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Howard University Students Protesting Housing Conditions

In an open letter published Tuesday, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick wrote that students’ two-week occupation of a campus building in protest of poor housing conditions and other issues “must end.” Students have occupied Howard’s Armour J. Blackburn Center for two weeks, vowing to stay put until the university remediates mold in students’ dorms; creates a housing plan for incoming freshmen; and reinstates student, faculty, and alumni members to the university’s Board of Trustees, among other demands. Alumni, local activist organizations, and public figures have shown support on social media for what’s being called the Blackburn Takeover. School administrators have warned demonstrators they could be suspended or expelled for continuing to occupy the building.

Howard University Students Sit-In Over Safety Issues

Washington, DC - Hundreds of Howard University students protested on campus Wednesday morning following a sit-in Tuesday night over housing and other concerns. Students with the group Live Movement, a coalition of students from historically Black colleges and universities who advocate for education reform, began their sit-in at the Blackburn University Center Tuesday evening to demand university officials, including President Wayne Frederick, agree to a town hall meeting by the end of the month to negotiate their demands. Protesters say they will not leave the university center until officials agree to enter talks. Students have expressed concerns about mold in the walls of their dorms, lack of COVID-19 testing for students, and safety on campus. Protester Tia-Andrea Scott explained that protesters are concerned about some students who’ve reportedly been hospitalized after coughing up blood and experiencing mold in the walls of their dorms.

Some Schools Remove Police, Others Continue Sending Students To Police

Chicago - In January 2019, a cell phone video from inside Marshall High School on Chicago’s West Side was posted to Facebook. It shows a student, then-16-year-old Dnigma Howard, at the bottom of a staircase, and two Chicago Police officers trying to handcuff her. One of the officers fires his Taser at Dnigma as she’s on the ground. Now, more than two years and a $300,000 settlement with the school district later, many Chicago schools have opted to remove police from their hallways. At the same time, newly released body camera video sheds light on what happened to Dnigma, and data from the US Department of Education shows some schools send huge numbers of their students like her to the police. It all started at about 9:45 a.m. on January 29, 2019.

ASU Students Fight To Defend Multicultural Center

Arizona State University, like many other college campuses in America, is a pivotal location for the struggle against racism. The campus has had several incidents calling attention to the mistreatment of Black and Brown people in Arizona, such as when a Black professor was tackled to the ground for “jaywalking” by an ASU police officer in 2014. After the uprising against racism in 2020, many student groups have called for the defunding and disarmament of the ASU police department, as well as the creation of a “Cultural Excellency Center” on campus. The Cultural Excellency Center, also referred to as the Multicultural Center, is a long-running initiative spearheaded by the Multicultural Solidarity Coalition — a non-ASU-affiliated coalition of students who have been fighting for a space on campus since 2016.

Colleges And Policymakers Can Help Keep Students From Going Hungry

The pandemic has created extraordinary need for millions of people across the U.S. This is particularly acute, though often hidden, on college campuses, where students are sometimes left to choose between paying rent and having enough to eat. During their college careers, far too many students lack reliable access to nutritious food, hampering their efforts to advance their education and skills. Even before the pandemic, 43 percent of students at two- and four-year colleges reported facing food insecurity — defined as limited or uncertain access to adequate food — in the previous month, the nonprofit Hope Center found. Black, Latino and Native American students were at even greater risk. This inequality compounds systemic economic disparities.
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