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Mon Oct 25, 2021, 09:10 AM


Rats, mold, roaches: Howard students stage sit-in over housing conditions


Mold. Rats. Cockroaches. Mushrooms growing under the sink. For undergraduate students attending Howard University, a historically Black college in Washington, these and other conditions have prompted students to protest, staging a sit-in and sleeping at the university’s main student center for the past two weeks.

Since 12 October they have protested what they describe as deplorable housing conditions, including mold on expired air filters, rat and cockroach infestations, and mushrooms blooming on dorm room ceilings and under sink despite on-campus housing costing upwards of $12,000 a year.

The group’s demands center on concrete plans from the university to address housing woes and solutions to issues around transparency. They want an in-person town hall with Howard’s president Wayne A I Frederick, a permanent reinstatement of all affiliate positions on Howard’s board of trustees, a meeting with student leadership to outline plans addressing housing-related issues, as well as immunity – legal, disciplinary, and academic – for protesting students as participants have received threats of expulsion and other punishment for their participation.

But they have been met with hostility from university officials. Emails from Howard University officials such as Howard vice-president of student affairs Cynthia Evers have also threatened to punish students who participate in the sit-in, including with expulsion.


School receives a ton of money yet doesn't take care of the basics. Many of the students are upper middle class and are not used to living in such deplorable conditions. Another set of bizarre choices such as hiring Phylicia Rashād or getting rid of Classics education.

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