CLEMSON, SC – Faculty members and students at Clemson University are calling on the administration to do more to address racism and hate on campus.
It took Clemson University 4 days to email students and faculty about white supremacist recruitment fliers that were scattered around school grounds on Monday, September 30th.
On Friday, November 3rd, students and faculty received the following letter from the Clemson University Administration:
But for many people like Pauline De Tholozany, a French Professor at Clemson, the University’s message wasn’t strong enough.
“We have a racist leaflet on campus, and we can’t get a condemnation of racism,” De Tholozany told 7 News in an interview Wednesday night.
A Clemson University spokesperson told 7 News in an interview on October 31st that the alt-right recruitment fliers were removed because they didn’t follow the University’s posting policy.
“The issue with the flier that took place Monday was that it did not have an approval stamp per our regulations,” said Communications Director Philip Sikes.
De Tholozany, however, said Wednesday it’s unacceptable that the administration refuses to condemn white supremacy.
“I don’t know what we’re doing as a University if we don’t look critically at content.”
On Sunday, De Tholozany and several of her colleagues started a petition calling on Clemson’s administration to step up.
The petition can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/president-clements-clemson-administration-condemn-racism-and-hate
By Wednesday night, hundreds of students, faculty and alums had signed their names in support.
Many current students told 7 News in several on-camera interviews that they feel the issue of racism on campus is being swept under the rug.
“I feel like I normally don’t hear about stuff like this until weeks later,” said undergraduate student Ryan Ginty.
“I don’t think they really publicize it because they don’t want people to know what’s going on,” added Clemson student Ali Cohen.
Sikes, a Clemson University spokesperson said the administration is aware of the petition and sent 7 News the following statement:
“The university issued a campuswide email on Friday regarding the improper posting of “alt-right” and “anti-fascist” materials found recently within our facilities and grounds. We are aware of the petition expressing disappointment in our response to the recruiting leaflets that were disseminated. Clemson University has the utmost respect for faculty members’ right to express their views, including on this matter. The university remains deeply committed to the safety of its students, employees and guests. Any form of speech that is deemed to be a direct call to imminent lawlessnesss, or which presents a true threat to members of the campus community, will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately by the university.”
For De Tholozany, however, minority students are targeted by the fliers.
“I don’t really see how we can call ourselves a diverse community and then not step up for the under-represented groups that are targeted by these fliers,” she said.
De Tholozany is also a member of The Clemson Campaign for Campus Justice Steering Committee.
The organization sent the following letter to the administration on November 2nd:
According to De Tholozany, the letter went without response.
Tholozany told 7 News she plans to send the petition to Clemson University administration in the coming days.