[As presented to Clemson University’s Administrators]
Statement of Purpose:
In adhering to Thomas Green Clemson’s vision of “a high seminary of learning” and Clemson University’s portrayal of its history of diversity starting with “integration with Dignity” in 1963, we concerned Clemson students present for your consideration grievances representative of Clemson University’s failure to fulfill and uphold Mr. Clemson’s vision and its own mission, particularly to educate “undergraduate and graduate students to think deeply about and engage in the social, scientific, economic and professional challenges of our time” and its foundation through “the generation, preservation, communication, and application of knowledge,” nor has it upheld its commitment “to the personal growth of the individual and promot[ion of] an environment of good decision making, healthy and ethical lifestyles, and tolerance and respect for others.” We have also included, for your consideration, demands to address our grievances.
Current list of student grievances:
- We feel as though President Clements’ public statement re: The Crip’mas Party is woefully inadequate and insincere. Additionally, we feel Clemson students, particularly those members of underrepresented communities were and are targets of insensitive, ignorant, alienating and (sometimes) criminal/predatory comments on social media (i.e., Yik Yak).
- We feel that students from underrepresented groups have no place to meet and feel safe among other students who represent those groups (and allies).
- We feel student government does not represent the student body as a whole financially. Due to a lack of representation from students of a variety of backgrounds within predominant student leadership organizations, we feel that their requests for funding are overlooked when evaluated by those that allocate monies.
- We feel that the percentage of faculty of color should, at least, be comparable to the percentage of students of color.
- We feel there are several buildings that are named after individuals who were known for their prejudice against underrepresented groups and makes us feel disrespected, uncomfortable and not welcomed.
- We feel many administrators and faculty could benefit from training to be better prepared to teach and engage with students from underrepresented groups.
- We feel that Clemson does not embrace its students from underrepresented groups, which makes those students feel as though they are not part of the Clemson Family.
Current List of Student Demands
- We want President Clements to immediately make a public statement from Clemson University—to students, alumni, faculty, staff, administration and media—denouncing both the Crip’mas Party and hateful statements from members of the Clemson Family via social media (Yik Yak, Facebook, Twitter). Additionally, we want a public commitment from the Clemson University Administration to prosecute criminally predatory behaviors and defamatory speech committed by members of the Clemson University community (including, but not limited to, those facilitated by usage of social media).
- We want the construction of a multi-cultural center, a safe space for students from underrepresented groups.
- We want more funding for organizations whose primary constituencies are of under-represented groups (international students, students of color, LBGTQA community, etc.).
- We want the percentage of people of color in faculty and administration increased.
- We want the names of offensively named buildings, ex. Tillman Hall, changed.
- We want incentivized diversity training for administrators and faculty.
- We want “Diversity” included as a Clemson University core value, starting with a “diversity”/university history component added to the CU1000 course.