Flyers expressing anti-Trans sentiments and advertising for film watch party

Current Status:

Although this situation may not be ongoing actively, the Racist & Bias Incident Response Team is working with appropriate departments to monitor and prevent future reoccurrence. Those who believe they have been the target of bias, intolerance or discrimination may report an incident to the public incident report form (bias and intolerance) or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (sexual misconduct and discrimination).

Please direct any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident to the RBIRT Manager at

What happened

On October 27, 2023, the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team received several incident reports regarding flyers that a campus student organization known as Young Americans for Freedom posted in various buildings at the University of Utah. These flyers contain anti-Trans sentiments and advertise a movie watch party of a film that is harmful to the Trans community.

The student organization followed the appropriate procedures to get the flyers approved for display in the Union and other buildings on campus. While the flyer featured offensive language towards those who form part of the Trans community, offensive speech is still protected by the First Amendment, and the student organization has the right to advertise their events and present the film. The policies that govern speech and posting can be found at 1-007. Specifically, the following section should be reviewed: Section V. Signs, Literature, and Structures, part A. Posting of Signs, Notices and Posters by Members of the University Community. University policies must adhere to federal standards and guidelines, which protect free speech, including speech that is hateful and offensive, unless the behavior is targeted harassment or threatens individuals. If incidents occur with these targeted behaviors, then Policy 6-400, 6-401A, and 1-012 may be enacted.

The University aligns with the American Civil Liberties Union’s sentiments that more speech, not less, should be the answer to all social issues. Free speech is not just about the law, but a vital part of civic education. The University policies are designed to reflect these laws and support all students’ rights to gather and speak.

What is being done

The University of Utah recognizes the toll bias takes on our community’s well-being and mental health and how that may impact students’ capacity for success here at the U. Students seeking academic support and/or other resources can meet with a student support case manager in the Office of the Dean of students by drop-in appointment or by filling out a referral for support, concern or resources on the ODOS website. Learn more about Student Support here.

A week of events are planned to support and celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community, November 27 through December 1, through the university’s LGBT Resource Center–including an art night (Uplifting our voices through art expression), QTea Talk, QTSOC Poetry Night, Healing Circle, and Fab Friday. To find out more, please visit the LGBT Resource Center webpage or the Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion events calendar

The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

These incidents do not represent the views of the University of Utah. The university continues to condemn bias, discrimination, racism, bigotry and hate in the strongest possible terms, even though it cannot censor the protected speech of members of its community. We support fostering an inclusive campus and are committed to creating a safe, welcoming, and equitable campus where we work to engage, support, and advance a living, learning, and working environment that fosters values of respect, diversity, inclusivity and academic excellence.

What to do

Be vigilant and speak up. The university respects the free speech rights of the campus community but also recognizes that protected speech can be hurtful. The university encourages members of the campus community and visitors to express their views in the most respectful way possible. Vice Presidents Mary Ann Villareal and Lori K. McDonald encourage our campus community to treat each other with dignity, respect, and compassion.

We will continue to name biased acts, and do what we can to achieve cultural change on campus. Additionally, we will continue efforts that uplift and celebrate our communities and enhance a sense of belonging on our campus.

Questions & Concerns

For any questions or concerns regarding an incident or this process, please contact Ana Ascencio, RBIRT Manager, at

For additional reporting information on reporting any safety-related incidents, visit the #SafeU website.

Incidents & updates

Support Resources

If you are currently in a situation where immediate medical, police or other emergency services are needed, call 911 or University Emergency Communications at 801-585-2677 (801-585-COPS). To file a complaint regarding discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) at 801-581-8365.

Support & resources

Report a Bias Incident

Any act of intolerance, motivated wholly or in part by bias or prejudice against an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, size, disability, national origin, language, gender, veteran status, identity expression, sexual orientation or age—regardless of severity—can be reported using this form.

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