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Howard University students protest dorm conditions, including mold

Howard University students protest dorm conditions, including mold
The Howard University gate and Founders Library are shown. File Photo by Fourandsixty/Wikimedia Commons

Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Howard University students are protesting dorm conditions after mold was found in 34 rooms.

More than 150 students with the Live Movement for "education reforms and academic advancement of Black education for all Black students" began protesting at the Blackburn University student center on Oct. 12, NPR reported.

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Howard University Vice President of Student Affairs Cynthia Evers released a statement on Twitter the day after the sit-in began.

"The well-being of our students is always one of our top concerns and we will will also support the right to a peaceful protest," Evers said. "Some students will be asked to meet with judicial affairs today to discuss Student Code of Conduct violations.

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"In previous months, university leadership has collaborated with student leaders to address top concerns and continue to provide a best-in class university experience," Evers added.

Since last month, mold has been found in 34 of the roughly 2,700 rooms on the Howard campus, according to ABC News. The school is one of the nation's top historically black colleges.

"I looked at my painting and I was like wow, I didn't know my painting was this dusty," freshman Kaedriana Turenne, told ABC News. She moved to another room down the hall after finding mold in her Harriet Tubman Quadrangle room last week.

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"There really doesn't seem like there is a plan of action," Turenne added. "I really don't think I'm going to come back next year. What I'm going through, it really doesn't live up to the expectation of the school I thought I was coming to."

Along with mold, Howard University students have also raised concerns about lack of COVID-19 testing and safety on campus, the DCist/WAMU reported.

Students say they will not leave the Blackburn building until campus officials agree to discuss their demands.

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Protesters with Live Movement are demanding an in-person meeting with President Wayne A.I. Frederick by the end of the month to discuss the concerns, an Instagram post shows.

The Live Movement has also requested students, faculty and alumni on the board of trustees be reinstated with voting power, and the president and chairman of the board proposed a meeting with student leadership to go over a "housing plan," to protect the students.

In 2018, a nine-day student occupation of the campus administration building led to a deal, including an overhaul of the school's sexual assault policy, a campus food pantry, and a review of policies related to campus police officers use of force and need to carry weapons.

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