Clemson issues statement about prayer on campus

CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Clemson University sent out a statement regarding the college’s stance on free speech, and specifically prayer, on campus.

They said the statement was in response to rumors being spread about Clemson not allowing prayer on campus.

Clemson stated that an incident happened about a week ago when a man came onto Clemson’s campus, sat down and began to pray.

The man had a sign and empty chair beside him, indicating that anyone was welcome to join him.

The man was not a student, professor, or employee, and had no affiliation to Clemson University.

Clemson says they have a policy and guidelines for anyone that wants to come and have any type of gathering on the campus. Anyone from the external community has to fill out paperwork.

A student decided to join the man and prayed with him.

Once they were done praying, a staff member approached the man and told him what the policies were and that he needed to fill out paperwork.

The man was polite and filled out the necessary papers, but the student who was praying with him got extremely upset.

The staff member told the man that he could continue to sit and pray as long as he would remove his sign.

The staff member also told the man that if he wanted to put up a sign and invite a gathering, he would need to reserve one of the areas of campus designated as available to the public.

The college has since sent out a statement saying that they do not prohibit prayer on campus.

“Clemson University supports the rights of students, faculty and staff of all religious faiths to express their beliefs on our campuses. Religious expression occurs regularly at Clemson, including in the many religious-based student organizations recognized by the university,” they said in the statement.

In addition, Clemson says that individuals and groups from the external community are also welcome to pray on the campus, either individually or while interacting with students.
However, the school says those activities that involve individuals or groups that are not affiliated with the university must be held in a manner that is consistent with the university’s policies to maintain an effective and safe learning environment for students.

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