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Editorial: Transparency

Last fall, Clemson Undergraduate Student Government voted to appoint a student representative on the Board of Trustees. The hope was that with this appointee, students would have a greater say in the decisions made by the University. Chris Miller, vice president and dean of students, signed off on the legislation, and it was sent for approval. Students were under the impression that they would be treated with respect and informed on the progression of this legislation. Weeks passed and nothing ever was said as to whether it had been approved, with no explanation for the delay. 
A similar situation happened with the renaming of Old Main (Tillman Hall). Clemson’s Board of Trustees announced that they were attempting to rename Tillman Hall along with the Honors College in June 2020. The Board voted to rename the building, but due to the South Carolina Heritage Act, had to request the General Assembly for permission. 
“We feel it important, however, to share our desires and respectfully request the General Assembly grant authority to the Board of Trustees of Clemson University to restore Tillman Hall to its original name of main building called Old Main,” said trustee Bob Peeler to the Greenville News.
The Board of Trustees seemed, to the public eye, to genuinely support this change. Why then, was nothing announced after it was voted down by the General Assembly? There was never any public follow-up with the request and the subject was left unmentioned by Clemson again. Even if they were unable to be granted the name change, why not update the student body?
It’s understandable that things like this may take time, but without providing updates it leaves students at a loss. Even with processes that take time, like increasing the resources for sexual assault victims on campus–something students have advocated for years–we need to know what is going on.
Clemson has been slowly improving their resources for victims, but it seems to ebb and flow in conjunction with protests. Why did we only receive updates on this process after protests? If Clemson is as committed to safety as they claim to be, then we should have more public updates on the changes they claim to be making. 
These situations are very frustrating for students because these issues are important to us, and we want to know what is going on in our community. It is hard for students to know what actions the University promises to take will be upheld and forgotten.
We hold that the University needs to promote transparency in actions taken to fulfill promises to students. We also hold that the University must do its best to follow through on promises like the renaming of Tillman Hall. This can be achieved by making an effort to include updates about not only things they achieve, but the things they attempt.
This editorial is the collective opinion of The Tiger’s Editorial Board, a group of representatives for The Tiger. The group is made up of the executive editors and Outlook leadership. We meet every other week to discuss topics relevant to the Clemson community and broader topics from around the country.

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