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She's Daring Mighty Things director speaks on discrimination bill

The Utah State Capitol Building.
Utah State Capitol

Kristyn Allred, the director of the She’s Daring Mighty Things program at Utah State University’s Huntsman School of Business weighs in on HB261, the new Equal Opportunities Initiatives bill.

Before Kristyn Allred came to USU she worked in women’s leadership at the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. She has also worked in DEI consulting since 2020.

Allred said the She’s Daring Mighty Thingsprogram is meant to empower women in the business school and foster good experiences. The program holds events for women in the business school and oversees clubs such as women in business and women in tech.

Allred said the Equal Opportunities Initiatives Bill introduced at this year’s legislative session is better than two similar bills that were proposed last year.

“But I think I truly believe the intent of the bill was good and that actually everyone does want to work together to make Utah the best place for all of us, not just in higher ed, but if you're working here and living here, you want to be really proud of where you're from, and actually have it be a place that you feel other people would want to come,” Allred said.

Allred added that the language of the bill is quite general and can be interpreted differently.

She interprets it as something positive but said someone else could read the bill and think programs such as She’s Daring Mighty Things are discriminatory and that we should get rid of them.

Allred said the premise of the bill is to be anti discriminatory and that it’s not just about who gets into the university but about how they are treated once they arrive.

“And so I could see names changing for sure," Allred said. "And even trying to see work and saying, Okay, what's our purpose of this committee? What outcomes do we want and being even more intentional about is it servicing all our students? Have we neglected a group? Have we neglected anyone who's feeling a lack of support or discriminated against?”

Allred said she was not surprised that a bill such as this was created in Utah, especially since the term DEI has become so controversial and politicized.

Allred’s main hope is that the bill allows USU to continue to do the good that it is doing, but no one knows yet how the bill will be implemented.

Caitlin Keith is a general news reporter at UPR. She is from Lindon, Utah and is currently an undergrad student studying print journalism at USU. Caitlin loves to write and tell people’s stories. She is also a writer at the Utah Statesman. She loves to read, ski, play the cello and watch various TV shows.