In April 2016, Clemson students organized a peaceful nine-day protest outside Sikes Hall. This became what is known as the Sikes Sit In. Among their list of demands was as follows: "We want 'Diversity' included as a Clemson University core value, starting with a 'diversity'/university history component added to the CU1000 course."
Four years later, the university has made no tangible progress on this grievance. Now is a time when Clemson can be on the right side of history. Dr. Rhondda Thomas, the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature, has done tremendous work on uncovering the side of Clemson's history that nobody talks about. Her work, Call My Name, can be found here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/wQoPG/
Dr. A.D. Carson also started a movement during his time at Clemson called See The Stripes, where he states: "While The Tiger could be seen as 'Solid Orange' a solid orange tiger could not survive without its stripes. Similarly, Clemson University’s history has its dark parts that should be acknowledged—particularly the histories of laborers who contributed significantly to its development: slaves, sharecroppers and convict laborers." Dr. Carson's work can be found here: https://aydeethegreat.com/see-the-stripes/
As President Clements himself stated, we can and must do better. If President Clements really believes this, one action he can take is fulfilling the demands that students have long asked for. Among these demands are adding "Diversity" to our core values, as well as a university history component added to CU1000, mandatory for all first-year students.
As a student at Clemson University coming from out of state, I had no idea the origins of the school and the land it was built on. Clemson University has a duty to its students, faculty, and the enslaved people who built it, to recognize its history. ALL of its history.