BHSU Student HandbooK AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION INFO and Information about our Free Speech Policy

Welcome to the new academic year at Black Hills State University. Whether you are a new student or a returning student, the faculty and staff at BHSU look forward to partnering with you on your academic journey.

Helpful Forms and documents:

BHSU Sanctions:

ALCOHOL

*All sanctions are situation specific – standard sanctions are changed to benefit the student’s educational experience.

Alcohol 1st Offence

  • $75 Fine
    • Pays for the Options Course
  • Options Course
    • Facilitated through BHSU Counseling Center
  • 6 academic months of University Probation
    • Staff is slightly more aware of their presence in the hall (nowhere near “Big Brother Status”)
    • If another violations occurs during this period sanctions are stiffer
    • Room search without consent/notice

Alcohol 2nd Offence

  • $100 Fine
    • Pays for the Options Course
  • Options Course (2nd Offence)
    • Facilitated through BHSU Counseling Center
    • A second Offence Options Course is more in-depth and conducted on a one-on-one with a counselor
  • Possible housing relocation
  • 1 Year of University Probation
    • Staff is slightly more aware of their presence in the hall (nowhere near “Big Brother Status”)
    • If another violations occurs during this period sanctions are stiffer
    • Room search without consent/notice
  • Potential parental notification

Alcohol 3rd Offence

  • $150 Fine
    • Pays for the Options Course
  • External Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
    • Should share the results of the evaluation with the hearing officer
    • Evaluations are at the expense of the student
    • Any recommendations will be taken into account for possible sanctions
  • 1 Year of University Probation
    • Staff is slightly more aware of their presence in the hall (nowhere near “Big Brother Status”)
    • If another violations occurs during this period sanctions are stiffer
    • Room search without consent/notice
  • Parental notification
  • Possible loss of on campus housing privileges
    • BHSU Residence Life can release a student from their housing contract and ask that they vacate the residence hall
    • The permanent removal of students from a residence hall is determined by the benefit to the student and/or the community inside the residence hall

Explanations and Definitions

  • Collection of Fines – All monies collected are used in the implementation (materials, location, time) of the Options Course by the BHSU Counseling Center
  • Options Course – The Options course is a drug and alcohol education class facilitated through BHSU Counseling Center.
    • Options Courses get progressively more in-depth as the number or violations increases.
  • University Probation – University probation consists of the following:
    • University Staff is more aware of a student’s presence and movement in the hall/building.
    • Sanctions get stiffer if another violation occurs during this period.
    • Room search without consent/notice.
      • An unconsented and unannounced room search is a last resort, and then only if there is the belief there is a policy violation and with an Administrative Search Warrant
  • External Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
    • Evaluations are at the expense of the student.
    • Results and recommendations from the evaluation are to be shared with the Student Conduct Officer
    • Results and recommendations will be considered for possible sanctions.
  • Housing Relocations
    • BHSU Residence Life has the authority to relocate students to different living accommodations (different room or a different building) when necessary.
    • Relocations are determined by their benefit to the student and/or the community inside the residence hall.
  • Loss of housing privileges
    • BHSU Residence Life can release a student from their housing contract and ask that they vacate the residence hall.
    • The permanent removal of students from a residence hall is determined by the benefit to the student and/or the community inside the residence hall.

MARIJUANA & OTHER DRUGS

*All sanctions are situation specific – standard sanctions are changed to benefit the student’s educational experience

Marijuana & Other Drugs 1st Offence

  • $75 Fine
    • Pays for the Options Course
  • Options Course
    • Facilitated through BHSU Counseling Center
  • 1 Year of University Probation
    • Staff is slightly more aware of their presence in the hall (nowhere near “Big Brother Status”)
    • If another violations occurs during this period sanctions are stiffer
    • Room search without consent/notice
  • Possible parental notification

Marijuana & Other Drugs 2nd Offence

  • $100 Fine
    • Pays for the Options Course
  • Options Course (2nd Offence)
    • Facilitated through BHSU Counseling Center
    • A second Offence Options Course is more in-depth and conducted on a one-on-one with a counselor
  • 1 Year of University Probation
    • Staff is slightly more aware of their presence in the hall (nowhere near “Big Brother Status”)
    • If another violations occurs during this period sanctions are stiffer
    • Room search without consent/notice
  • Parental notification
  • Possible loss of on-campus housing privileges
    • BHSU Residence Life can release a student from their housing contract and ask that they vacate the residence hall
    • The permanent removal of students from a residence hall is determined by the benefit to the student and/or the community inside the residence hall

Marijuana & Other Drugs 3rd Offence

  • $150 Fine
  • External Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
    • Should share the results of the evaluation with the hearing officer
    • Any recommendations will be taken into account for possible sanctions
    • Evaluations are at the expense of the student
  • 1 Year of University Probation
    • Staff is slightly more aware of their presence in the hall (nowhere near “Big Brother Status”)
    • If another violations occurs during this period sanctions are stiffer
    • Room search without consent/notice
  • Potential parental notification
  • Possible loss of on-campus housing privileges
    • BHSU Residence Life can release a student from their housing contract and ask that they vacate the residence hall
    • The permanent removal of students from a residence hall is determined by the benefit to the student and/or the community inside the residence hall

Explanations and Definitions

  • Collection of Fines – All monies collected are used in the implementation (materials, location, time) of the Options Course by the BHSU Counseling Center
  • Options Course – The Options course is a drug and alcohol education class facilitated through BHSU Counseling Center.
    • Options Courses get progressively more in-depth as the number or violations increases.
  • University Probation – University probation consists of the following:
    • University Staff is more aware of a student’s presence and movement in the hall/building.
    • Sanctions get stiffer if another violation occurs during this period.
    • Room search without consent/notice.
      • An unconsented and unannounced room search is a last resort, and then only if there is the belief there is a policy violation and with an Administrative Search Warrant
  • External Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
    • Evaluations are at the expense of the student.
    • Results and recommendations from the evaluation are to be shared with the Student Conduct Officer
    • Results and recommendations will be considered for possible sanctions.
  • Housing Relocations
    • BHSU Residence Life has the authority to relocate students to different living accommodations (different room or a different building) when necessary.
    • Relocations are determined by their benefit to the student and/or the community inside the residence hall.
  • Loss of housing privileges
    • BHSU Residence Life can release a student from their housing contract and ask that they vacate the residence hall.
    • The permanent removal of students from a residence hall is determined by the benefit to the student and/or the community inside the residence hall.

FIRE SAFETY AND TAMPERING WITH FIRE EQUIPMENT

*All sanctions are situation specific – standard sanctions are changed to benefit the student’s educational experience

BHSU is committed to the safety of all on campus residents; as such takes fire safety precautions very seriously. BHSU divides fire safety violations into minor and major violations. Please see below for possible violations and the accompanying sanctions.

FIRE SAFETY MINOR VIOLATIONS: BHSU does not allow any of the following inside the residence halls of campus apartments:

  • Open flame devices including candles, incense and smoking
  • Open coil appliances such as hot plates and space heaters
  • Negligent cooking includes cooking that is left without supervision and/or is the cause of a fire alarm; Negligent cooking may include supervised cooking even though the cooking/food causes or triggers a fire alarm
  • Halogen lamps
  • Extension cords
  • Outlet splitters
  • Having more than four (4) people in a residence hall room or apartment at one time

Fire Safety Minor Violation, 1st Offence

  • Minimally a $50 fine
  • Compliancy Expectation Letter

Fire Safety Minor Violation, 2nd Offence

  • Minimally a $100 fine
  • Conduct Hearing
  • Educational Sanctioning

Fire Safety Minor Violation, 3rd Offence

  • Minimally a $150 fine
  • Conduct Hearing
  • Educational Sanctioning
  • Parental Notification
  • Possible loss of on-campus living privileges

FIRE SAFETY MAJOR VIOLATIONS: BHSU does not allow any of the following behavior inside the residence halls of campus apartments:

  • Any prank or activity involving fire extinguishers (the removal and/or discharge of)
  • The Possession of fireworks, flammable material, liquids, explosives, dangerous chemicals and noxious or harmful materials/objects
    • All chemicals/explosives/fireworks found in any residence hall room are subject to immediate seizure by any staff member
  • Failure to evacuate during a fire alarm or hindering the evacuation of other occupants during a fire alarm
  • Tampering/abuse of fire equipment and/or any life/safety equipment
  • False reporting to authorities – this includes intentionally pulling the fire alarm setting off a false alarm
  • Intentionally starting a fire or causing an explosion that places another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury

Fire Safety Major Violation, 1st Offence

  • Minimally a $250 fine
  • Conduct Hearing
  • Educational Sanctioning
  • University Probation
  • Possible Parental Notification
  • Possible loss of on-campus living privileges
  • Possible suspension or expulsion

Fire Safety Major Violation, 2nd Offence

  • Minimally a $500 fine
  • Conduct Hearing
  • Educational Sanctioning
  • University Probation
  • Possible Parental Notification
  • Possible loss of on-campus living privileges
  • Possible suspension or expulsion

Note: Major Violations dealing with fire safety or fire safety equipment regularly entail law enforcement or other public officials. Several of the behaviors listed above could carry severe criminal charges and prosecution.

Smoking/Vaping in the Residence Halls

BHSU considers the use of vape pens, e-cigarettes, and other such devices as smoking. Using any of these devices in a campus building falls under this policy. The use of either is prohibited inside the residence halls and campus apartments

Smoking/Vaping 1st Offence

  • $50 fine
  • Conduct Hearing
  • Educational Sanctioning

Smoking/Vaping 2nd Offence

  • $100 fine
  • Conduct Hearing
  • Educational Sanctioning
  • Potential housing relocation

Smoking/Vaping 3rd Offence

  • $150 fine
  • Conduct Hearing
  • Educational Sanctioning
  • Parental Notification
  • Possible loss of on-campus living privileges 

Other Serious Behavior:

Below is a partial list of actions, behaviors, and items that are not permitted inside the residence halls, apartments, and academic buildings at BHSU. (see the Student Code of Conduct and Residential Standards of Living for details)


  • Sexual and Human rights Violations
  • Acts of Aggression
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Controlled Substances
  • Encouraging Code Violations
  • Falsifying Information
  • Damage to Property
  • Theft and Attempted Theft
  • Failure to Comply with a University Official

Contact Information:

  • Assistant Director of Residence Life, 605-642-6464
  • Dean of Students, 605-642-6080