Regents give first approval to significant changes in S.D. sexual-harassment policy

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Pierre Capitol building legislature

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s public universities should substantially revise the Title IX sexual-harassment process, the state Board of Regents said Wednesday.

The final decision will come during the board’s August 4-6 meeting in Pierre.

Regent Randy Schaefer of Madison said the proposed changes are where South Dakota should be. “I like it,” Schaefer said.

Nathan Lukkes, who is legal counsel for the regents system, said the revisions suggested at the national level cover about 2,000 pages. “It’s been a bit of a scramble,” Lukkes said.

Among the highlights:

South Dakota’s public universities would see their jurisdiction limited to their properties and to student organizations including sororities and fraternities. Other locations such as bars and off-campus apartments and houses wouldn’t be covered;

A signed complaint by the person or the Title IX campus supervisor;

The alleged perpetrator and the alleged victim could each have an advisor participate and have the right to present evidence, cross-examine and file an appeal; and

A law-trained third-party hearing examiner would be used.

Regent John Bastian of Belle Fourche, a retired circuit judge and the board’s current president, said Lukkes did “yeoman’s” work in summarizing the proposed changes.

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