On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, Clemson Young Americans for Liberty, along with the local Turning Point chapter, rolled liberty onto campus. We started our day rolling a large beach ball to the new student dinning and resident hall, “Core Campus.” From there the ball was rolled from west campus to library bridge and then to its final destination on the east side of campus, “The Horseshoe.”
At first many students did not seem interested, even when asked, “Do you like free speech?” It may seem odd to most people, but Clemson is an engineering school and located in what is considered the deep south. Here there is a culture of apathy and a tendency to avoid “ugliness.” Due to the politics of the day, something seemingly simple like the right to free speech is a topic many want to avoid. However the members of Clemson YAL and TPUSA only fought harder.
The ball soon garnered attention as students left the dining hall next door. And YAL members took an enthusiastic and active approach, walking to students and extending a sharpie with the phrase, “Write or draw anything on that giant beach ball.” Soon, with students not aware of what this was really all about, we had many students participating. Once the students were engaged, we explained to them the issues the are specific to Clemson. From there they were encouraged to sign the Free Speech Petition. At the end of the day we had nearly 100 + signatures!
There is still a lot to do at Clemson. With an administration as cunning as it is corrupt, they will bend and sway at every turn to stop a change to their policies, policies that currently allow too much in the way of personal discretion. Clemson YAL, as a part of the coalition WeRoar, will hold its second meeting with the Vice President for Student Affairs at Clemson University. The nature of this meeting will be a continued discussion to reform current policies as well as to hold the administration accountable for their actions. Clemson YAL and Tigers all, love free speech!