A freshman student at Brigham Young University-Idaho said she failed a photography assignment after turning in a photo featuring a model whose shoulders were exposed, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Waverly Giles tweeted four photos on Nov. 29 — three of them featuring a bare-shouldered woman dabbed in swirls of colorful paint, and the fourth showing a grading rubric for a Foundations of the Humanities course featuring handwritten comments: “Did not meet criteria for assignment. I have no idea what to do with these. They’re artistic but ... .” The rubric shows no entry for points earned.
“My photographs meet all of the criteria but my professor gave me a 0 because he couldn’t see past her visible shoulders,” the tweet said.
Giles later tweeted that she had asked her professor why she had a zero in the grade book for an assignment she had turned in. “He said the nudity was against the dress code,” she said in the tweet.
BYU, owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, enforces an Honor Code that regulates dress and grooming habits, with the Rexburg campus prohibiting unnaturally colored hair, sleeveless tops, beards and flip-flops, among other things.
"My subject was not fully nude and she wasn't posing provocatively," Giles told the Tribune. "But yes, the shoulders were against the [university] dress code and it did imply she was in the shower."
Giles was met with an outpouring of support on Twitter, with her tweet garnering almost 300 retweets and more than 550 likes. Many people replied with examples of famous artworks that feature partial or full nudity.
The subject of Giles' photo, freshman Jenna Larson, told the BYU-I student newspaper that she thought the instructor's reaction was "unnecessary and not justifiable."
The school has declined to comment on the grounds that university policy does not permit public discussion of a student's grades. Giles tweeted that her professor had offered her a second chance at the assignment.