ABERDEEN, S.D. (KELO) — The governor-appointed panel that oversees South Dakota’s public universities is ready to consider a new policy for campuses regarding people younger than age 18.

The state Board of Regents is scheduled to discuss the six-page document during a meeting Thursday morning at Northern State University.

The proposal says non-student minors are generally permitted in university facilities “as invitees,
participants, or visitors, so long as they adhere to applicable BOR and/or university policies.” However, it adds, that the university “reserves the right to restrict anyone, including Non-Student Minors, from certain areas or facilities or from using specified equipment.”

There also are specific prohibitions barring the presence of non-student minors from programs that include specific sexual activities, obscene live conduct, anything meeting the legal definition of harmful to minors, or nudity unless it’s specifically advertised with a disclaimer.

Non-student minors also would be banned from programs featuring content “that is patently offensive to prevailing community standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors, unless the Program is advertised with a disclaimer noting it contains, as appropriate, adult language, adult content, excessive violence, and/or explicit content.”

The response comes after a controversy erupted last fall over a show at South Dakota State University that featured performances by adult males acting as scantily-clad females and was advertised as family-friendly.

The regents held a special meeting on December 21 about the show and directed their staff to develop a policy intended to “enhance the protection of minors on campus.”

Several state lawmakers meanwhile introduced proposals in the 2023 legislative session but nothing passed.

An event on the evening of April 19 billed as “GSA Non-professional Drag Show” is currently promoted on SDSU’s website. “Must be 18 or older to attend,” the listing says.

A note on the web page says, “Registered student organizations have the ability to sponsor lawful events, which are governed by SDBOR PoliciesUniversity Policy and SDCL 13-53-52. South Dakota State University is not a sponsor of this event.”