Chief Sponsor: Jordan D. Teuscher

Senate Sponsor: Todd D. Weiler

6     Cosponsors:
7     Cheryl K. Acton
8     Steve R. Christiansen
9     Timothy D. Hawkes
10     Marsha Judkins
Phil Lyman
A. Cory Maloy
Candice B. Pierucci
Travis M. Seegmiller
Mark A. Strong
Norman K. Thurston
Ryan D. Wilcox


13     General Description:
14          This bill enacts provisions related to discriminatory harassment and expression at an
15     institution of higher education.
16     Highlighted Provisions:
17          This bill:
18          ▸     defines terms;
19          ▸     enacts provisions related to discriminatory harassment at an institution of higher
20     education, including provisions that:
21               •     prohibit an institution from sanctioning or disciplining certain acts of speech
22     that do not constitute discriminatory harassment; and
23               •     create a cause of action for the attorney general related to discriminatory
24     harassment at an institution of higher education; and
25          ▸     enacts provisions related to the free expression of policies of an institution of higher
26     education.
27     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
28          None

29     Other Special Clauses:
30          None
31     Utah Code Sections Affected:
32     ENACTS:
33          53B-27-401, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34          53B-27-402, Utah Code Annotated 1953
35          53B-27-403, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36          53B-27-404, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37          53B-27-501, Utah Code Annotated 1953

39     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
40          Section 1. Section 53B-27-401 is enacted to read:
Part 4. Campus Anti-Harassment

42          53B-27-401. Definitions.
43          As used in this part:
44          (1) "Discriminatory harassment" means student-on-student speech that:
45          (a) is unwelcome;
46          (b) discriminates on the basis of a classification protected under federal or state law;
47     and
48          (c) is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so undermines and
49     distracts from a student's educational experience, that the student is effectively denied access to
50     an institution's resource or opportunity.
51          (2) "Student" means an individual enrolled at an institution.
52          (3) (a) "Student-on-student speech" means verbal, written, or other communication that
53     is:
54          (i) communicated by a student; and
55          (ii) directed at another student.
56          (b) "Student-on-student speech" does not include an act of physical contact between a

57     student and another student.
58          Section 2. Section 53B-27-402 is enacted to read:
59          53B-27-402. Institution duties.
60          (1) An institution is in violation of this part if the institution:
61          (a) gains actual knowledge of discriminatory harassment in the institution's program or
62     activity; and
63          (b) acts with deliberate indifference to the discriminatory harassment.
64          (2) (a) An institution may not sanction or discipline, as discriminatory harassment,
65     student-on-student speech that does not constitute discriminatory harassment.
66          (b) An institution is not liable under this part for failing to sanction or discipline a
67     student who communicates student-on-student speech that is not discriminatory harassment.
68          (3) Nothing in this part prevents an institution from sanctioning or disciplining
69     student-on-student speech that is otherwise not protected under the First Amendment to the
70     United States Constitution.
71          (4) Nothing in this part prevents an institution from responding to student-on-student
72     speech that is not discriminatory harassment by taking nonpunitive actions designed to promote
73     a welcoming, inclusive environment.
74          (5) Nothing in this part prevents an institution from maintaining policies prohibiting
75     stalking or other criminal activity.
76          Section 3. Section 53B-27-403 is enacted to read:
77          53B-27-403. Cause of action.
78          The attorney general may bring an action to enjoin a violation of this part, in a state
79     court of competent jurisdiction, against an institution or an institution's agent acting in the
80     agent's official capacity.
81          Section 4. Section 53B-27-404 is enacted to read:
82          53B-27-404. Statute of limitations.
83          (1) Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b), the attorney general may not bring an
84     action under this part later than one year after the day on which the cause of action accrues.

85          (2) For an action alleging a violation of Subsection 53B-27-402(2)(a), the cause of
86     action accrues on the day on which the student receives final notice, from the institution, of
87     sanction or discipline that violates Subsection 53B-27-402(2)(a).
88          (3) (a) For an action alleging a violation of Subsection 53B-27-402(1), the cause of
89     action accrues on the day on which the institution gains knowledge of the discriminatory
90     harassment.
91          (b) For an action described in Subsection (3)(a), the limitation described in Subsection
92     (1) extends to one year after the day on which the most recent known act of discriminatory
93     harassment, involving the same parties as a prior known act of discriminatory harassment,
94     occurs.
95          Section 5. Section 53B-27-501 is enacted to read:
Part 5. Free Expression Policies

97          53B-27-501. Free expression policies.
98          (1) As used in this section, "free expression policy" means an institution's policy,
99     regulation, or other expectation related to student expression.
100          (2) An institution shall:
101          (a) publish the institution's free expression policies:
102          (i) in the institution's student handbook; and
103          (ii) on the institution's website;
104          (b) include information about the institution's free expression policies in an orientation
105     program for students enrolled in the institution; and
106          (c) develop a program, procedures, and materials to ensure that an individual who has
107     responsibility for the discipline or education of a student at the institution understands the
108     institution's free expression policies.
109          (3) An individual described in Subsection (2)(c) includes an institution:
110          (a) administrator;
111          (b) campus police officer;
112          (c) residence life official; and

113          (d) faculty member.
114          (4) An institution shall ensure that a free expression policy is consistent with the
115     provisions of this chapter.