'Library of Inclusion' pops up at Clemson

Clemson University will roll out a “Pop Up Library of Inclusion (PULI),” sometime during the first two months of the fall semester.

According to audio evidence provided to Campus Reform by a resident assistant (RA) who wished to remain anonymous, PULI is described as a library that will “travel around campus,” focusing heavily on social justice.

In a video viewed by Clemson RAs during a training session at the Resident Assistant Leadership Institute (RALI), Nic Sydow, the Graduate Community Director (GCD) of one of Clemson’s dorms, describes PULI in detail.

“First, the Pop Up Library of Inclusion, also known as PULI. This is a library of materials that is available for use by everyone in the Clemson University, students, staff, and faculty, to utilize for their own learning and exploration. The library includes hard copies of books, magazines, and social justice simulation training systems,” Sydow stated.

Additionally, it appears that PULI will be set up inside student dorms themselves.

“So we’re hoping to roll out PULI, Pop Up Library of Inclusion, sometime during the first eight weeks. It might appear in one of your communities, that’s how we sort of set it up. So, it’s gonna travel around campus,” Sydrow said.

One Clemson RA, who spoke to Campus Reform on the condition of anonymity, wasn’t happy with the concept of PULI. “My problem with this system is that it’s promoting sensitivity and telling students that we are to expect divisiveness,” the RA stated.

“When I was freshman, I was appalled when my RA made a billboard entirely out of condoms. ‘It promotes safe sex,’ they said, but it promotes sex nonetheless,” the RA continued. “Instead of letting people learn from each other and make connections naturally, we have to put these physical reminders around that say no one can learn for themselves.”

Campus Reform reached out to Kathy Hobgood, Clemson University’s Executive Director of University Housing & Dining, for clarification on the matter.

“PULI is in a sense an old-fashioned library of resources, much like you find in an actual library. It is part of a Cooper Library special collection and is made up of books, videos, etc., that staff may use in efforts to foster community building,” Hobgood stated, divulging that “[t]he library’s creation was funded through a Clemson University Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Incentive Grant in 2015.”

According to Clemson University’s website, “Grants from this Fund are awarded annually to individuals or organizational units that submit a proposal for an activity, program, or project that promotes justice, equal opportunity, intercultural understanding, diversity, equity, or climate enhancement.”

Campus Reform asked Hobgood to provide the PULI video RAs watched during RALI, but was referred to the Clemson University Office of the General Counsel.

“Your specific request for a copy of training materials falls under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),” Hobgood stated, providing an electronic copy of Clemson’s FOIA policy.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @rMitchellGunter