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‘Today Is a New Day’: While Details Are Scant, Howard University Students Reach a Deal with School Administration After Month-Long Protest

Students at Howard University have reached an agreement with school administrators regarding questionable housing concerns following a month-long campus protest.

Frank Tramble, a spokesperson for the university, released a statement Monday morning on Nov. 15, confirming the news.  

Howard University students gathered at campus to protest the mistreatment of students at the hands of university administration in Washington, D.C., Monday, October 25, 2021. According to a press release by the students, the university refuses to talk with students and is actively threatening retaliation. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Howard University President Wayne Frederick also announced the news in a press release calling the agreement a “welcome step forward as we continue to bring together our Howard community.”

While details of the agreement have not been disclosed, Frederick added in a video statement, “About a month ago, a group of students began the occupation of the Blackburn building. They did so to raise awareness for their concerns about housing issues at the university, as well as other issues that they voiced to me and my administration.”

He continued: “The health and well-being of our students is the most important part of my job as president. As I have said before, even one issue in one of our dormitories is too many, and we will continue to remain vigilant in our pledge to maintain safe and high-end housing.”

Channing Hill, a student organizer, appeared happy with the outcome, stating during the conference, “We came, we saw, we declared and we we won,” before adding, “Today is a new day for Bison everywhere.”

As previously reported, students had been protesting for several weeks over campus housing conditions. Just days beforr the school’s homecoming festivities, students staged a sit-in on Oct. 12, calling out the lack of available housing for students and various other health and campus issues.

Protesting students called for more transparency from the school administration and requested representation on the Board of Trustees. They also called for the dorm buildings found with mold to be fixed.

At the time, Leslie Jones, founder of The Hundred-Seven told Atlanta Black Star, that the problems the college was facing were not unique and called out the institution for attracting “students who believe in activism and do things differently.”

“The students leading that protest were not asking for something unreasonable, and I don’t think they necessarily expect a quick fix,” Jones added. 

Student complaints soon went viral and caught the attention of several public figures, including civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, who spent two days at the historically Black university meeting with officials and students. 

​​Gucci Mane‘s 1017 artists also showed their support after rappers Big Scarr, HotBoyWes and Bic Fizzle were scheduled to perform for students during the week-long Homecoming celebration, but upon hearing of the protest decided to protest with students instead. In one of the many videos circulating social media videos, HotBoyWes tell them “I stand with y’all” before asking “where my sign at?!”

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