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Clemson faculty members call on university to condemn ‘alt-right’ flyers

Members of the Clemson community have started a petition asking Clemson University President Jim Clements and Provost Bob Jones to condemn racism and hate.


The petition, posted by Pauline de Tholozany, an assistant professor of French at Clemson, and created by Clemson Campaign for Campus Justice, criticizes the university for its response after “alt-right” recruiting leaflets were distributed on campus on Oct. 30.


“That a leaflet recruiting for white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups was not posted in accordance with university policy is not, in our view, the real problem with the leaflet,” the petition states. “Rather, the problem is that it sought to recruit people to groups that are racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynist and ableist.”


The university sent out an email on Nov. 3 stating that “the materials were not posted in accordance with the university’s policy concerning the use of its facilities and grounds, and without regard to content, were promptly removed by university staff members.”


The petition, though, pushes the university to look past the policy to the content of the leaflet itself.


“To fail to address the content of this leaflet is a profound moral lapse,” the petition states.


The petition also references the university’s “silence” and “tepid response” to KKK leaflets passed around in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017.


In a final call to action, Tholozany asks Clements and Jones to not remain silent on these issues.


“We can be better than this. We can support the vulnerable members of our community — people of color, people from other countries, people with different gender orientations or abilities — but not if those who lead this university cannot find the words to support them.”


At the time of publication, the petition has 405 signatures. Next week, it will be sent to President Clements and Provost Jones.


CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, Pauline Tholozany was credited over the Clemson Campaign for Campus Justice. It was also stated that 500 signatures would be needed before the petition was sent to Provost Jones. Rather, the group plans to turn it in to administration next week regardless of the number of signatures. The Tiger regrets these errors.

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