Censoring Student Group, Black Hills State University

From January 2023 to April 2023
Black Hills State University (Public college or university)
Spearfish, South Dakota

Identity of Speakers

  • Phil Pesheck

    Black Hills State University Director of Public Safety

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Recognized student group event
    Other student-organized event
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Not Clear
  • Incident Responses:
    Student sanctioned
    University administration changed university policy as a consequence
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • Was Speech Code incident


Early 2023, a chapter of Young Americans for Liberty at Black Hills State University survived students around campus about the Second Amendment. The university’s Director of Public Safety. Phil Pesheck, demanded they shut down the survey as they had not filed a form three days prior. This requirement is not required for student organizations, which the Young Americans for Liberty is. The group went to the university’s president to explain the situation.

Part of BHSU’s statement on free speech states “BHSU reserves the right to eject an objectionable person or persons from premises upon the exercise of authority through any agent or police personnel.” The student group petitioned the university to remove this line, as it allows for discrimination on campus, when regarding the First Amendment. Following this demand, the university removed this language to better ensure they are following First Amendment obligations and limiting discrimination on campus.