Pride Week Event Poster Removal


Current Status:
In Review

The Racist & Bias Incident Response Team has been notified and is working with the appropriate departments to identify the person(s) responsible.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors 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).

What happened

As part of Pride week at the U, the Marriott Library hosted Gia Bianca Stephens (a local drag queen performer) on Wednesday, March 30, to read some of her favorite books. As part of promoting the event, a poster was made by the library and placed on an easel in the main level 1 lobby at the entrance. On Tuesday, March 22, a library staff member noticed the poster was missing from the lobby. The staff member confirmed with other internal library departments that it hadn’t been taken down or relocated by an employee. Another poster was printed and put out again in the lobby on Thursday, March 24. Within an hour of the poster being replaced, it was removed and crumpled up and placed in a nearby garbage can in the lobby.  It appears the removal and damage of the posters was perpetrated by the same individual.

What is being done

The Library reported the incident to the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team and to University Police; an investigation has been opened in an attempt to identify the person responsible. Additionally, the library worked with University Police to provide additional security at the library the day of the event.

If you have any information related to this incident (or others) that may help, please report by filling out the form at the Office of the Dean of Students website. Or you can report to University of Utah Police by calling 801-585-2677 or filling out the Silent Witness form.

If, through the course of some review or investigation (by University Police, or other appropriate investigative body), the individual(s) responsible is identified, the Office of the Dean of Students (if confirmed to be a student), Human Resources (if confirmed to be an employee), or other appropriate leader, will act within university policy designed to hold the individual(s) accountable and, if appropriate, provide additional education about the harm caused to the community by this type of behavior.

What to do

Be vigilant and speak up. If you see someone behaving suspiciously, engaging in vandalism, taking down posters, etc., note the location and notify a campus official. If you are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066, or the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or https://diversity.utah.edu/our-team/. To make a report of a racist or bias incident, visit the public reporting form.  

Stopping this type of behavior takes collective action, and bystander intervention efforts are one way of combatting conduct that can wrongfully be seen as a prank or joke but can cause real harm. To learn more about how to incorporate bystander intervention into your toolkit, check out the information here: https://wellness.utah.edu/workshops-training/#bystander.

The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

Acts like this, done in a way to diminish or detract from a week of celebration and community building, such as Pride Week at the U, cause harm to students’ and other community members’ sense of belonging in a time when we are returning to a place of in-person connectedness and some are feeling especially vulnerable. We are still striving to ensure that all our staff, students, trainees, faculty and other community members are able to find a place of safety and belonging as a part of our campus community, and have the space to explore, express and celebrate their various identities. 

While we will not tolerate such behavior, when done covertly, we cannot stop the act in the moment. We will continue to name the biased acts, investigate and hold the perpetrators of these hateful acts accountable when they are identified. 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 in regard to this bias incident, please contact Brian Jay Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer, at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

For additional reporting information, please feel free to visit here.

Response process
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.

Submit a report