Published On: Mon, Apr 2nd, 2018

Howard University students staging sit in, ‘taking over’ administration building to get campus police to disarm

Members of a Howard University student group have “taken over” a campus administrative building in an effort to get college officials to force campus police officers to disarm.

In a post titled, “Enough Is Enough: Howard Students Take Action,” claims the students are gathered “…to protest the leaderships’ failure to disclose previous instances of financial fraud, particularly involving a former student, among other concerns.”

The article details the life of these student protesters, doing homework on computers, hosting a dance party, setting up video game consoles and feeding the activists’ motivations: “A local Black Lives Matter organizer named Tracy and legal watchdogs from the National Lawyers Guild provided a short know-your-rights training to students in the front entrance. Students were asked, if they were to remain at the front, to prepare to be arrested. Many filled out an emergency response form and wrote a crisis hotline number on their forearms.”

“The protest may have been ignited by the recent revelation that over a million dollars were stolen via tuition reimbursements from 2007 to 2016, but the demands of the campus activists reach far wider. Earlier this week, HU Resist distributed a two-page document demanding significant changes of the administration, including greater allocation of resources to community outreach and the resignation of Howard University’s President, Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick.

HU Resist’s demands are listed on a two-page document, including:

“that Howard University actively fight rape culture on campus in an effort to prevent sexual assault.” This includes implementation of a required one-credit course focusing on “gender, consent, sexuality, and sexual health.”

“that Howard University implement a grievance system to hold faculty and administrators accountable in their language and actions toward students with marginalized identities.” At present there is no way for students to report “harmful behavior” such as “the use of sexist, classist, colorist, queerphobic, ableist, and xenophobic language.”

“that Howard University hire more counselors and implement an inclusive attendance policy that accounts for mental and emotional health issues.” The university must deal with “specific traumas” which are the result of “systemic oppression.”

“the immediate disarming of campus police officers and the formation of a Police Oversight Committee controlled by students, faculty, staff, and off-campus community representatives.”Because “if the University truly respects the value of Black life,” it will take measures to prevent “lethal violence.”

“that students have the power to democratically influence the decisions of the administration and the Board of Trustees by way of popular vote.” Students should have the power to directly “propose new policies and revise existing policies,” as well as “propose and ratify all appointments, renewals, and dismissals of board members, administrators, and faculty.”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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