Following the announcement of Tomi Lahren’s upcoming “Back the Blue” rally, tensions have been high between the hosting Turning Point USA chapter and students against Lahren’s visit.
The Clemson chapter of TPUSA announced the event in the beginning of March, which is scheduled for April 8. The rally was originally planned to take place at the Madren Center, but a surge in requested tickets led the chapter to seek out a larger space.
“Our chapter is now hoping to host the event at a much larger arena to accommodate the 119,000 tickets requested,” read a GoFundMe created by the chapter, which raised nearly $2,000 in just a week.
The event originally had free tickets, but with 119,000 requests, Clemson TPUSA increased the price to $10 to continue raising funds.
Student organizations such as Clemson College Democrats and CUSG’S Council of Diversity Affairs responded with opposition to the event.
“If the university is unable to move the event, we want to see the university denounce the rhetoric of the event,” read a statement from the CODA Action Committee.
Tomi Lahren went on “FOX & Friends” to speak about student opposition to her visit.
“We will not be cancelled; we will not back down. Come hell, high water or liberal snowflakes, I will be speaking at Clemson next week, I can promise you guys this,” said Lahren.
Lahren also said that the event will be held at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tiger reached out to the university for confirmation on this change but did not receive a response after multiple requests.
In an Instagram post from March 28, Clemson TPUSA said that “they tried to stop us,” followed by screenshots of articles from Greenville’s 106.3 WYRD-FM, a press statement by Clemson College Democrats and The Tiger.
Caroline Ennis, sophomore genetics major, is president of Clemson College Democrats. Ennis speaks for herself and not on behalf of the organization.
“Ms. Lahren has mishandled the criticism she received and her actions, including unprofessional attacks on student organizations, are not exemplary of someone who should be welcomed at an intellectual institution,” said Ennis.
Lahren has her own show on FOX Nation, “No Interruption,” and 1.9 million followers on Instagram.
“You will not keep me from coming,” wrote Lahren, “but you can keep trying if you like!” Lahren herself was a member of student media at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The Madren Center had a maximum capacity of 760 people under COVID-19 restrictions based on square footage. TPUSA also alleges that people, referred to as #CancelCulture, reserved seats with no intention of going, hoping to make the event empty.
Taylor Rogers, Clemson TPUSA vice president and CUSG Senate president, confirmed the change to Littlejohn late Sunday evening.
“We wanted the event to be open to everyone, including those with different opinions,” said Rogers.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misspelled Taylor Rogers' name as Taylors Rodgers. The Tiger regrets this error and has since fixed it.