Students at Howard University have reportedly taken over the Blackburn Center, where many are camping outside until the mold and rodent problem is addressed at the dorms.
We previously reported… Howard University reportedly has a mold problem that many students are speaking out about. Mold has been identified in at least 38 dorm rooms out of 2,700 total rooms on campus, per NBC News. Students have reported to the university and shared on social media mold in the dorms, Wi-Fi connection problems, dining halls infested with rats and roaches.
While many students claim the administration has been unresponsive, Howard University dean and actress Phylicia Rashad claims that is not the case.
A video of The Cosby Show alum surfaced over the weekend showing her with her sister Debbie Allen and commenting on the Blackburn Takeover sit-in protest that is currently happening on campus.
Since August, students at Howard have been demanding better living conditions at the university’s dorms.
Here’s more from MadameNoire:
The brief clip shows reporters interviewing both Rashad and Allen, as they share their thoughts on the situation after visiting students and faculty. Debbie, a former Howard graduate, appeared to be in support of the movement.
“We know what the Howard student body needs. In any country when the students don’t speak out the nation is not doing well,” she says. However, things take a turn for the worst when Rashad steps in.
“When the students do speak out and they have been heard and their concerns have been addressed and it’s still not enough, what about that? That’s what’s going on now,” the 73-year-old barks back.
“So are their concerns being addressed?” Allen replies. That’s when Rashad makes a swift exit, asking her sister to “come inside.”
“I wouldn’t get into that if I were you,” she says.
Rashad’s comments have left many social media users feeling some way…with one person writing: “She was outside of fine arts calling the demonstrations an embarrassment and saying that we students were devaluing a Howard education.”
Chandler Robinson, a freshman at the HBCU in Washington, D.C., posted one on TikTok describing campus life, noting that she wasn’t able to connect to Wi-Fi for over a month, nor access a platform colleges use for assignments and grades.
“I can’t say that I’m really being educated just because students are tired, and so is faculty. The faculty made it very clear that they are struggling also,” she said, “Being five weeks behind in my classes is very difficult. It’s very difficult to catch up.”
Students are demanding that the mold be removed from dorms, water damage repaired, and expired air filters replaced.
“Everybody in here is pretty adamant on staying until our demands are met. Our demands are not demanding, they’re very simple. I feel it’s basic rights as a student based off the tuition we pay,” said Jasmine Joof, a 19-year-old sophomore.
“The school is hurting its own reputation because this is a major issue,” said Joof, a sociology major. “They’re making themselves look bad.”
Howard University officials said the students that are complaining are exaggerating about their living conditions on campus.
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