The police refused to secure the area even in the face of such a stated threat, because Utah has made concealed carry the law.
I'm no particular expert on this but isn't the law in Utah that open
carry is the law; concealed carry still requires permits and the like?
Anyway, on topic.
A quick google seems to reveal that Utah has some of the most liberal (in the classical sense) laws relating to gun control around; basically the only public areas where one isn't allowed to carry (either openly or concealed with a permit) are religious buildings (or at least churches) if the organization says no, prisons/mental health facilities and secure areas in airports, court building etc. Schools and education establishments are specifically not allowed to ban or block people carrying guns; so if someone has a concealed carry permit they're absolutely allowed to have a concealed weapon within a university. I guess that's the issue right there; to have the security Sarkeesian wants would require the police/university to break the state law.
I tried hunting down if there were examples of the law being "bent" for other events; I know that many of the candidates went to Utah during the 2012 campaign and Romney was actually there for a rally about a week or so ago. In such cases though it appears those events were held on private property where the property owner is
allowed to ban concealed guns as opposed to a university where they're not.
It's still worrying though.
We don't know how legitimate this death threat is; I'm aware that Sarkeesian has spoken at three events previously having received specific death/bomb threats without incident, but even if this is a ghastly "prank" (and that word in no way conveys the seriousness of it) as opposed to a real intent to kill it's still horrific. Yes, in the most technical terms Sarkeesian's free speech hasn't been impinged upon; she could still speak she just decided not to, but in reality having someone saying "I'll get you... and if I don't get you I'll get some other feminists" while referencing a horrific massacre is a pretty clear block on you speaking somewhere when you can't prevent people bringing a gun to the event. And yes, Sarkeesian could have rearranged her speech to be on non-university private property but that adds an extra burden and, especially as these death threats seemingly came pretty late in the day, causes huge organisational issues.