Student Government Association voted to pass emergency legislation to oppose South Dakota Senate Bill 198 regarding free speech on campus at their weekly meeting Tuesday evening.
Senate Bill 198, identical to House Bill 1073, would remove current regulations on free speech on South Dakota Board of Regents university campuses. SGA voted to oppose House Bill 1073 earlier in the semester.
Currently, according to SDBOR policy 3:3, free speech such as demonstrations and protests on campus must be “timely and rational discussions.” They also must promote the “ethical and intellectual development of the student body and the general welfare of the public.”
McNary said both of these state bills are redundant, since free speech on campus is already protected.
“It’s pretty clear that we already have free speech on campus, and I don’t think that this bill expands that, I think it just creates harm and opens the door for lawsuit,” McNary said.
SGA vice president Josh Anderson announced he and President Teagan McNary will voice opposition on behalf of the SGA and the student body in Pierre on Thursday morning.
The resolution to oppose Senate Bill 198 passed 18-2-3. SDSU’s Students’ Association also passed a similar resolution in opposition.
Also at the meeting, SGA senator and SGA presidential candidate Marcus Ireland proposed a bill that would change representation in SGA. The change, which Ireland said he modeled off the U.S. government, would give each college one representative, and the rest of the senate seats would be at-large.
Ireland said he proposed this bill because the current system is not working, since not all SGA Senate seats are filled.
“It’s important that we constantly be looking at ways that we can better represent our students,” Ireland said.
In addition, SGA discussed a bill to replace the recycling bins in North Complex.
Anderson said the new bins would copy the system that is currently successful in the Muenster University Center and Slagle Hall.
“Anyone that’s ever lived or been in North Complex can see that they are outdated and need to be updated,” Anderson said.