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Frigid weather has forced Howard University to temporarily close its classrooms to students.

Howard University students are experiencing an unexpected extended holiday because of sporadic power outages and extensive damage to ruptured pipes caused by freezing temperatures in Washington, D.C.

The historic Black university has postponed undergraduate and graduate classes for more than a week. Classes were scheduled to begin Jan. 8 – after the Christmas holiday break – and now school officials say classes will resume on Jan. 16.

Workers are trying to connect a temporary boiler to Howard University Hospital but then, at some point, a permanent boiler would perhaps need to be installed to pump heat throughout the university.

More than 300 students in residence halls have no heat and school workers passed out blankets and hand warmers for the chilly students.

“The delay in starting classes is a result of significant damage to many buildings across campus caused by the record cold temperatures experienced in the region,” the university said in a statement. “Howard University learned Saturday evening that the damage from ruptured pipes and electrical outages will take several days to fix and require significant repair.”

“However, students with classes starting on January 16th who can delay their return to campus to coincide with the new start date should do so if it doesn’t cause any undue hardship for themselves or their family,” the university said.

The university said it plans a variety of activities for students, including games, pizza parties, and movies. Coffee, hot chocolate and tea service is also being served.

Hot chocolate can only go so far. Students need heat. And parents paying college tuition no doubt want classes to resume quickly.

The problem isn’t just the recent ruptured pipes, but years of engineering issues with antiquated buildings, some of them in vital need of repairs.

It’s a shame because Howard University – a storied and prestigious black institution — needs help.

In 2013, several former Howard University officials accused Howard University of financial mismanagement, which could slow the institution’s future plans to modernize its buildings and perhaps construct new ones.

In a letter obtained by The Washington Post, the deans said Howard’s external auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, had cited ‘grave concern about the quality of fiscal decision-making,’” according to The Washington Post.

And last year, Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund, which represents 37 HBCUs, said correctly that President Donald Trump’s promise to support historically black colleges was nothing more than reckless rhetoric. Trump callously proposed cuts to low-income students, many of whom attend historically black colleges.

“The administration and the Department of Education, in our estimation, just have not really taken any substantive actions to demonstrate their commitment,” Lomax said.

Lomax was right on point.

Last year, Trump met with Black college presidents at the White House and then called a hastily arranged photo-op with  college leaders in the Oval Office.

The event, which was organized by former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman, was widely panned as a self-serving move by Trump who was only pretending to care about black colleges. (And black folks took Newman to task as well.)

And nearly a year later, what came out of the White House meeting about Black colleges? Absolutely nothing.

Unfortunately, Howard University has a myriad of problems to fix – some are recent, the result of a run of bad luck; and some are longstanding troubles that were self-inflicted.

But right now, the first priority for Howard University should be keeping students warm in the interim, pumping heat into buildings as soon as possible — and ushering students back into classrooms where they can learn without freezing.

For updates and info on Howard’s response to the crisis, click here. 

What do you think?

PHOTO: Howard University




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8 thoughts on “Howard University Delays Classes After Weather Damage

  1. Mac Daddy on said:

    Ask any current student about the deplorable conditions at HU. You are living in the past Chris, but if that helps you avoid reality, you go boi

  2. hoodtechie on said:

    another reason i would not consider going to a hbcu,mismanagement of funds,poor living conditions in dorms and cafeterias but most most of all substandard labs and curriculum.i know high schools in atlanta that have better curriculum,labs and staff than hcbu’s.

    • @hoodtechie you’ve never set foot at an HBCU – you are a POS who trolls this site to antagonize with your ignorance and racism. Howard has produced nothing but the best of the best who can run circles around you!!you are not fit to lick the bottom of their feet!

  3. This has everything to do with mismanagement HBCU’s, those that are still holding their accreditation by a thread have become a joke, and their diploma almost worthless in today’s business market

  4. Marilyn on said:

    Howard University has graduated more black doctors attorneys, engineers, teachers, business owners than any other university in the country. We will always need HU. This was not the best article about this venerable institution. Issues due to extreme weather have occurred across the country. It has nothing to do with mismanagement. Obviously the university is acting in the best interests of its students by delaying class one week. The author of this article can stop sitting on the sidelines and do what black people need to do more of – support HU and other HBCU’s financially.

    • hoodtechie on said:

      first of all howard doesn’t have the facilities(up to date ) to support engineering programs.2nd name some famous doctors,lawyers and business owners that graduated from howard.(crickets).howard is no more than a college that turn out average teachers,social workers,wanna be business owners and criminal justice majors,thats is not known for anything else other than being another hcbu in financial trouble which it has been for decades and located in d.c. please if i were to go into engineering or the medical field howard would be the last place i would attend not to mention the othe substandard majors.

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