Clemson University CRs Fight Back Against School Discrimination, Draw National Attention!

April 10, 2024
David Buckley

On Saturday, April 6th, the Clemson CRA chapter were targeted by false accusations of “soliciting” at a sporting event, while trying to promote their endorsed candidate for U.S Congress, Stewart Jones. 

According to the group's page on X, the club was “ told by university officials and the athletic department that we were violating their "soliciting" policy and were ordered to take down our Stewart Jones signs and flyers. However, this is not our first rodeo, so we challenged them on this asinine attack on our protected First Amendment right. After explaining that we were not "soliciting" several times, the officer in the video decided to report our chairman and secretary to the Office of Community and Ethical Standards (OCES) at Clemson University” (@Clemsoncrs, X)

Very shortly following the posting of this video, a major show of support took place online for the Clemson College Republicans, from not only fellow CRA chapters, but from very well-known and important members of Congress as well, including Adam Morgan and Matt Gaetz. Gaetz reposted the video on X, with a quote saying… “BRAVO to the students who knew their rights and stood their ground. What consequences are these boneheaded administrators facing for trying to bully people based on their own flawed read on the law?” (Matt Gaetz, X) Adam Morgan also took to X to say… “These students stood up for their 1st Amendment rights even in the face of threats from University officials and law enforcement.  The future is bright with young patriots like these in SC! The @SCFreedomCaucus has your back.” (Adam Morgan, X)

The club also received the defense of Stewart Jones, the Congressional candidate that the club was promoting before being harassed by the university staff. “FREE SPEECH WINS! I stand with @ClemsonCRs  for expressing their political views and standing firm on their First Amendment rights. It is critical that public universities know the importance of respecting the right of political expression," Jones wrote. (Stewart Jones, X) Later on during the day, U.S. Congressman, Mike Collins added his voice. “Y'all stayed professional and respectfully stood your ground. Keep up that example of maturity." (Mike Collins, X

 The defense for the Clemson CRs was resounding across social media, and appears to be helping them fight against the censorship that would have otherwise taken place if they had chosen to stay silent. CRA News spoke with the President of the Clemson College Republicans, Trevor Tiedeman, about the attempted silencing that had taken place on Saturday “We aren’t surprised that this happened unfortunately.” Tiedeman said. “There are pernicious individuals all throughout universities nationwide. Clemson is no different. This just so happened to involve the athletic department. Our First Amendment rights were trampled and spit on for no good reason. We had every right to canvas outside the spring game. We hope to receive a public apology from both the Clemson Police Dept and the Athletics Department for this ridiculous rollercoaster they put us through.”Tiedeman went on to acknowledge and express his gratitude for all the support. “We appreciate the support that Stewart Jones, Matt Gaetz, and Adam Morgan have given us, as well as the National CRs”. 

Tiedeman's goal of getting an apology to the club may come soon. Following the massive show of support, the club went to X to ask people to respectively call the athletic department to ask for them to issue a public apology to the group. Ever since that call for an apology, they had received an acknowledgment from the Clemson Office of Community and Ethical standards that, despite the office receiving a report about the group tabling, the office said that there were no violations committed by the Clemson CRs. 

However, an acknowledgement of no wrongdoing is not an apology for the harassment that the club had to put up with from their own University staff. CRA solidly supports the Clemson College Republicans and every college club in their fight against censorship on campus.

 We ask you to please call the Clemson Campus Athletic department to respectfully ask for them to issue a public apology to the Clemson College Republicans. You can call them at 864-656-1935.

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