Clemson pro-life student group receives violent threats for hosting Students for Life leader
Tigers for Life, a pro-life student organization at Clemson University, has been besieged by some peers as the group prepares to welcome the president of Students for Life of America to campus on Wednesday.
From hacking their Eventbrite listing, to threatening violence, to almost being forced to pay thousands of dollars to host the event out of their own pockets, organizing the November 16 event was a frustrating battle, pro-life students Told college correction in interviews last week.
During a publicity event, tigers for life called campus police after receiving a threat that peers were planning to “blow them up,” Tigers for Life vice president Kelsey Smith said.
Later that week, a student told Tigers for Life President Olivia Grace Talley that she “wanted to smash her face in concrete.”
“I am concerned for the safety of Tigers for Life members,” Talley said. College correction.
One evening, members putting up flyers on campus to advertise the event were followed by students who took them down, Talley said, adding that it made her “worried for their safety.”
Smith said Tigers for Life also had to battle with administration as campus leaders unexpectedly demanded that the organization compensate for the costs of full security, metal detectors and parking. They ended up backtracking.
“We got this event approved in June by the administration, and now they’re throwing this all out at us a week before the event,” Smith said. “On November 9, we received a bill for $2,200 for police, but that does not include event staff, metal detectors or barricades to keep protesters away from our lines.
Tigers for Life has received little to no funding from the Student Funding Council and believes it is the university’s obligation to protect all students under its jurisdiction, especially when other students threaten to take action. violently, Smith said.
Fortunately, very recently, Clemson agreed to work with Tigers for Life and help cover additional security costs for the Kristan Hawkins event, Smith said.
“As far as physical safety is concerned, it is other students who threaten us with violence. And we’re students, we pay our tuition, we pay thousands of dollars to college,” Smith said. “We shouldn’t have to pay extra money for the university to stop other students from being violent towards us; it is the work of the school, essentially.
But the attacks continued. Earlier this month, the organization’s Eventbrite was hacked. The hackers “reserved a bunch of free tickets and removed tickets that people had paid for,” Smith said.
Due to initial lack of funding, Tigers for Life had begun charging a $5 ticket fee for entry to the event to cover the costs of necessary security measures. In response, the organization’s inbox had been “flooded with hundreds of emails decrying what people call a ‘price barrier,'” Smith said.
Clemson University Police Chief Gregory Mullen said college correction via email that “Ensuring student safety while allowing all individuals to express their views is a key value for us, and we have demonstrated our commitment and dedication to this value time and time again.”
“In terms of the cost of security, each event is assessed for security considerations to ensure the event is run in a safe and secure manner. This is especially true if the organization is opening the event to the general public. “Said Chief Mullen. “For example, when events are open to the public, we need police officers inside the venue, magnetometers, event security and bag policies This is a standard expense that all organizations, including student organizations, pay for events.”
Tigers for Life is also expecting an on-site demonstration at the event, but they welcome all perspectives to join, listen, observe, learn and debate, its leaders said.
“We heard rumors that the students were definitely considering a protest,” Smith said. “We would prefer them to come inside the event because that’s what we have the event for; we really want to have a discussion. It’s not just a pro-life echo chamber; we really want the tough questions.
Hawkins is yet to speak at Clemson on Nov. 16.
“I’ve been part of the conservative community at Clemson since my freshman year and I’m not afraid of my beliefs. I don’t hide them. I have stickers on my laptop and my water bottle; I’m very loud and proud about it,” Smith said. “I never feared for my physical safety until we started getting these threats.”
Clemson University spokesman Joe Galbraith did not respond to a request for comment.
IMAGE: Blake Mauro/For college correction