A student organization at Black Hills State University is raising their voices

Free Speech YAL Spearfish
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 7:39 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - While organizing on ‘The Green’ back in January, Young Americans for Liberty activists say they were asked to leave by a Public Safety officer who believed the group were outsiders and wasn’t registered as an organization on campus.

“Despite being allowed by the board of regents policy and by the first amendment on a public university to be out there on our table, and to be out there speaking to students, we were asked to leave. We packed up and did so, and then we went and spoke with the administration, and through the dialogue with that, we helped them change the policy to be more open,” said Young Americans for Liberty President Kyle Benjamin.

Because the organization is national, one student from a different university came to the booth and supported the group, which triggered the officer to approach the group originally.

“What he was doing with them was appropriate if they were an outside entity. What he misunderstood was there were our own students there too, and there were...two of the students that were there were our students, and one was a student from the School of Mines. Because they were our students they didn’t have to register,” said Black Hills State University President Laurie Nichols.

Nichols added the campus officer called the president of the Young Americans for Liberty BHSU Chapter and apologized for the misunderstanding.

“And I looked at them and said, are you both students here, and they said yes, and I thought, okay, you have every right to be here, and I told them that they can go back out right now if you want to you have every right to be here. Quite sure it was a misunderstanding,” said Nichols.

The organization is actively back on campus.