The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Clemson never had bans on Harambe memes

Harambe memes may be the latest social media trend, but according to an email sent out by a member of Clemson’s administration, they shouldn’t be posted in dorm hallways. 

After an isolated incident concerning an “offensive” Harambe poster directed towards a student occurred in the Shoeboxes, Graduate Community Director Brooks Artis sent an email to the shoeboxes residents asking students to take down Harambe references in the dorms. 

The emails said Harambe should not be “displayed in public places” because the memes “add to rape culture” and are “a form of racism.” 

In the past, Harambe memes have been used to reference black celebrities. One incident included a substitute teacher from Louisiana tweeting a picture of First Lady Michelle Obama with the caption, “you shot the wrong gorilla.”

Charles Pulliam-Moore, a writer from, pointed out while that the memes are a popular joke among millennials, those “jokes” have underlying tones of racism because they prompt people to mock “an easily pronounced Africa name.” The meme has been used to make racist and sexist jokes in corners of the internet, though most remain harmless.

Artis’ email told students, “We are going to allow people until September 30th to get the decorations down, but this day is more of a date for us to know.”

Students accused the University, in particular Artis, of banning the memes in the all freshman dorms. The university never had or enacted such a policy, despite reports to the contrary. 

Twitter user Payton Shiver posted an article by Fox News on her account with the caption “PC culture is out of control.”

An article by Campus Reform writer Caleb Ecarma pointed out that Artis cited the school’s discriminatory language policies as justification for the “ban.” 

“However,” said Ecarma, “these policies do not grant an RA or university administrator the authority to punish an entire group of students because of the wrongful actions of one individual.”

Clemson issued a media release Tuesday that said they did not ban the memes.

 “We are committed to creating an inclusive, safe living community where all residents feel comfortable in peacefully expressing differing points of view,” read the release. “Last week, a door posting with a meme was brought to the attention of our staff as its content made some feel uncomfortable. We also want all residents to feel they are able express their thoughts, opinions and ideas.”

The message added that they wanted to clarify that building residents are able to post items on their individual doors.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *