South Dakota State Rep Michael Clark to Public Universities – Keep it Free! (Speech that is)

In response to encroachments to the right of free speech at Universities around the nations – including South Dakota, where at USD they’ve limited free speech to designated Free Speech Zones, State Representative (and occasional Dakotawarcollege contributor) Mike Clark has introduced legislation to make sure our public universities are places which allow the free exchange of ideas:

HB 1073, introduced by Republican State Representative Michael Clark, aims to ensure “a free exchange of ideas” on South Dakota’s campuses by forbidding “free speech zones” and declaring that any outdoor area of a public college or university campus is a “public forum.”


The bill also seeks to prevent the use of a “heckler’s veto” to interfere with the legitimate of free speech on campus, stating that counter-protests are allowed as long as they do not “materially and substantially prohibit the free expression rights of others on campus, or disrupt the functioning of the institution of higher education.”

To ensure that they are complying with both the letter and the spirit of the law, colleges and universities would be required to produce an annual report for lawmakers and make it publicly accessible on their websites.


“College campuses should promote free speech, freedom of the press, free assembly, and open dialogue and debate,” Clark said, noting that “recently violence and the threats of violence have been used to shut down otherwise peaceful events.”

Read it here.

Great Job Representative Clark – Let freedom ring!

52 Replies to “South Dakota State Rep Michael Clark to Public Universities – Keep it Free! (Speech that is)”

  1. Brittany

    Great bill Rep Clark! This is very important for the legislature to pass. I was in some classes at SDSU and the profs were total leftists and flunked anyone who disagreed with them

    1. Ike

      It’s true! I also heard they eat live kittens and never put the toilet seat down! When I was at SDSU, this one time my Art History prof didn’t like that I was doodling in my notebook so he took me out back behind the art museum and made me watch as he beat my mother with a set of jumper cables.

  2. Anne in Conde

    The liberal lunatics are running the university asylums in South Dakota and it’s about time they are cut off from taxpayer money until they actually became fair places where a mixture of viewpoints can be heard and debated. Every single legislator should be for this bill and anyone who opposes I’ll send money to defeat.

  3. Russ

    Freedom fighter Clark! Great bill.

    I’m tired of my tax dollars funding hateful liberals who just indoctrinate students to be left wing clones of themselves. It’s time to fight back!!!

  4. Steve

    When I was at SDSU, the political science department was run by the chair of the Democratic Party in South Dakota and I’m not even kidding! it is indeed time for some fairness

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      I suspect you’re referring to my advisor.

      (I don’t think he cared much for me, and the feeling was mutual).

  5. Steve

    his name was Herb Cheever. He was supposedly a professor but what he really worked on was being the state chairman of the Democratic Party. It was unreal. I couldn’t believe the blatant bias of the whole thing. time to drain the swamp!!!

  6. KM

    The J School comments are easy to see through. You should’ve never outed yourself. Try not rehearsing your lines before posting them. If you spend time at SDWC, you’ll know who comes around and who makes real, believable statements.

    Nice Try;) Maybe next time.

  7. Charlie Hoffman

    I just read the bill and no mention of Nebraska in it. Also with Jim Stalzer priming it it the Senate this bill should hit Governor DD’s desk.

  8. Anonymous


    Your comment made me curious as to who was sponsoring it—-right from the bill page

    Representatives Clark, DiSanto, Frye-Mueller, Haugaard, Howard, Jensen (Kevin), Kaiser, Livermont, Peterson (Sue), Pischke, Rasmussen, Rhoden, Wiese, York, and Zikmund and Senators Stalzer, Ewing, Haverly, Jensen (Phil), Kolbeck, Monroe, Nelson, Netherton, Otten (Ernie), Rusch, Russell, Solano, Tapio, Wiik, and Youngberg

          1. KM

            Yes, it was and I want to respect the rules. However, I’m a little confused on what exactly constitutes on/off topic. On a previous Hubbel piece someone asked me to prove why I thought there’s no go zones in MPLS. I understand why it was left up and appreciate it being left up, but it certainly wasn’t on topic and I stated that in 2 of my replies.

    1. KM

      I may agree, Tara. However, I don’t follow all their voting records, only the ones whose districts my family and friends live in.

  9. anon1

    I just read the bill, and don’t see how it will change what happens in the classrooms. It guarantees freedom of speech and protests on campus, but those laws exist already. Liberal ideas will still run rampant in the classrooms… What am I missing?

    1. KM

      anon1 – Why you want to change what happens in classrooms? Liberal’s ideas aren’t trying to be stopped from being heard and debated anywhere on our college campuses. It seems to be when Republican/Conservatives’ ideas want to be heard, violent protests break out and now we need more laws to protect all Americans’ freedoms. It’s a trend we see happening all over the US, and now Twitter and FB are doing the same thing.

      The bill seems to focus on preventing a violent group of Americans (Antifa or the like) attempting to stop other Americans (Conservatives in particular) from exercising their 1st Amendment rights on our public, college campuses. Have you watched any videos from UC Berkley? Did you hear about the professor using a bike lock to violently attack someone? Or how about the professor who had his students erase pro-life messages, written in chalk, around campus? I think legislators are being pro-active and engaged by putting forth this bill.

      Our free speech rights don’t have “zones” they reach from our southern border all the way to our northern border and from east coast to the west coast. Something like…from sea to shining sea. Check out Ben Shapiro speaking to Congress about this issue, it’s a good one:)

      1. anon1

        Again, violent protests are already against the law… I’m not necessarily saying this is a bad bill, I just don’t understand what it will accomplish. It seems like more government regulation on free-speech.

        1. KM

          Yes, and killing someone with a firearm is against the law, but we see it happen time and time again. This causes more and more laws passed attempting to stop murder and regulate law-abiding citizens so even the amount of bullets purchased is restricted. I’m all for limited govt and too think it’s ridiculous some laws have to be written. Why do we need to make a law so people know it’s wrong to sell dead baby body parts?

          I think this bill strengthens the laws already written in our Constitution because some think they’re above the law and will break it no matter what. We saw UC Berkley on fire because the mayor told the police force to stand down and Antifa thought it necessary to destroy their campus all because they were offended. I’d consider both parties ignoring law and order in this situation.

          These legislators may have written this bill so college presidents, professors, administrators, students and other community members know there will be a zero tolerance for acts of violence and there will be consequences if you break these laws. As it should be. Martin Luther King Jr. is a shining example of the power in peaceful protests.

          1. anon1

            I agree with your concern, but just don’t like adding laws on top of laws. If the laws that we already have on the books don’t stop the terrorists, this one won’t either. I think the legislature and Governor should send a strong message to the Board of Regents to get it cleaned up in Vermillion. They have the power to hire and fire people, so they would likely have more impact than a new law.

            1. KM

              Great ideas and I agree, adding laws on top of laws can get ridiculous. Do you think public colleges should loose funding for having a law-less campus? I do.

              I also think we may run into issues if we have a Governor who won’t take action against violence, similar to what Berkley’s mayor did. There’s strength in the legislature though. Also, who’s on the Board of Regents, a bunch of progressives who want to keep us divided?

              I’m going to support the bill.

              1. anon1

                It sounds like you may be a legislator. If so, maybe a resolution telling the Regents to get it done would be a good idea too.

                Speaking of which… Are the tech schools included in this bill? I don’t think they should be.

                1. KM

                  No, I’m not. Just an ordinary SD resident who cares what the future holds for my family. I bet we could be neighbors;)

                  I think this bill should only apply to schools that receive tax dollars. Not 100% if tech schools are publicly funded. Private schools should be left to make their own rules and of course that’s within reason.

                  Great talk, thanks.

  10. Slim Shady

    The legislature should drag in the university presidents and force them to testify under oath about how left-wing they’ve let their campuses become. It’s time to clean house. And we need to abolish tenure. Why should these lazy liberals have a guaranteed job their whole life? It’s just socialism. We need to hire conservatives on campus so students hear all sides. South Dakota is 75% conservative but university professors are 99% liberals. How is that fair?

  11. "Very Stable Genius"

    Free speech includes commenting at legislative coffees too. I believe at his first legislative coffee, St. Rep. Clark made only one comment. I guess the freedom to not speak is itself a form of symbolic free speech, but it would be nice to hear from our representatives in an open forum on many issues…..Wouldn’t it?

    1. MC

      I didn’t say much, because almost everything that needed to be stated was already said. Secondly, some of the bills that were brought up, were just introduced, We really didn’t have time to read them much less research them. Commenting on such bills could very easily lead to disaster.

  12. Becky

    My professor at SDSU is a big Black Lives Matter activist who is always attacking white people as evil. The legislature needs to look into this. It’s bad. She teaches in political science and history. I’m tired of it. I want to transfer.

    1. "Very Stable Genius"

      I once had a capitalistic professor attack socialism. Then this same professor went off to a “public” library to do research.

    2. KM

      What’s her name? You willing to give it up? I recommend you go to your administrators, the Vice President and President to inform them of your feelings and experiences. Your parents/guardians is probably who you should’ve gone to first, not SDWC.

      Did you know, Becky, that even though you don’t have to list your email address, whatever technology you are posting from has an IP address and that’s like a telephone number connecting you to your posts.

      If what you’re saying is true, my advice is transfer. I took my kids out of public school because we differ on a number of topics/issues. If what you’re saying is lies, you should stop.

      Thanks, hope to see you around more;)

  13. MC

    I wanted to comment sooner, however, I was busy with other things,life doesn’t stop just because the legislature is in session.

    I was watching what was happening on the national stage, At UC Berkley, Colorado, and a few other places. I thought that kind of stuff doesn’t happen here. We are friendly folk, we wave at strangers going down the road, we help put the neighbors cows that got out. Then I started getting reports of film showing at USD that was cancelled because some other group was offended by the topic of the movie. Looking at things a bit deeper, and I found some serious restrictions on free speech. College is supposed to be place of deep thought, lively discussion and vigorous debates and a market place of ideas. We need graduates who can look at a problem, and answer the question: “What do we need to know to solve this?” That means looking at all sides of an issue, not just the one that was presented. It means not just thinking out side the box, but going completely of the page. We need to challenge students with new ideas and different ways of thinking. Assumptions need to be challenged. We need students who can think, and not just follow the same path….
    I’m going off topic, Sorry about that, Pat.

    This bill doesn’t affect the classrooms. it is the professor’s classroom, and the professor’s rules. ’nuff said.

    If you want to get signatures on a petition, you should be allowed to do that in the parking lot at a football game. Not restricted to the ‘free speech zone’ on the other side of campus. A speaker should be able to be invited, and be able to present their case, without fear of being hurt or worse. We may not like the speaker, or what they have to say, however they are presenting a different view point. Getting a different point of view is almost always a good thing.

    1. KM

      Well-said, MC. I also remember when a student at USD attempted to make campus a sanctuary for illegals. Many parents and donors are watching closely. Free speech is a right and must be protected. Hope you continue your research.

  14. Melanie

    My professors at usd make fun of and mock students who try to voice a conservative opinion. They shut down any discussion they don’t like. They should be investigated by legislators I think.

    1. KM

      Melanie you should have a talk with Becky. You won’t name names, that’s a red-flag. You must proceed with caution, you could be slandering someone. Check out what happened to ‘Mattress Girl’ when she started lying.

  15. Steve

    Why is “KM” trying to silence these women like Becky and Melanie? Why is he against having free speech on campus? Sounds like he’s a liberal professor on the taxpayer tit CYAing and making threats

    1. KM

      Actually I’m encouraging them to speak out. Did you read my statements? However, I’m suspicious and don’t want to see Becky or Melanie fall into a web of serious trouble and lies. “Becky” and “Melanie” are new to this forum, did you notice I’m usually here everyday? Not to mention J School students outed themselves and I think they’re playing games in the comment section.

    2. KM

      Let me show you how Liberals play games….

      You see, you used the pronoun “he” without asking me if that was proper and okay with me. According to some activists that’s inciting violence. Don’t believe me, watch Steven Crowder’s ‘Change My Mind’ series, the episode focused on genders. You may learn something;)

  16. John

    Professors should not mock students…it is supposed to be a learning environment.

    I do believe we should have free speech though…I don’t care if far right or left groups get to speak as long as I get to also tell them how ignorant they are in doing so!

  17. Becky

    Something like this is in works at SDSU

    San Diego State University’s College Republicans have put out a list of 15 professors they say students should avoid because the educators use their classrooms as a “soapbox” and have an “agenda” when presenting course material.

    The group’s “Teachers vs. Preachers” list also includes 14 professors the student GOPers say present material fairly and do not interject personal political views into classroom discussions.