A group of five Clemson student protesters were arrested after they refused to leave the university’s Sikes Hall Thursday during a sit-in over racial grievances.
Protesters carried out a sit-in at the university after a Black history banner was vandalized with bananas earlier this week.
Atlanta Black Star reported that the hashtag #BeingBlackAtClemson began to flood Twitter feeds.
To students, the South Carolina university has had a long history of racially charged incidents that have not been properly handled. For example, there was a recent Crip’mas Party where white students dressed as stereotypical Black caricatures like gangsters and video girls.
Since the banana incident, students have challenged campus authorities by staging sit-ins and protests around the university.
Clemson University administrators told protesters in Sikes Hall that they had until 5:30 p.m. Thursday to move. However, five students chose to stay inside and were arrested.
According to local news outlet WYFF News 4, the students were Adrian Lydell Carson, Jeremy Ian Anderson, Darien Jamal Smith, Me’khayla Oneal Williams and Rae-Nessha Nichole White.
The group of protesters were charged with refusing to leave certain public premises during hours when they are regularly closed, as per the incident report.
The students were released within 24 hours after the arrest. They are now required to appear in campus court.
Twitter user C-WU Coalition has been documenting the protests and sit-ins since the very start. According to their meticulous documentation, the #SikesSitIn is currently in its third day.
— C-WU Coalition (@C_WUcoalition) April 14, 2016
— C-WU Coalition (@C_WUcoalition) April 15, 2016
— Your O.G. (@_ShermX) April 15, 2016
Clemson protesters have created a list of demands that detail the changes they want. For example, they call for a multi-cultural center, increased minority enrollment and funding for organizations that deal with underrepresented groups.
The university president, Dr. James Clements, has addressed the demands and protests. He said he will try to increase minority undergraduate enrollment and scholarship funding for minorities.
Clements also said he wants to join the socially conscious students “to make Clemson a more supportive and welcoming environment for all.”