During the events of 1969’s SLBI walk-out, The Tiger, Clemson’s student-run newspaper since 1907 covered that and many connected events on and around campus. While The Tiger was criticized by local news sources as being liberally biased and attempting to grant a minority group on campus anything they complained loudly enough for. While pieces such as this, citing common racist black stereotypes and hailing the Confederate flag as an essential tradition (Anderson Uncensored, 1969), The Tiger was remarkably unbiased and served as an outlet for all voices and opinions on the matter across campus. Oftentimes printed alongside one another, (“Letter to the Editor,” The Tiger, 1969). As a student-run newspaper, The Tiger was focused on real political and social issues facing students at the time, without apparent censoring by administration.
Compare a student-run media like The Tiger to a Clemson University published piece of media, such as TAPS, the University yearbook and large disparities are apparent. While The Tiger openly embraced controversial issues as an important part of its subject matter and allowed both students and alumni to voice their opinions, TAPS has no mention of the events of 1969 such as the SLBI student walk-out or the controversy surrounding Confederate flag and other Confederate symbols associated with Clemson University. Instead, TAPS includes many pictures of the Confederate flag, often at student rallies that are not named, and juxtaposes these with images of Black students and popular entertainers, including quaint poems. One particularly startling page presents a Ku Klux Klan meeting next to a Black rock band performing at a Clemson event with the poem:
Red, white and white.
Good cross burning.
Good flag carrying.
Different strokes for different folks.
We remember; the U.S.A is good.
(“features,” TAPS, 1969, p. 38.)
The differences in The Tiger and TAPS show just how important a role The Tiger played in serving as a student newspaper where all voices could have a chance to be heard, and hopefully, understood. The Tiger has served as an important arena for campus issues throughout Clemson’s history, and continues to do so today.
“A Worthy Forum,” The Tiger Vol. LXIII No. 11 (October 31, 1969), 2.
“Black Students Vacate Campus for Protection,” The Tiger Vol. LXIII No. 11 (October 31, 1969), 1.
“Understanding is Needed,” The Tiger Vol. LXIII No. 11 (October 31, 1969), 2.
University, Clemson, "Taps (1969)" (1969). Yearbooks. 67. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/yearbooks/67