Howard University says student protests over housing have caused layoffs

Howard University says student protests over housing have caused layoffs

Howard University mentioned workers have been laid off attributable to weeks of student protests in opposition to dorm housing circumstances, the establishment said Tuesday. College students declare that mildew, mice, roaches and fleas are widespread in dorms, and have camped out contained in the college’s social hub, the Armour J. Blackburn University Middle, for greater than two weeks demanding change. 

“We’re sad to report the occupation of Blackburn has led to an unintended consequence for the HU community,” the school wrote on Twitter. “Due to the café being closed, some Sodexo workers have been laid off. We are committed to working with our students to avoid more repercussions like this one.”

A spokesperson for the meals companies enterprise Sodexo instructed CBS Information that some workers at Howard University have additionally been relocated to work at totally different places on campus the place it’s doable. 

“Sodexo respects the students’ right to a peaceful protest,” the spokesperson mentioned. “We remain committed to providing exceptional service during these difficult times and we hope that both parties will soon come to a mutually beneficial resolution.”

Protestors have demanded an up to date housing plan to accommodate present and future lessons earlier than 2022 and to nominate present and former college students to the board of trustees. 

Cynthia Evers, the college’s vp of student affairs, mentioned Tuesday that the college has invited public officers, well being inspectors, college students and fogeys to look at residence halls amid the student protests. She referred to as for transparency and emphasised the significance of searching for widespread floor.

“We have created these opportunities not only as a good faith effort to demonstrate that the University is not attempting to conceal any information from the public, but also to uncover any overlooked problems and establish regular channels of communication among a diversity of individuals with different perspectives and areas of expertise,” Evers mentioned in a statement

The protests proceed amid Homecoming — one of many college’s hottest occasions for alumni and college students that is supposed to focus on the college’s tradition and neighborhood. Organizers have inspired deliberate attendees to boycott the weeklong celebration to deliver added consciousness to the protest’s trigger.

Howard President Wayne A. I. Frederick inspired the college’s neighborhood to tune into his state of the University handle, which was scheduled to happen on November 5. He mentioned the presentation can be a chance to converse with college students. 

“I’m sure it will be an illuminating opportunity for the entire Howard community to learn more about the present and future outlook of our University and to hear more about current updates on our campus,” Frederick mentioned concerning Homecoming. 

However afterward Tuesday, the college’s president announced that he’ll now not ship his conventional Homecoming handle this 12 months, citing the present “campus atmosphere.”

Final week, Frederick referred to as for the occupation of the Blackburn University Middle to finish. 

“The current occupation of the Armour J. Blackburn Center is a departure from past norms,” he wrote in a statement. “There is a distinct difference between peaceful protest and freedom of expression and the occupation of a University building that impedes operations and access to essential services and creates health and safety risks.”

Zoe Christen Jones contributed reporting. 

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