YAL Upholds Free Speech at Black Hills State University Post-Incident

After Phil Pesheck, Director of Public Safety at South Dakota-based Black Hills State University (BHSU), prevented Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) activists from organizing on campus earlier this year, YAL fought back on behalf of free speech. And, after months of organizing against BHSU’s anti-speech policies, YAL—the nation’s most active youth liberty organization—is proud to announce today that the university has reaffirmed the First Amendment rights of students on campus.

Prior to YAL’s activism, BHSU’s rules and regulations included the following line:

“BHSU reserves the right to eject any objectionable person or persons from the premises upon the exercise of authority through any agent or police personnel.”

Now, that line has been removed from all of the university’s official materials, with Pesheck even personally apologizing for his prior misuse of authority at the expense of BHSU YAL Chapter President Kyle Benjamin and other students. He also retracted his earlier claims that the students would be arrested for trespassing if they failed to fill out the proper paperwork.

Below is a statement from JP Kirby, YAL’s Director of Student Rights:

“When I talk to activists, I tell them that while policy change is our goal and a tangible change to work toward, real freedom comes when campus administrators like Officer Pesheck and his bosses are so worried about the consequences of violating their students’ rights that they stop trying. This is another solid blow dealt to South Dakota bureaucrats, and another notch in the belt of YAL’s South Dakota team.”

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