERS MAY GET SURPRISE EXAM

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Some managers of Brigham Young University-approved off-campus housing may get a surprise exam this summer.

The BYU Off-Campus Housing Office mailed about 300 tests to new owners and managers of BYU-approved apartments to help them learn the office's policies. This is the second year the office has administered the tests.The test, complete with a bubble sheet but no No. 2 pencil, must be passed in order for new applicants to receive BYU-approved status, according to John Pace, Off-Campus Housing Office manager.

"We used to have a training seminar but found it is easier to train them this way," Pace said.

Pace said that if a manager flunks or refuses to take the test, the owners are responsible to see that the managers take and pass the test. If the situation isn't resolved, the apartment can lose its approval status.

"We usually give them a chance to keep taking (the test). It's not really a challenging test," he said.

That's no understatement. While most questions are related to off-campus housing regulations, others seem to have nothing to do housing requirements. For example, one question asks, "According to (BYU President) Rex E. Lee, what makes BYU unique is . . . " Others ask about the mission of BYU and the BYU Code of Honor.

Pace said that after the test is completed, the managers must have an interview and go over the test with an off-campus housing official.

Ed and Carol Ivey, resident managers of The Sycamores Apartments, believe that while the BYU-approved status helps students find quality housing, the test they took last August was definitely different.

"It's kind of dumb in our opinion," Carol Ivey said. "They (BYU) try to control everything - but they're a private institution so I guess they can." She added that the owner of the Sycamores, who is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns BYU, thought the test "was kind of stupid."

Pace admitted that some apartment owners think the process to become BYU-approved - such as the test and yearly apartment inspections - isn't worth the trouble.

"I know of one person who decided it wouldn't be in their best interest to continue with the approval," Pace said. Some have withdrawn from the program, he said.

However, approval status is important to most apartment owners in Provo because single undergraduate students are required to live in BYU-approved housing. Pace said that at the beginning of every year, the off-campus office checks on all single undergraduates to determine whether they're living in BYU-approved housing. Students found living in unapproved housing are asked to move, he said.

The approved status also benefits owners by arbitrating discussions with unhappy tenants and listing the apartment complex in the BYU Renter's Guide.

BYU is among a handful of schools in the nation that require students to live in approved housing, and BYU's approval program is the most intricate in the nation.

"It's quite rare," Pace said. "There are only two or three other universities that have a program like ours."

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(Additional information)

Making the grade

Sample questions from the BYU Off-Campus Housing test:

In the BYU Code of Honor, BYU students make a commitment to:

a. obey the law

b. be honest

c. respect others

d. b and c are correct

e. a and c are correct

f. all the above are correct

Which of the following are NOT PERMITTED in or about the premises of approved student housing:

a. pornography

b. gambling

c. obscene conduct

d. disruption of the peace

e. indecent material

f. a, c, and e are correct

g. a, c, d, and e are correct

h. all of the above are correct

(Correct answers are F and H, all the above.)