University of South Dakota

Location: Vermillion, South Dakota
Website: http://www.usd.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Tell University of South Dakota to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

University of South Dakota has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
Yellow Light Policies
  • South Dakota Board of Regents Policy Manual: 3:4 Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2018

    Harassment, which includes, but is not limited to:

    a. Conduct towards another person that has the purpose or effect of creating an objectively and subjectively intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment that substantially interferes with the individual’s ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an Institutional activity or resource; and

    b. Other conduct that is extreme and outrageous exceeding all bounds usually tolerated by polite society and that has the purpose or the substantial likelihood of interfering with another person’s ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an Institutional activity or resource.

    » Read More

  • The University of South Dakota Sales and Solicitation Policy and Request Form

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2018

    Sales and Solicitation on USD property is strictly prohibited without authorization from the Muenster University Center Administration. A copy of the authorized Sales and Solicitation form must be displayed at all times while on campus. The Sales and Solicitation form may be picked up at the information desk located on the first floor of the Muenster University Center.

    All sales and solicitations in the public areas of the Vermillion campus of the University of South Dakota will be restricted to the appropriate areas inside or near the Theodore R. and Karen K. Muenster University Center with the exception of number 12 in Procedure section of this policy and must be approved by the Muenster University Center Administration. …

    III. Areas available for sales and solicitation:
    a. Muenster University Center
    b. Muenster University Center Courtyard
    c. I.D. Weeks Library Courtyard

    Solicitation: as defined by USD, is asking for a donation or contribution of monies, goods or services or making a request or plea. Soliciting includes, but is not limited to: distributing or promoting through advertising any material; passing out literature; affixing posters or literature on bulletin boards as well as directly requesting donations, contributions, support or membership from individuals or groups.

    » Read More

  • Bias, Discrimination or Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: June 18, 2018

    A bias incident is an incident of verbal or nonverbal conduct or behavior that is threatening, harassing, intimidating, discriminating, or hostile and is based on a category that is protected under the Institutional Nondiscriminatory Policy.

    To learn about bias incidents and reporting bias incidents, call 605-677-3925 or email diversity@usd.edu to report a concern or seek guidance about whether or not something should be reported.

    » Read More

  • South Dakota Board of Regents Policy Manual: 1:17 Harassment Including Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2018

    Harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identity, transgender, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status or harassment on any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination or on any grounds, directed against individuals, may be established by showing, …

    2) Other conduct that is extreme and outrageous exceeding all bounds usually tolerated by polite society and that has the purpose or the substantial likelihood of interfering with another person’s ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an institutional activity, employment or resource.

    » Read More

  • South Dakota Board of Regents Policy Manual: 3:4 Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2018

    Unauthorized use or abuse of technology, including, but not limited to:

    Use of technology to send Harassing or abusive messages …

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Freedom of Speech

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: June 18, 2018

    The institution shall ensure the rights of free speech and expression and shall encourage the timely and rational discussion of topics whereby the ethical and intellectual development of the student body and general welfare of the public may be promoted.

    » Read More


  • Speech Crimes on Campus

    December 9, 2015

    By Staff at The Wall Street Journal The student censors at Yale claimed a scalp—pardon the micro-aggression—this week when lecturer Erika Christakis resigned her teaching position on childhood education. She had been pilloried for asking in an email if students weren’t too sensitive if they are offended by politically incorrect Halloween costumes. Yale’s powers-that-be ducked and covered in response, but the news on campus isn’t all bad, according to a forthcoming report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (Fire). The foundation’s annual survey of 440 colleges—comprising 336 four-year public and 104 private institutions—finds that the share of schools maintaining […]

    » Read More
  • College Athletes Caught in Tangled Web

    May 24, 2006

    Four San Diego State students recently logged on to a computer and did what thousands of other college students do these days during their spare time. They were having fun on MySpace.com, posting personal party pictures and commentaries about life in college. Some included references to drinking alcoholic beverages and snide remarks about recent soccer practices, according to a student colleague of the four. But because the four students were athletes – in this case women’s soccer players – they suffered a penalty for it. When they didn’t heed their coach’s warning to stop posting on the site, they were […]

    » Read More
  • Speech Code of the Month: University of South Dakota

    June 7, 2017

    FIRE announces our Speech Code of the Month for June 2017: the University of South Dakota. Not only are USD’s “Guidelines for the Awareness and Prevention of Acts of Cultural Insensitivity and Bullying at USD” written in a tone more appropriate for schoolchildren than adult college students, they also make clear that protected speech may be subject to punishment at the university. According to the guidelines: Two critical issues that lead to a negative climate for and experience of diverse students are cultural acts of insensitivity and “bullying.” Making fun of or degrading individuals and the groups to which they […]

    » Read More
  • The Mystery of the Missing Free Speech Zone

    December 12, 2014

    FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project has already seen several victories for free expression on campus. Earlier this month, two institutions agreed to revise their speech codes and abolish their “free speech zones” within a day of each other—but far too many institutions still maintain such zones. A thoughtful editorial published in the University of South Dakota’s student-run newspaper The Volante on Wednesday criticizing the school’s limitations on speech led FIRE staff to take a closer look at USD’s free speech zones, and we made a bizarre discovery. One of USD’s free speech zones doesn’t exist. USD lists in […]

    » Read More