As Howard University students continue to protest the poor housing conditions on campus, the college has taken measures to solve the problem. On Tuesday (Nov. 2), Vice President of Student Affairs Cynthia Evers released a statement with hopes to be transparent and find a common ground between students and administration.
“In light of the concerns the student protesters have been publicizing, we have invited students, parents, public officials, health inspectors and more to tour and examine our residence halls,” she said. “We have created these opportunities not only as a good faith effort to demonstrate that the University is not attempting to conceal any information from the public but also to uncover any overlooked problems, and establish regular channels of communication among a diversity of individuals with different perspectives and areas of expertise.”
After complaining of existing mold, mice, roaches and fleas are common in dorms, students at Howard organized a sit-in two weeks ago and have since been camping in tents outside of the Blackburn Center with hopes to demand change. The occupation of more than 100 students at the social hub has reportedly resulted in the shutdown of services and several layoffs, the college announced on Tuesday. Workers from the food business Sodexo, for example, have lost their jobs, while others have been transferred to other locations on campus. Still, they declared their support for the students during their protests.
“Sodexo respects the students’ right to a peaceful protest,” a spokesperson from the food business told CBS News. “We remain committed to providing exceptional service during these difficult times, and we hope that both parties will soon come to a mutually beneficial resolution.”
As for President Wayne A.I. Frederick’s take on the demonstrations, he previously called on students to end their protests. He was set to address the HU Community in the state of the University address on Nov. 5, but he decided against it, citing the “campus atmosphere.”
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