Howard University is a historically black college in Washington, DC which has been struggling financially for a number of years. In 2014, the New York Times reported that the school had been downgraded by Moody’s.

A recent student occupation has been happening at the school, and has stretched on for days.

CNN reports:

Students have been occupying Howard’s administration building for 7 days now

The student occupation of the administration building at Howard University in Washington, D.C. was in its seventh day on Wednesday, with demonstrators drawing inspiration from the historically black college’s history of protest in their sit-in over misappropriated financial aid funds.

The protest, spearheaded by the student group HU Resist, continued even after the school’s board of trustees agreed over the weekend to meet one of the protesters’ demands in a bid to end an occupation that started on March 29.

“We have officially reached our 7th day occupying A Building!” HU Resist tweeted. “Because of our supporters and student participants we are able to continue to fight. Nothing will stop us from demanding the change we deserve!”

The university board agreed to the first of nine students demand — “adequate housing for all students under the age of 21 and extend the fall 2018 housing deposit deadline to May 1,” according to Alexis McKenney, a Howard student and lead organizer of HU Resist…

The protests started after an investigation found last year that some university employees were receiving grants from the school to attend classes while also receiving tuition remission, earning more money than their education cost and pocketing the difference. The university confirmed the results of the investigation, but did not say how much money may have been misappropriated.

The allegations came to light last week after blogging platform Medium posted an expose which has since been deleted.

You might think this protest is all about the financial corruption, until you read the entire list of student demands, via WUSA:

  • We demand that Howard University provide adequate housing for all students under the age of 21 and extend the Fall 2018 housing deposit deadline to May 1.
  • We demand an immediate end to unsubstantiated tuition hikes and complete access to administrative salaries.
  • We demand that Howard University actively fight rape culture on campus in an effort to prevent sexual assault.
  • We demand that Howard University implement a grievance system to hold faculty and administrators accountable in their language and action toward students with marginalized identities.
  • We demand that Howard University hire more counselors and implement an inclusive attendance policy that accounts for mental and emotional health issues.
  • We demand the immediate disarming of campus police officers and the formation of a Police Oversight Committee controlled by students, faculty, staff and off-campus community representatives.
  • We demand that Howard University allocate more resources toward combating food insecurity and gentrification within the LeDroit-Shaw community.
  • We demand the immediate resignation of President Wayne A.I. Frederick and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  • We demand that students have the power to democratically influence the decision of the administration and the Board of Trustees by way of popular vote.

Protest leaders held a press conference this week and said that negotiations with the administration are continuing:

Who is in charge of this school? It sure doesn’t look like the administration is, and that’s the problem.

Featured image via YouTube.


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