State Watch

Howard University says student protests have led to layoffs

Howard University said that the ongoing student demonstrations at its student center have led to employees being laid off. 

“#HUDAILYUPDATE We’re sad to report the occupation of Blackburn has led to an unintended consequence for the HU community,” HU said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Due to the café being closed, some Sodexo workers have been laid off,” Howard University said. “We are committed to working with our students to avoid more repercussions like this one.”

A bevy of social media users has criticized or “ratio’d”  the university’s response to the student demonstrations. 

“The fact that your coms people  tweeted this out like it’s noble to put the blame on students says a lot about why things are raggedy at HU…and not just with those uninhabitable dorms,” MSNBC News columnist Anthea Butler wrote in a tweet.

“For the many alumni who you are embarrassing and the funders who you’ve managed to get $$ from who are probably thinking never again, stop acting like you are Hillman college and straighten this mess out, @HowardUniv,” she added. 

“Howard- there are students who are sleeping in Blackburn because their dorms have mold, rats, and roaches in them,” The Guardian columnist Derecka Purnell said in a tweet. “You are literally making them sick. And now you’re blaming them for laying off contractual workers who should be employed by the university anyway? Wow.”

The “Blackburn Takeover sit-in” has lasted for four weeks as students have staged a series of protests against the unlivable campus conditions they are being forced to endure.

Students have also demanded university president Dr. Wayne Frederick and the board of trustees to solve the housing issue. 

Frederick also shared a tweet that he decided not to deliver his homecoming address to the school community this year due to the ongoing situation. 

“While, in the past, I have used Homecoming weekend as a time to deliver the state of the University address, this year, the event was postponed, as the campus atmosphere was not suited for an address of that kind,” Frederick said. 

HU’s president wrote in a letter to the school’s community last week that he wants students to end their current occupation of the school’s student center.

Tags Howard University Howard University Washignton D.C.

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