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The New Guard

University of Utah Threatened With Lawsuit After Threatening to Disband YAF Chapter

By

Nick Baker

December 12, 2023

Young America’s Foundation, represented by Mountain State Legal Foundation, has taken a significant step in the defense of students’ free speech by issuing a demand letter to the University of Utah after the public institution threatened to disband the Utah Young Americans for Freedom chapter.

Following the unconstitutional cancellation of the YAF chapter’s screening of Damaged, a Daily Caller documentary starring Chloe Cole, the chapter scheduled a reshowing. The reshowing was only allowed to happen as the result of an earlier legal threat from YAF and MSLF.

The YAFers posted flyers throughout campus advertising the event, much to the displeasure of leftist students and administrators – so much so that Associate Vice President & Dean of Students Jason Ramirez took to the university’s blog to call the advertisements “obnoxious, divisive, and simplistic.”

In addition to the rescreening, Utah YAF hosted Chloe Cole, a young and bold detransitioner, for a campus lecture on November 30.

That same day, the university quietly amended its policies to state that only one flyer advertising a single event may be posted per bulletin board. Notably, this policy did not take effect until the next day.

Nevertheless, spiteful university administrators immediately jumped on the opportunity to punish YAF, and wrongfully began enforcement on November 30.

Associate Dean for Student Engagement and Leadership Erica Andersen sent YAF a “final warning” stating that any further so-called “violations” would result in the termination of the YAF chapter’s university recognition.

Despite the instant nature of enforcement against YAF, liberal student organizations including the LGBTQ Resource Center and the Vegan Club have been allowed to openly violate the policy for weeks without any repercussions.

“It goes without saying that any official action by the University of Utah to revoke YAF’s status as a student organization would suffice to establish an injury-in-fact under Article III. We reserve all rights to pursue this matter against the University itself in federal court,” the letter states.

YAF and MSLF are committed to ensuring that the University of Utah treats conservative students with fairness and consistency. 

A copy of the demand letter is available below:

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