This week, the South Dakota Board of Regents (BOR) presented the first reading for a policy addressing non-student minors on campus. The policy establishes a responsible framework to protect youth invited to campus for activities, programs, or events.
During a special meeting last year, the Board directed BOR staff to develop a policy to safeguard minors who visit any of South Dakota’s public universities. The policy applies to university-sponsored programs, as well as externally hosted events occurring on campus and involving the presence of minors.
“The Board realized the need for system-wide guidance on events where minors are present on our campuses,” said Board of Regents President Pam Roberts. “We want our universities to be safe and welcoming places for students, staff, and visitors of all ages.”
The Minors on Campus Policy provides consistent protocol and process across the system for events bringing minors to campus. The Board’s action provides baseline requirements for prohibited conduct; appropriate supervision of non-student minors; background checks; duty to report inappropriate behavior; and sanctions for noncompliance.
“Our campuses host a variety of events throughout the year,” said BOR Executive Director Dr. Brian Maher. “Whether our visitors attend a university-sponsored event or participate in an external organization program utilizing campus facilities, this first reading was the initial step to safeguard the well-being of minors visiting campus.”
The first reading approval allows the policy to advance to a future meeting for final approval, allowing an opportunity for additional modifications based on Board feedback and stakeholder input.