Last week, around 50 Clemson University students protested the removal of menstrual products from a campus library’s men’s bathroom. The coalition of protesting LGBT student groups is also attempting to formally punish the school’s College Republicans (CRs) group for their role in the period products’ removal.
The menstrual products were removed after Clemson College Republicans posted a picture on X, formerly Twitter, last month of a menstrual product dispenser in Cooper Library men’s restroom with the caption: “We truly live in [clown] world.”
South Carolina House of Representatives April Cromer saw the post and brought it to the attention of the Clemson Administration, who had the dispenser taken out of the library bathroom three days after the Clemson College Republicans made their post on X.
In an Instagram post containing details about the protest, LGBT student groups demanded that the menstrual product dispensers be put back in the men’s restroom and that the College Republicans face “formal repercussions” for “contributing to a campus climate that encourages transphobic rhetoric and jeopardizes the safety of LGBTQIA+ students.”
To ensure the College Republicans are punished, the LGBT students are demanding the school revise “the student code of conduct” to apply the “Non-Discrimination and Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy … to student organizations.”
During the protest, “The students held aloft a sea of rainbow flags along with a variety of signs with pro-LGBTQ and pro-communism sayings,” reported the College Fix.
“We demand the reinstatement of the menstrual dispensers that were unjustly removed from the men’s bathrooms at Cooper Library,” one of the student speakers reportedly said in an address before the march. “Queer people on this campus are not just going to magically disappear. So instead of working against us, like taking away menstrual products from the men’s bathrooms, making people feel unwelcomed, there should be support for the community that is already fighting to feel safe here.”
The College Republicans tabled across the street from the LGBT protest, posting a smiling picture of themselves on Instagram with the caption, “Women are not men, and men are not women, period.”
In subsequent interviews, Chairman of the Clemson College Republicans Trevor Tiedeman reiterated that “Men can not menstruate, as we all know.”
The LGBT students don’t only want the Clemon’s College Republicans formally punished for defending biological reality at the university. They are also angry at Clemson CRs for two posts they made last April wherein the College Republicans criticized an annual Clemson drag show. At the time, Clemson CRs students wrote that the drag performance was “chock-full of sexual degeneracy that spits in the face of the Christian population that currently attends Clemson University.” (Clemson is a public university, but the student body is predominately Christian).
According to the LGBTQ students’ Instagram post last week, Clemson CRs’ statements “perpetuated acts of hate, discrimination, and violence against the LBGTQIA+ community,” but the LGBT students did not explain how.
The Clemson Administration has made no indication that it will bow to the LGBT pressure campaign. In a statement to Clemon’s student newspaper, University spokesperson Joe Galbraith simply said that the menstrual products are available in women’s and family restrooms.
The Clemson Administration also has not said whether the Clemson College Republicans students will face “repercussions,” but the school’s stated commitment to free expression suggests the CRs students are safe. “The ability to assemble and speak freely unencumbered just goes to the heart of what a university is and what a university is for,” said Clemson’s Dean of Students and President of Student Affairs Chris Miller after the LGBT protest.