Students at Howard University have retreated to living in tents, citing a roach, mice and mold infestation they say is plaguing their dorm rooms. According to student protesters and civil rights leaders, Howard and other HBCUs are underfunded compared to colleges and universities with primarily white students.
The lack of funding has resulted in old buildings with mold, roaches and mice infestations at Howard University. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, HBCUs receive endowments of $15,000 per student on average compared to universities with most white students, which get $410,000 on average per student. Complaints of the housing conditions resulted in a visit from Rev. Jesse Jackson in November. Jackson helped students voice their demands to the school’s leaders.
Flooding was also an issue in the dorms, and protests about the unsuitable housing have been ongoing for more than a month.
🚨 Bison Alert 🚨 pic.twitter.com/ISdD39EBQg
— Howard University (@HowardU) November 13, 2021
According to the Washington Post, an agreement was reached on Nov. 15 between students and Howard University officials.
The president of Howard University, Wayne A.I. Frederick, said that he was pleased to have reached an agreement with the protesters.
“As we close in on the Thanksgiving holiday,” he wrote. “I am encouraged and excited about the work we have accomplished — and the work we will continue to do — together to reinforce Howard University. I look forward to sharing details soon on our ideas that will address concerns and build a culture where all are heard.”
Protests at Howard began on Oct. 12, and students were able to have four demands agreed to by campus leaders. First, Howard students wanted a town hall with school officials in person. They also wanted a student who’d been expelled during the protests to be reinstated.
Student organizer Channing Hill declared the student protesters winners for their accomplishments in getting their demands met with school officials.
“We came, we saw, we declared and we won,” said Hill. “Today is a new day for Bison everywhere.”