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Published on September 9th, 2009 | by thevyne


Protesting at Howard: Another HBCU Issue?

Photo by Gerald Martineau -- The Washington Post

Photo by Gerald Martineau — The Washington Post

By Kailei Richardson

Oh college. Now those were the good ol’ days. Some of the things I remember most about my four years at Emory University were engaging in intellectual debates with fellow students,¬† gaining a wealth of knowledge, and standing up for what I believed in when duty called. I fondly remember marching with a group of students on a couple of occasions shouting “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!” Though we marched the yard for what we felt were good causes, we did not have to protest about things that many students at Howard University did a few days ago.

This past Friday, September 4, about 350 Howard students and union workers protested on campus and threatened a sit-in due to disconcertion with university administration. Amongst their issues were system validation, financial aid, campus housing, and labor practices. (Watch video of Howard University protest). Students described extremely long lines, missing financial aid payments, a shortage of campus housing, and facilities that were not up to standards.

Unfortunately this is not the first historically Black college that has suffered from significant concerns from students. Morris Brown has struggled with accreditation and financial issues for years. Clark Atlanta laid off about 100 employees earlier this year due to economic problems and dwindling enrollment. And just last week a Spelman student was violently killed by a stray bullet outside of a Clark Atlanta University dorm.

Maybe other universities are experiencing similar problems, but it seems like HBCUs haven’t had many positive headlines lately. Which begs the question: do the benefits of going to an HBCU outweigh the risks?

Tell us what you think!

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