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South Dakota Passes 'Intellectual Diversity' Bill

March 21, 2019

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, has signed into law a bill requiring each public university to report annually on steps taken to promote intellectual diversity and the free exchange of ideas, The Argus Leader reported. The bill also orders the public universities to protect free speech, including speech that may be “offensive, unwise, immoral, indecent, disagreeable, conservative, liberal, traditional, radical or wrongheaded.”

The bill had been stalled but was revived amid a debate over a "Hawaiian Day" party planned by law students at the University of South Dakota, an event whose name was changed to "Beach Day" after an administrator told them that their original theme may have violated university rules about inclusiveness.

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