The Tiger Newspaper Almost Shut Down (January 14th): In the Jan. 14, 1972 edition of The Tiger, the front page contained a quote which mentioned an anonymous source who called former South Carolina Governor John C. West a “son-of-a-bitch” (The Tiger News Archives). Then President Edwards threatened to shut the newspaper down if they didn’t publish a retraction, but ultimately failed.
Open Letter Challenges Free Speech Zones (October 13th): Andrew Davis, Chairman of the “Clemson Conservatives” student group, writes an open letter to Clemson University, challenging the student Free Speech Zone policy.
Gay-Marriage Protest Violates Free Speech Zone Policy (October 30th): Clemson Conservatives protest the “Clemson Gay-Straight Alliance” Gay-Marriage rally, violating Clemson’s Free Speech Zone policy.
Clemson Threatens Action Against Clemson Conservatives (November 9th): Clemson University issues a censure and admonition sanctions, specifying that further violations could result in the group’s suspension and warning that action may be taken against Andrew Davis personally.
FIRE Writes Letter to Clemson President Barker (November 13th): The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonpartisan First Amendment activism group, writes a letter to Clemson University President Barker informing him Clemson’s policies are Unconstitutional. This letter went unanswered.
VP For Student Affairs Reviews Free Speech Zone Policy (November 16th): Dean of Students Gail DiSabatino issues an email notifying students and faculty that Clemson’s “free speech zones” policy will be reviewed and that the entirety of Clemson University’s campus is open to free expression.
Clemson Conservatives Sanctions Removed (November 17th): Admonition and Censure Sanctions on Clemson Conservatives are removed by Gail DiSabatino, Clemson University Dean of Students.
VICTORY – Clemson Abolishes Free Speech Zones (November 28th): Clemson University completely abolishes Free Speech Zones for students.
Vice-President of FIRE Visits Clemson (February 27th): Robert Shibley, Vice-President of FIRE, visits Clemson to discuss student Free Speech rights at American colleges and universities.
Employees Restricted From Contacting Public Officials (January 12th): Clemson University emails faculty members and other employees that they cannot contact public officials (members of Congress, etc…) without notifying Clemson officials and securing prior arrangement.
FIRE – Clarify Public Official Communication Policy (January 15th): FIRE writes Clemson University President Barker that Clemson’s policy on contacting public officials was misguided and violated the right to petition public officials.
VICTORY – Public Official Communication Policy Clarified (January 20th): Clemson University emails faculty members and other employees to clarify the policy on contacting public officials.
Administrator – Participate In Event Or Else (May 13th): Administrator Laura McMaster attempts to force William Kirwan, President of Clemson Central Spirit , to participate in the Clemson Fall Organization’s Fair. Kirwan refuses in a followup email and is told his email “language and tone is unacceptable in any setting.”
Central Spirit President Charged by OCES (May 19th): Clemson University’s Office of Community and Ethical Standards (OCES) charges William Kirwan with “Disorderly Conduct,” “Harassment,” “Failure to Comply with Official Request,” and “Computer Misuse” for not participating in the CU Fall Organization’s Fair.
FIRE Defends Central Spirit President In Letter (May 24th): FIRE writes Clemson President James Barker, explaining Kirwan’s emails were protected speech.
Clemson Earns “Yellow-Light” Speech Rating From FIRE (September 19th): Clemson University’s speech policies earn a “Yellow-Light rating” from FIRE, later earning a “Red-Light rating” for the “Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination” policy.
Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) Files Complaint Against Clemson (April 10th): FFRF files a complaint against Clemson University because of Dabo’s open promotion and practice of Christianity around the Clemson Tigers football team.
Title IX Training – Invasion of Privacy (September 9th): Clemson requires students to complete a Title IX training course by November 1st. The course requires students to divulge questions about drinking habits and sexual activities under penalty of a Student Code of Conduct violation, violating students’ right to private conscience.
VICTORY – Title IX Training Suspended (September 17th): After negative press, Clemson University suspends the Title IX training course.
Pro-Life Display Vandalized (October 28th): “Clemson Students For Life” pro-life display vandalized, censoring their right to free expression. 110 crosses were ripped out of the ground, the banners were stolen and replaced by makeshift pro-abortion signs, and a sign was added framing the pro-life students for insensitive comments.
“See The Stripes” Group Demands Free Speech Restrictions (January 7th): See The Stripes, a Clemson student/faculty group, issues a demand 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).”
Clemson Considers Banning The Yik Yak App (January 8th): Clemson University considers banning Yik Yak, an anonymous chat application.
Clemson Faculty Endorse Free Speech Restrictions (January 29th): 110 Clemson University faculty and staff publicly endorsed the demand 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).”
Clemson Professors Defend Free Speech on Campus (January 29th): Three Clemson Professors, Prof. Bradley Thompson, Prof. Alan Grubb, and Prof. Bradley Meyer, wrote an “Open Letter to Clemson Students,” promising to defend their First Amendment rights on campus.
FIRE Speaks to CUSG Senate (November 16th): Catherine Sevcenko, a representative of FIRE, speaks to Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG) Senate about First Amendment Rights on Campus.
FFRF Wants to Sue Clemson University (January 11th): The Freedom From Religion Foundation expresses wishes to sue Clemson University on account of Coach Dabo Swinney’s vocal practice and promotion of Christianity, but cannot find a current or former football player willing to act as a plaintiff.
Hendrix Center Tries to Deny CUSG Senate Campaign Poster Approval (February 10th): Clemson Hendrix Student Center tries to arbitrarily deny a CUSG Senate poster for featuring a rifle, but capitulates when showed their own Facility Usage Policy.
Student Groups Form “WeRoar” a Free Speech Coalition (March 22nd): WeRoar, a coalition of the Clemson student groups Turning Point USA (TPUSA), Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), and The Tiger Town Observer (TTO), forms to combat First Amendment infringement at Clemson University.
“Milo Yiannopoulos: Make Clemson Great Again” [MY:MCGA] Announced (July 29th): “Make Clemson Great Again” event announced by WeRoar for October 18th, featuring controversial Free Speech activist Milo Yiannopoulos.
Students/Faculty Threaten to Censor MY:MCGA (August 10th): Ian Anderson, a Clemson student previously arrested for trespassing during the Sikes Sit-In, and an anonymous Reddit user threaten to protest and “no-platform” the “Make Clemson Great Again” event, attempting to censor Milo Yiannopoulos. Ian states a Clemson professor “was getting [him] in touch with UC Irvine,” indicating unknown Clemson faculty were involved. Students at UC Irvine also attempted to “no-platform” Milo Yiannopoulos.
U.S. Representative Urges Clemson to Revise Speech Polices (August 14th): The Chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), sends a letter to President Clements urging Clemson to make speech policy revisions. Clemson University did not respond to this letter or revise its policies.
Sign Reading “PRAYER” Labelled Solicitation (August 25th): Robby Roberts, a local evangelist holding “PRAYER” sign and praying with students, is interrupted mid-prayer and told he is engaging in “solicitation” by Clemson Administrator Shawn Jones.
Robby Roberts Interviews With WeRoar (August 29th): Robby Roberts interviews with WeRoar, detailing his story and intentions on campus.
“Rally For Robby” Protest (September 2nd): “Rally For Robby” protest against the treatment of Robby Roberts and Clemson University speech zone policies for non-students. Robby again holds a “PRAYER” sign, but this time, the University doesn’t act against him.
Left-Wing Student Group Threatens Milo Yiannopoulos (September 9th): Dawn Lifsey, the President of Clemson Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a far-left student activism group, advocates for Milo Yiannopoulos’ death, stating “If somebody put a bullet in Milo’s head I would donate to that person’s bail fund.” Undercover audio evidence revealed that SDS collaborated with a number of Clemson professors, including SDS Advisor Prof. Todd May and Prof. Chenjerai Kumanyika.
WeRoar Meets With Clemson Administration (September 12th): WeRoar leadership meets with Clemson Administrators, Dr. George Smith, Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, and Dr. Chris Miller, to discuss reforming unconstitutional speech policies at Clemson University.
CUSG Senate Violates Open Meeting Laws (September 19th): CUSG Senate restricted freedom of the press and violated open meeting laws by moving into executive session without a compelling reason. By moving into executive session, CUSG Senate removed all non-senators, including student journalists.
Graduate Community Director Bans Harambe Memes (September 23rd): Brooks Artis, the Graduate Community Director for the Shoeboxes dorm at Clemson University, attempts to ban residents from posting Harambe memes on
their doors or anywhere visible through their windows. Brooks, believing Harambe memes promoted “racism” and “rape culture,” gave residents until September 30th to remove any visible Harambe memes so “that [they] are not reported to OCES.”
VICTORY – Harambe Ban Lifted (September 26th): Clemson University’s Media Relations department tells media that the Harambe Ban “was sent by one person and does not reflect university policy.” The (brief) Harambe Ban is lifted.
WeRoar Meets With Clemson Administration a Second Time (September 28th): WeRoar leadership meets with Clemson Administrators, Dr. George Smith, Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, and Dr. Chris Miller, a second time to discuss reforming unconstitutional speech policies at Clemson University. A third meeting is contemplated to include Vice-President for Student Affairs Almeda Jacks and Clemson legal counsel.
VICTORY – CUSG Senate To No Longer Enter Executive Session (October 3rd): CUSG Senate was informed by Clemson Administration that “there will be no more “executive sessions” pending meetings with the administration and legal counsel.
Self-Proclaimed SDS-Affliate Threatens Assault (October 17th): A Self-Proclaimed Students for A Democratic Society Affiliate threatened to hurl paint and eggs at “Milo Yiannopoulos: Make Clemson Great Again” attendees. The police were notified.
“Milo Yiannopoulos: Make Clemson Great Again” Is Held (October 18th): “Milo Yiannopoulos: Make Clemson Great Again” is hosted at Clemson University with approximately 800 people in attendance.
FIRE Delivers Letter to President Clements (November 1st): FIRE delivers a letter to Clemson University President Clements warning of potential lawsuits associated with the University’s unconstitutional policies. FIRE offers to work with Clemson University.
Clemson University Still Maintains Unconstitutional Policies (Present Day): Despite numerous attempts at reform, Clemson University still maintains policies that infringe upon First Amendment rights. WeRoar will continue to fight until Clemson policies comply with the First Amendment and students and the Clemson community are able to enjoy their Constitutional rights in full.