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University of Utah backs down on sanctions against YAF after legal threat

‘Violations’ were ‘removed’ against conservative group

The University of Utah agreed not to punish the campus Young Americans for Freedom group for allegedly not following unenforced rules.

The announcement comes after the group threatened legal action against the public university.

Associate Dean Erica Andersen confirmed to the group that it would not be punished for allegedly posting too many times on bulletin boards about an upcoming speech by Chloe Cole, a woman who speaks out about her regret at having a surgery and taking drugs to present herself as a man. Anderson’s email indicated she believed the group had violated the unenforced and new policy.

“I wish to confirm with you that all notices of previous posting violations have been removed from your student organization file,” Andersen wrote, according to a screenshot of an email posted by Young America’s Foundation. “Hopefully, at this time, you have good clarity around the University’s expectations for posting of your events and there won’t be any further violations of the posting guideline.”

The university had threatened to dissolve the conservative group for allegedly violating the school rules – that were not in effect when the posters went up on billboards, as previously reported by The College Fix in December of last year.

As previously reported by The Fix:

The Mountain States Legal Foundation sent a letter to the university’s general counsel office threatening to sue the school if it continues to retaliate against the campus YAF chapter and infringe on its rights to freedom of speech and expression.

The demand letter came after school officials alleged that YAF violated university rules by posting too many flyers on campus bulletin boards for an event it hosted with Chloe Cole, a female who previously had surgery to remove her breasts to look like a man.

Left-wing protesters previously disrupted a movie screening in November 2023. The film criticized transgenderism and included Cole (pictured).

While not naming YAF’s flyers specifically, a university blog post published the day after the cancellation of the screening referred to flyers that are “offensive to identities, beliefs and cultures of other campus community members” as “obnoxious, divisive and simplistic,” as previously reported by The Fix.

YAF previously told The Fix it would continue to fight for free speech.

“When this fundamental right is infringed, every American has a responsibility to defend it – just as YAF students at the University of Utah have done and will continue to do,” YAF’s Director of Public Relations Michael McGonigle in December.

The Utah YAF chairwoman said her group is “here to stay” in comments posted by YAF.

“We appreciate YAF and MSLF for assisting us in this fight against the shamelessly biased administrators we have to deal with on campus,” Lucy Atwood stated, according to the Jan. 16 YAF article. “Despite their efforts to prevent conservative students from being able to gather and share our views, we are here to stay.”

MORE: Check out the Campus Cancel Culture Database

IMAGE: Young America’s Foundation/YouTube

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