Clemson students hold sit-in protest outside Sikes Hall - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson students hold sit-in protest outside Sikes Hall

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Students hold a sit-in protest outside Sikes Hall (FOX Carolina/ April 14, 2016) Students hold a sit-in protest outside Sikes Hall (FOX Carolina/ April 14, 2016)
Protesters waking up Thursday after camping outside Sikes Hall (FOX Carolina/ April 14, 2016) Protesters waking up Thursday after camping outside Sikes Hall (FOX Carolina/ April 14, 2016)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Some Clemson University students spent Wednesday night camped outside of Sikes Hall as part of a peaceful protest in wake of a recent incident that many students felt fueled racial tensions on campus.

A handful of protesters slept in tents and sleeping bags on the steps of the building.

The protest comes after two students admitted to hanging bananas from a banner highlighting African American history at the Fort Hill Plantation House on campus.

Clemson University president Jim Clements said he is pushing for greater discussion about inclusiveness and the university’s board is making changes to highlight the school’s diverse history but some students don’t feel enough is being done.

The group of protesting students said they issued a list of grievances in January 2015 after the infamous “Cripmas party,” in which some students dressed as gang members and posted photos on social media.

Students and faculty have also called for Tillman Hall, named after former governor and known white supremacist Benjamin Tillman, to be renamed. The requests were denied and tensions were further inflamed when a Confederate flag was raised in front of the building during the debate surrounding the flag’s removal from SC State House grounds.

Students said the latest incident highlights the need for more discussion and changes, and said they will continue to protest peacefully until the administration takes specific steps toward change.

“We plan to continue until we get the appropriate response from administration and administration was told that,” protester Sherman Jones said.

The sit-in at Sikes Hall came on the heels of another protest Wednesday, when students marched with President Clements and other campus leaders in wake of the banner incident.

Clements said he hears the students concerns and is also hurt and frustrated by the “unacceptable behavior” on campus.

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