University Attendance Falls and Regents Obsess Over Drag Shows

A new policy regarding minors’ access to South Dakota’s six public college campuses passed a first reading during Thursday morning’s South Dakota Board of Regents meeting.

Requests for the policy were sparked by some people, including lawmakers, who were concerned minors were welcomed to a recent student-led drag show at South Dakota State University in November.

The event, sponsored by the SDSU Gender and Sexualities Alliance student group, was billed on the university website as family-friendly, to the consternation of some conservative lawmakers who pledged to bring bills limiting similar events in the future and limiting minors from being involved.

Two different bills taking aim at preventing such events from ever happening again on state-funded facilities failed during this year’s legislative session.

In advance of the session, though, the SDBOR announced a closed, remote special meeting in December in which Regents discussed the recent drag show, placed a moratorium on minors’ attendance of campus events for the time being and directed the SDBOR central office to come up with a “minors on campus” policy.

That’s what’s before the SDBOR now, and what could pass in the SDBOR’s next meeting in May after the policy passed a first reading Thursday.

The policy is meant to “safeguard and protect the well-being of minors visiting campus, attending university-sponsored events or programs, or participating in external organization programs and activities on campus,” according to the policy background.

This new policy includes details on limiting prohibited conduct, appropriate supervision of non-student minors, background checks, duty to report inappropriate conduct and sanctions for noncompliance.

University Attendance Falls and Regents Obsess Over Drag Shows

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