Since October 12, Howard University students have staged a sit-in at the Armour J. Blackburn Student Center against the Howard University administration.
For years students have dealt with poor living conditions, with some citing roaches, rats, and mold being common occurrences in their dorm rooms. There’s also historically been a lack of student representation on the school’s board of trustees.
The protesters have set forth the following demands:
- Housing plan
- Board representation reinstated for students, alumni, faculty
- Physical town hall meeting with HU president and administration in October
On Saturday, October 16, the board of trustees released a statement saying that they heard the protesters demands saying, “Simply put, we hear you and we continue to welcome your viewpoints on all matters pertaining to Howard.”
The statement went on to say that, “The University has always guaranteed housing for freshmen and sophomores;currently 94 percent of first- and second-year students are living in Howard University residences. This Fall, Howard secured and provided additional housing for 700 students, a 15 percent increase in the total number of beds available for students compared to the 2019-2020 academic year. We recognize that, despite our efforts, there are those in our community who have struggled to find housing opportunities.”
The board also said that other housing issues will take time tor resolve, and it will offer previously elected student affiliate trustees, who were not seated at the time due to the pandemic, an opportunity to serve a one-year term as full trustees.
Since the sit-in began, students have claimed to receive threats of expulsion for those who have participated in the protests. However, they are continuing to refuse to leave the student center until administrators address demands for an in-person town hall with Howard’s president Wayne A.I. Frederick.
Student protesters have received support from several HBCU organizations as well as rappers like Gucci Mane and his 1017 music label artists.
If you’d like to support protesters, you can donate money for food/supplies or drop items off. (DM @_thelivemovement on Instagram for more information). Students have requested meals, snacks, drinks, portable chargers, close-toed shoes, hotspots, air mattresses, blankets, and pillows. Follow @_thelivemovement for more information and details.
Written By: Chey Parker