October 26, 2021

Student protests at Howard University amid policy changes, housing concerns

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The students have garnered media attention and lots of community and celebrity support.

Students began protesting housing conditions and administration decisions with a peaceful sit-in on Oct. 12.

Photograph by Chuck Modi/Twitter

By Carl Thomas

The students and administration of Howard University have found themselves at an impasse, and it seems to be getting worse by the day. At the heart of the issue is a seemingly appropriate set of requests from students. 

The student requests – which have since become demands – began during a peaceful sit-in within the lobby of Howard’s Blackburn Center Oct. 12. They initially centered primarily around the substandard conditions of the dormitories. Students say rats, roaches and mold are just some of the things they’ve had to deal with in on-campus housing. Students have produced evidence of mold riddled air filters and mushroom growth on ceilings and walls in dorm rooms. 

Another concern students voiced was that university administration has made several decisions in recent weeks which some have called unreasonable. One of those decisions, removing the student trustees from the university’s board, has drawn much criticism. The students enlisted the help of The Live Movement, a coalition of students from historically Black colleges and universities to advocate for educational reform and academic advancement of Black education for Black students. 

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