University Students Sleep In Hallways To Protest ‘Inhumane’ Living Conditions
University students in Washington DC have been pitching tents and sleeping in hallways to protest ‘inhumane’ living conditions in dorms.
More than 100 students in Howard University have expressed concerns over their housing conditions, with claims of rats, cockroaches, mould and mushrooms in their rooms affecting their quality of life.
However, despite making these allegations known to administrators, they claim they’ve been ignored, and some say they’ve been threatened with disciplinary action over their protests.
The #Blackburntakeover has been shared on social media, with students sharing photos from the two-week protest. As well as pitching tents on the grounds of the university, they’ve also been sleeping in the Blackburn University Centre.
The accusations include stories of mould spreading onto people’s shoes and clothes, mushrooms being spotted under the sink and poorly maintained plumbing. Others say they’ve been forced to deal with rats and mice in their rooms, the New York Post reports.
For reference, one year of undergraduate on-campus housing at Howard University is said to cost around $9,300.
‘I go to Howard University where the cost of attendance is $48,000 a year and when I ask that I be presented with a plan to make sure I can live a safe and healthy life here, so I can succeed at the university I’ve invested so much time and money in… they tell me to get a lawyer,’ one Twitter user claimed.
On October 20, the official Howard University account shared a clip of students at a sports game, to which Derecka Purnell replied, ‘I cannot believe that Howard tweeted this as if there are not Black students sleeping on the concrete to demand university housing that is free of mould RIGHT NOW.’
Wayne Frederick, the campus’s president, has met with student leaders organising the protest. ‘We have discussed the proposed list of demands and have opened a dialogue that will continue to address their concerns,’ a spokesperson said.
‘The administration’s goal has always been to listen to the concerns of our students and find a path forward. While we may not always agree, we remain open to dialogue and solutions.’
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