Tuesday, December 7, 2021
HomeSchoolsMold, Rats Force Howard Students to Live in Tents

Mold, Rats Force Howard Students to Live in Tents


Students at Howard University have been living in tents for more than a month in protest of appalling living conditions in their dormitories, including mold and rodent infestations. 

Sophomore Jasmine Joof told CNN that she suffered an allergic reaction to mold in her dorm, resulting in headaches, congestion, and bouts of coughing. The health issue was formally raised to a residential adviser last September, but Joff said that the problems were never resolved.

Joff and other students decided to pitch tents on the lawn of the university’s Blackburn Center in protest to pressure Howard officials to take action. Students have called for a meeting to develop a comprehensive and proactive plan to fix the housing issues, but nothing has yet been scheduled. 

“It makes me sad that my university would treat me like this. The living conditions, the lack of transparency with the administration really sucks. They are actively standing on our backs saying they want to create student leaders … and they are ignoring us,” Joof said. 

Current Housing Crisis

On November 5, Howard President Wayne Frederick penned a letter to the community in recognition of the dilapidated state of campus dorms, stressing that they are working to provide students with better accommodations. 

“While there have only been a small number of documented facilities reports relative to our entire inventory of residence rooms, we are actively inquiring about unreported issues that may be in the residence halls by going door to door to interview and assist each resident,” Frederick wrote.

Other concerns students have voiced include roaches, poor plumbing that has caused flooding, and spotty internet connections. However, Frederick said that the results of their interviews show that “the issues are not widespread and the vast majority of our students are living comfortably in their rooms.” 

These protests gained support from students at Spelman, Clark Atlanta, and Morehouse, who held similar demonstrations last month to address housing shortages and declining living conditions.

“Funding is the key to all of this. I’m not saying the schools don’t have responsibility but with more funding, we are able to make sure that all of the (dorms) are up to date,” Clark Atlanta senior Alivia Duncan shared.

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