Students at Howard University have been protesting against University officials since last Friday, airing grievances regarding housing and financial aid.
Union workers and hundreds of students gathered outside the University’s administration building to express frustrations with the school, according to Howard’s student newspaper, The Hilltop.
Workers protested the University’s employment practices and students voiced concerns over delayed financial aid and validation of students, as well as a shortage of on-campus housing.
A list of student demands was addressed Wednesday by Howard University President Sidney Ribeau in a three-page letter to the student body.
The Hilltop also reported that a meeting with Ribeau, administrators and student leaders was slated to take place this past Tuesday, but Howard Student Association President Bryan Smart said students cancelled the meeting because it was not a public meeting. Ribeau told the paper that he did not receive notification of the cancellation.
“We take the concerns raised by our students very seriously and are dedicated to finding solutions. As such, we will continue to meet with student leadership in an environment of mutual respect – as we have done on a regular basis since the beginning of this administration – to find answers,” Ribeau said in his letter.
Ribeau added that some issues raised have been addressed since Friday’s protest, including extension of financial aid office hours and that Howard’s recycling program, which was scheduled to launch Sept. 1, will begin before the end of the month.
“Our ability to address a number of these issues will require additional resources and the strategic reallocation of existing resources,” Ribeau said.
The list of student demands had called for the establishment of wireless connectivity for the whole campus by Nov. 1, as well as the immediate resignation of executive leadership in the Office of Student Affairs for various reasons, including intimidation of students.
Smart could not be reached for comment.