North Dakota Student Association opposes pending ban on TikTok
The ban on the Chinese social media platform TikTok on all NDUS networks or devices is set to take effect on July 1.
BISMARCK – The North Dakota Student Association is in opposition to an upcoming ban on TikTok on university system networks.
During the North Dakota Board of Higher Education's Tuesday meeting, Christopher Scott, president of the North Dakota Student Association, read a resolution opposing the impending ban on accessing the Chinese social media platform TikTok on all NDUS networks or devices, set to take effect on July 1.
Reading from the resolution, Scott said, “The TikTok application predominantly collects the same data and uses the same resources as other social media platforms. Fears concerning data storage and security of the global version of TikTok stem from misconception and misinformation.”
Scott also said the ban will effect NDUS institutions’ ability to utilize TikTok to retain and recruit students.
The board voted in April to ban the app after months of discussion about national security and data privacy concerns pertaining to the platform, the Herald previously reported. The ban adds the NDUS to a list of several university systems across the country that have banned TikTok. Gov. Doug Burgum also signed an executive order in December that banned TikTok from all government-owned communications devices and networks.
The ban does not apply to students’ or staff members’ personal devices, as they will still be able to access the platform via cellular data networks.
Additionally, the North Dakota Board of Higher Education authorized the City of Minot to enter into a joint powers agreement with the board to secure funding for a planned career technical education center in the city.
The decision was made at the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday.
According to a North Dakota University System document, Minot lacks a CTE center that “provides skills training for residents, and to promote new commercial/industrial and small business diversity.” The city has since provided the Minot State University Development Foundation with $800,000 to purchase a building previously owned by Trinity Health, which the foundation in turn leased to Dakota College at Bottineau to administer CTE training programs.
Steve Shirley, president of Minot State University, said the Minot City Council voted last December to infuse an additional $1.8 million into the project to account for inflationary pressures, which will be used to remodel the former Trinity Health building to instructional specifications. Shirley said these funds are contingent upon the city of Minot entering into the JPA with the board.
Shirley said securing funding for the project has entailed extensive partnership between the city, healthcare sector and higher education.
“This has been a long, ongoing project in the City of Minot,” Shirley said. “It’s been a lot of partners working together, including Trinity Health, the Minot State Development Foundation. This approval is the final piece, and we’re excited to open up next year.”
The board also unanimously approved the appointments of board members Tim Mihalick and Dr. John Warford to serve as chair and vice chair, respectively. Their terms will begin on July 1.
In nominating Mihalick for the position of board chair, Member Nick Hacker — whose term is expiring at the end of June — praised Mihalick’s leadership and extensive involvement with projects at the NDUS’ institutions.
“Tim has not only shown his leadership to be servant in nature within the board, but also to go to bat and work for our institutions in the trenches when they need it,” Hacker said.
In other news from the state board
- The board approved a policy change that allows members to serve indefinitely on board committees. Members were previously limited to serving three consecutive one-year terms.
- The board approved the timeline for implementing the NDUS’ digital literacy requirements for graduating students. The policy will mandate that students graduating with an associate’s degree complete the requirement by 2026, and those graduating with a bachelor’s degree by 2028.