College Hawaiian Day Issue Didn’t Violate Student Free Speech
VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) — An investigation into a University of South Dakota student group's decision to rename their "Hawaiian Day" party to avoid backlash has found that administrators who advised the name change didn't violate the school's free speech policy.
The Argus Leader reports that University President Sheila Gestring met with a state legislative committee Wednesday about the Student Bar Association's move last month to rename its winter social event to "Beach Day."
Law school administrators suggested the theme change after receiving a student complaint that the event potentially violated the school's policy on inclusiveness. The decision came on the same day that South Dakota lawmakers killed a bill that would've mandated free speech on college campuses.
Gestring told lawmakers that a false narrative from sources outside the school overwhelmed the student group.