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HB 261 and HB 257 Frequently Asked Questions


In January 2024, the Utah Legislature passed two bills that impact higher education: HB 261 Equal Opportunity Initiatives and HB 257 Sex-Based Designations for Privacy, Anti-Bullying, and Women's Opportunities. 

At Salt Lake Community College, we work hard each day to meet our vision to provide transformative education that strengthens the communities we serve through the success of our students. Our daily work remains focused on providing all students with pathways leading to successful transfer opportunities or meaningful employment. We look forward to continuing to provide a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment for all students who choose to invest their time at SLCC.

To fully comply with the legislation, SLCC has adjusted some of our departments and reassigned staff. To learn more about how the legislation impacts our campus, please read the FAQ. Please note, we will continue to work with the Utah State Board of Higher Education (USHE) to ensure compliance. 

Frequently Asked Questions-HB 261

During the 2024 legislative session, Utah lawmakers adopted HB 261, "Equal Opportunity Initiatives," prohibiting state higher education institutions from relying on certain individual characteristics when making decisions about employment or education. 

The law, which takes effect July 1, 2024, eliminates all central offices at state colleges and universities that are dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion. It also prohibits policies, procedures, practices, programs, or initiatives that are referred to as diversity, equity, and inclusion and requires that dedicated resource centers serve all students. The law also prohibits the use of diversity statements or commitments in hiring and admission processes.

HB 261 directly addresses higher education offices with the title of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. To ensure compliance with HB 261, SLCC has closed the Office for Institutional Equity, Inclusion and Transformation and reassigned the employees within this office to other areas of the College. Middle School Engagement is now part of Student Affairs, and Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) initiatives are now part of the Finance and Administration division. 

Yes. Utah lawmakers carved out exceptions for: 

  • Accreditation requirements
  • Classroom instruction related to an instructor's field of study
  • Research related to an instructor's field of study
  • Federally funded grants approved by SLCC's Board of Trustees or USHE, including those that require certain diversity expectations, such as HSI status
  • Privately donated scholarships

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (ODMA (Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs)) will now operate as a resource office known as Student Engagement, Experience, and Achievement (SEEA).

The new name was derived from extensive discussion and polling of staff and students over the last year. SEEA staff will provide student success coaching, leveraging data provided by Academic Advising and using the MySuccess system.

All students who may be struggling at SLCC will receive this specialized coaching and support. SEEA team members will also offer workshops and group events that support retention and successful completion for their respective academic and MySuccess cohorts. 

Heritage months and cultural celebrations will continue to be a part of our organizational fabric. These events will be coordinated by both SEEA staff and student leaders. Staff will focus their efforts on educational and social programming to help all members of the campus community celebrate the richness and uniqueness of our campus community.

The Dream Center will remain an important resource at SLCC, and the College's Native American Tuition Waiver Program will continue, as eligibility is based on membership in a federally recognized tribe. 

No. All related federal and state laws and policies still apply to SLCC. It continues to be illegal to discriminate against or harass someone based on their race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion. All incidents of discrimination and harassment should be handled as they have been in the past and referred to either SLCC's Dean of Students or Title IX Office. 

Classroom instruction and research are not affected by the bill, and it does not dictate how faculty teach within their field of expertise. 

SLCC is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination based on a person's identity. The College also does not use diversity statements in the hiring process. We will continue to cast a wide net to attract the best possible candidates. This wide net will also support our efforts in recruiting faculty and staff from underrepresented communities. 

The provisions in HB 261 only apply when employees are acting in their capacity at SLCC or when representing the College. HB 261 does not prohibit you, as a private citizen, from engaging in community or political conversations.

All faculty and staff can engage in social justice activities outside the classroom; however, be mindful of separating your positional role at the College from your personal advocacy. Advocacy must take place on your own time and cannot involve the use of College resources, such as email or SLCC social media channels. Also, be careful to avoid the appearance of implied institutional advocacy, such as wearing SLCC-branded clothing while participating in public advocacy events. 

Yes, if a student is being paid by the College, this law will apply. 

Frequently Asked Questions-HB 257

During the 2024 legislative session, Utah lawmakers adopted HB 257, "Sex-based Designations for Privacy, Anti-bullying and Women's Opportunities."The law restricts "changing rooms" Trans people can use in public buildings, including those on Salt Lake Community College campuses. The law was signed by Governor Cox on January 30, 2024, but the enforcement provisions of the legislation will not be in effect until May 1, 2024. After this date, College leadership will continue to monitor the law's implementation and will provide updates to students, faculty, and staff as needed.

A changing room is defined as a space reserved for multiple individuals to dress or undress in the same space. Examples include dressing rooms, fitting rooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms. Restrooms are not included in this definition unless they are attached to or located within a changing room.
HB 257 allows a person to use any restroom they choose if it is not attached to or part of a changing room. SLCC will not be policing or monitoring restrooms.
The College is currently evaluating all on-campus locker rooms and is working to ensure private changing rooms are available where needed. Students, employees, and visitors are always welcome to use gender-neutral restrooms as changing rooms at any time.
As mentioned above, HB 257 allows people to use any restroom of their choosing if it is not part of or connected to a changing room. Certain conduct in restrooms including lewd behavior, voyeurism, and loitering, impermissible prior to HB 257 becoming law, is still prohibited.
HB 257 allows Trans people to use locker rooms or other changing rooms that do not align with their assigned sex at birth if they have undergone a primary sex characteristic surgical procedure (bottom surgery) and legally changed their gender on their birth certificate. Those who have not made changes to their birth certificate or have not undergone surgery may use all-gender restrooms for changing available in various campus buildings.
HB 257 allows those assisting a minor/dependent child or a dependent adult, or performing maintenance or cleaning, to be in changing rooms that do not align with their sex as assigned at birth.
Trans people who have not changed their birth certificates and undergone surgery to change a primary sex characteristic could face criminal trespass charges if they violate the provisions of HB 257. The penalty may be enhanced if the individual is also found to have engaged in lewdness, voyeurism, or loitering. HB 257 defines lewd behavior to include exposing genitals (which can happen as a matter of course in the process of changing), and it defines loitering to include intentionally or knowingly remaining in the changing room.

SLCC will do all it can to accommodate cis-gender, transgender, non-binary, gender-non-conforming, and other individuals' needs on campus. This includes providing access to personal locker rooms and private changing rooms outside of sex-designated locker rooms in the Lifetime Activities Center and other recreation spaces.
During the 2023 legislative session, Utah lawmakers adopted a new building code that allows up to 50% of bathroom fixtures in a state building to be in multi-stall, all-gender restrooms. The College is currently constructing this type of restroom in the Student Center on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus.