`CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) — Clemson University students held the third Take Back Pride March on Wednesday, calling for action from university administration.
“Students are still not safe on campus,” Pan Tankersley, a student organizer for the Take Back Pride March Committee, said. “They still experience harassment, hate and all of those things. If anything, the university needs to step up and needs to protect its students.”
The march came amid tensions between LGBTQ+ students and the student-run organization, Clemson College Republicans. In September, the Clemson College Republicans called for tampon and sanitary product dispensers dispensers to be removed from a men’s restroom in a campus library.
“The university has been pretty silent,” Tankersley said. “They haven’t released any statements regarding transphobia or homophobia seen on campus. We would love for them to make a statement to really give their support to their queer students.”
“Men are men,” Trevor Tiedeman, the chairman of Clemson College Republicans, said. “Women are women. Of course, men can not menstruate. Of course, we spoke out against that. Of course, these people think the opposite, and that’s why they’re out here protesting us.”
The dispensers were reportedly vandalized and removed from the restroom within days.
“Very quickly, those were ripped down,” Tankersley said. “We want those reinstated, and we would love if they could be expanded across campus.”
Some LGBTQ+ students are now asking the university to take action against the Clemson College Republicans.
“We have simply stood up for biological reality,” Tiedeman said. “They reject what we believe, and so they want us to get removed from campus.”
The students also requesting that the university’s Code of Conduct Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policy be changed.
“We want to include gender expression under the student code of conduct as a protected group,” Tankersley explained. “Along with that, we want formal repercussions for organizations that break the student code of conduct in that sense.”
“We want to be heard, and we don’t accept anything less than that,” Dev Bryant, a member of the Take Back Pride March Committee, added.
Clemson University provided the following statement in response to Wednesday’s march:
Clemson values and respects the rights of all students to have diverse viewpoints and opinions. As a campus community, we recognize our role as a marketplace for the exchange of ideas and support the right for these students to assemble and express their views.Clemson University