Five Clemson University students were arrested Thursday during a sit-in at the school, WYFF News, a local Greenville, South Carolina, news source, reported.
Students held a sit-in at Clemson’s main administrative building, Sikes Hall, overnight on Wednesday that continued into Thursday to protest what they see as a lack of racial inclusion on campus.
Students were told that if they didn’t leave Sikes Hall at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday they would be arrested. The five arrested students have been released and received notices to appear at a campus municipal court.
They are part of a larger movement of students who have presented grievances to Clemson administrators calling out a lack of inclusion of minority students on campus.
Their grievances range from a lack of representation of minorities in student government positions to feeling unsafe on campus.
“We feel Clemson students, particularly those members of underrepresented communities were and are targets of insensitive, ignorant, alienating and (sometimes) criminal/predatory comments on social media (i.e., Yik Yak),” one of the grievances read.
The students also issued a list of demands to school administrators including that they “immediately make a public statement from Clemson University — to students, alumni, faculty, staff, administration and media — denouncing both the Crip’mas Party and hateful statements from members of the Clemson Family via social media (Yik Yak, Facebook, Twitter).”
The Crip’mas party was a gang-themed fraternity party which spurred outrage on campus.
Clemson President Dr. James Clements responded to the grievances in an email to the Clemson community on Thursday.
The email described some of the initiatives the university has planned around diversity, according to WYFF News.