In this week's Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1974 when one member of the University of South Dakota's freshman class actually filed a lawsuit to keep from having to live in the dorms. Former KELOLAND reporter Bill Avery has the story.
Gail Prostrollo now lives in an off-campus apartment.
Prostrollo and Lynn Severson challenged the university dorm rule which forced them as freshmen and sophomores to live in dormitories.
Judge Fred Nichols gave them a first round in court, by tossing out those rules. But the court of appeals reversed his decision.
Prostrollo talked about the latest court development.
"I was very much disappointed. I also thought it's another example of an institution running over the civil rights of the individual and it really disappointed me, that the power of the money of an institution has preference over individual rights," Prostrollo said.
In opposition, the university's right to require student housing in dormitories for the first two years is a cost factor but USD Services Director Michael Easton says it goes beyond money.
"One of the reasons for the living requirement is the financial situation, but as the court ruled it’s not the primary purpose," Easton said.
Avery: Then why does the university feel it necessary to retain control over students?
Easton: It's not a matter of controlling where students live. The University feels there are certain advantages to living on campus there are educational advantages. We feel it provides a better adjustment for freshman and sophomore years of college. The atmosphere on campus is more conducive to an academic pursuit and traditionally grade point average has been higher for those living on campus than those living off campus.
Not convinced with that argument and with a one-to-one record in the courts so far, Prostrollo says the girls plan to appeal the latest ruling.