Student center

President Howard: Occupation of student center ‘must end’

Howard University President Wayne AI Frederick, in a letter to students and staff, said Monday that a week-long student sit-in at a campus student center “must end.”

Catch up fast: The students began their occupation of Blackburn Center on October 12, in an effort to get school officials to address safety issues in campus housing and give students representation on the board.

  • The students reported black moldwater leaks and that they have seen insects and rodents in university facilities.

What they say : Frederick praised Howard’s history of vibrant student protest, but said the sit-in was a “hijacking of past norms”.

  • “There is a stark difference between peaceful protest and freedom of expression and the occupation of a university building which impedes operations and access to essential services and creates health and safety risks,” he said. he declared.
  • “The occupation of the center of Blackburn must end,” he added.

Frederick said in the letter that the university invited a building inspector, student leaders, board members and others to inspect conditions at student facilities.

  • The issues that were reported were only with a small number of buildings and “the vast majority of our students are living comfortably”, he said.

This is the second major student demonstration of its kind in recent years at Howard. Students and alumni say the university still does not prioritize students.

  • The other side: “His goal is still not to meet our demands, but to get us out of this building. He must not understand that the only way for us to leave this building is to meet our demands.” the Live Movement, which helped organize the protest, posted on Instagram.

State of play: Howard’s Blackburn Center houses the school’s largest cafeteria and other student services. The building’s occupation had forced the relocation of a COVID-19 testing center, according to the Washington Post.

  • While about 50 students have set up camp inside the center, dozens more tents have been pitched outside, according to the Post.