Black Hills State University: University Police Remove Student Group Members for Recruiting Students in Open Areas of Campus


Black Hills State University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On January 24, 2023, members of Young Americans for Liberty walked around the open areas of Black Hills State University’s campus advocating for gun rights and recruiting like-minded students until the director of public safety removed them for supposedly not having prior permission to express themselves. After YAL members spoke with the university president, the director of public safety called the club president and reaffirmed that students can recruit members in the open areas of campus without approval. On January 31, FIRE wrote BHSU urging it to educate its public safety officials on the First Amendment and amend its policies to ensure students are not censored when expressing themselves on campus. Following a second letter to BHSU, the university amended its expressive activity request form to remove the provision allowing the institution to remove any “objectionable” people from campus.