Howard University is one of the most popular HBCUs, yet sadly the institution has been met with a handful of negative press as of late.
After overcoming the criticism of fine arts dean & famed actress Phylicia Rashad over her support of Bill Cosby’s early release from prison, in addition to the now-infamous protests by students over grotesque living conditions at the dorms, Howard U is once again in hot water by its own alumni who’ve filed a lawsuit claiming the university’s board of trustees is illegally excluding graduates, current students and even faculty.
This past summer, Howard chose to remove all affiliate trustee roles for faculty, students and alumni. Following the initial announcement back in June (seen above), many reached out to the university with pleas to reverse its decision being that it eliminates the notion of campus decisions being collaborative in effort. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 10 alumni that felt the university violated its bylaws in doing so.
More on the issue at hand below, via The Hill:
“Specifically, the suit claimed that Howard’s board of trustees was in violation of its bylaws when it did not fill vacant spots on the board in April 2020. The board moved to nix the seats entirely in June and to amend its bylaws to do so in November, the Post added.
The suit said that Howard alumni have been ‘injured via their disenfranchisement at the highest level of the university’s governance,’ the newspaper noted.
The issue was one of the reasons for a 34-day student protest that ended almost a month ago.”
According to Donald Temple, attorney for the alumni, the school was in direct violation after it “used that hiatus to illegally vote faculty, students, and alumni permanently off the Board in its November 5, 2021 amendment of its by-laws.”
Howard University spokesperson Frank Tramble told The Washington Post that eliminating the positions was simply a way for the school to “modernize” its operations, and that an advisory council would launch in 2022 that would lead to the expansion of possible trustees.
Let us know your thoughts: does the Howard alumni have a case in their lawsuit, or does the university have the right to appoint and eliminate positions as it sees fit?
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Blackburn Takeover: Photos Of Howard University Students Protesting Horrifying Living Conditions
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More mold photos a student at @HowardU sent me this morning of her dorm in the Quad. @fox5dc #BlackburnTakeover— Jacqueline Matter (@JMatter_TV) October 21, 2021
I reached out to @VP office to see if she has any comment on her alma mater’s living conditions. I also reached out to HU for a finance report but haven’t heard back pic.twitter.com/kP3i2xdICR
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NEW: Getting ready to go live at 10pm and another student walks by and asks us if we’re reporting on the mold problems at @HowardU - she then sends me these photos from a mold-covered picture frame in her dorm at the Quadrangle. @fox5dc #BlackburnTakeover pic.twitter.com/nmbOJLuL4E— Jacqueline Matter (@JMatter_TV) October 21, 2021
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After seeing all the post from #BlackburnTakeover, I have to contextualize the issues students have had at Howard because it is truly inhumane what undergraduates go through. This thread will go the history of civil disobedience and issues with the living conditions at Howard 1/ pic.twitter.com/vxbtzOZ1Bt— 🦂 (@scorptini) October 13, 2021
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For far too long the Admin at Howard has continued to ignore the cries and issues that the students have faced: mold/ mushrooms growing in their dorms, lack or support and responses from admin, no building for classes or tuition assistance. #BlackburnTakeover pic.twitter.com/6ROudKKDly— 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙋𝙖𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 ✋🏾 (@incognitovirgo4) October 13, 2021
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The students at @HowardU have always been changemakers and have made history as a result. I support their struggle for safe, dignified housing. It's the same struggle Black families face against gentrification all over DC. Power concedes nothing without demand. #BlackburnTakeover pic.twitter.com/NOTNjv0i7v— Janeese Lewis George (@Janeese4DC) October 19, 2021
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Day 5 of the #BlackburnTakeover at #HowardUniversity. Students from the School of Social Work set up a tent and have been out here supporting our Baby Bison. As social workers in-training, we must advocate for populations who have been neglected from our place of access. pic.twitter.com/MjskqjvHbf— Zekiiyah J. (@Zekiiyah_) October 16, 2021