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HB 261 and HB 257 Frequently Asked Questions

 

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

The Utah Legislature recently passed two bills that significantly impact higher education: HB 261 Equal Opportunity Initiatives and HB 257 Sex-Based Designations for Privacy, Anti-Bullying, and Women’s Opportunities.

Salt Lake Community College is deeply committed to our students, faculty, and staff. We strive to be a place where all are welcomed and respected. While there are many unknowns about the ultimate effect these bills will have on some student and staff support programs, be assured that SLCC will maintain an environment where all can find success and feel a sense of belonging.

In the coming months, college leadership will work to gain clarity and determine the changes necessary for legislative compliance. We will also share this information as it becomes available.

We realize that during this time, some in our college community may feel unsettled and stressed. We encourage you to make use of available SLCC resources designed to support your well-being.

Warm Regards,
Dr. Deneece G. Huftalin, President
Salt Lake Community College


For Employees:

  • Employee Assistance Program
  • 24-Hour Crisis Line, 1-866-750-1327
    • This is toll-free access for you or a dependent in crisis. Counselors are available by phone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For Students:


Frequently Asked Questions-HB 261

While the full impact of the legislation is not entirely known, SLCC remains committed to an inclusive campus where everyone can succeed. This commitment will be prioritized as changes are made to comply with the law.
Classroom instruction and research will not be affected by the bill.
HB 261 directly addresses higher education offices with the title of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. SLCC’s leadership is currently having conversations now about how the division of IEIT will change.
We will continue to evaluate the impact the law will have on certain SLCC divisions and programs and will keep those offices, as well as the entire college community, updated on changes.
This bill does not interfere with the requirements necessary for an institution to establish or maintain eligibility for HSI or any other federal program.
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 and minimize bias when hiring employees.
No. Eligibility for SLCC’s Native American Tuition Waiver is based on membership in a federally recognized tribe. SLCC will continue to offer this tuition waiver to eligible students.
Private scholarships will not be impacted by the legislation.
Student clubs will not be affected. However, there may be necessary adjustments to student government positions to comply with the bill. SLCCSA and Student Affairs are engaging in discussions.

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.