Occupation of Howard U's Admin Building Hits Week Mark

Students are demanding change after financial aid scandal came to light
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2018 1:41 PM CDT
Student Occupation of Howard's Admin Building Hits Week Mark
President Barack Obama, left, talks with Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick, right, during the commencement ceremony for the 2016 graduating class of Howard University in Washington, Saturday, May 7, 2016.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

For more than a week now, students have been occupying the administration building at Washington DC's Howard University, protesting after a financial aid scandal came to light last week. An investigation last year revealed some employees at the historically black university were getting grants from the school to attend classes but were also getting tuition remission, meaning they were making more than it cost to go to school and were keeping the difference in money. A blog revealed the scandal last week; the university acknowledged it but has not given an estimate for the amount of financial aid funds that may have been misappropriated. The student protest followed, but protesters said it was about more than just the financial aid scandal. They have nine demands; so far, the administration has agreed to just one, CNN reports.

The demands include an "end to unsubstantiated tuition hikes," improved responses to rape culture and mental health, and the immediate resignation of the university president, Wayne A. I. Frederick (see the complete list of demands here). The administration says it will provide, as demanded by the protesters, "adequate housing for all students under the age of 21" and that it will extend the deadline for the fall 2018 housing deposit. But the several hundred protesters, organized by student group HU Resist, aren't leaving yet. "We’re willing to see it through to the very end," one freshman tells the Washington Post. "We’re all very tired of the way the university has been running, and the way it’s been going. We’re tired of being disrespected by administration, especially in terms of housing and financial aid." Full-time faculty members are currently voting on a no-confidence measure regarding Frederick; results are expected Friday. (More Howard University stories.)

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