Students at Howard University are continuing the social justice warriors endless crusade to advance the victim narrative that “systematic oppression” has been inequitably targeting non-whites. What started as anger over a financial aid scandal has ballooned into a now seven-day revolt at the historically black college, with Howard U. students storming and occupying the school’s administrative building and making demands to address the institutions that oppress based on race, gender, mental and emotional health, etc.
HU Resist, the students behind the revolt, reportedly are occupying all four floors of the administrative building, including the president’s office, and turned it into a “safe space” in which faculty and staff are not welcome. ABC News reports that students gathered in the building sang songs such as Rihanna’s “B---- Better Have My Money.” What an anthem! And of course, Rihanna tweeted her approval of the revolt after having heard that.
CNN reports that the protests began after an investigation found that some university employees had been receiving grants from the school to attend classes while also receiving tuition discounts, which enabled them to earn more money than their education cost and keep the rest for themselves. Blogging platform Medium brought the investigation’s results to light last week, sparking the protests.
One of the students involved posted a list of demands on Twitter, along with this: “In the words of Frederick Douglass, ‘power concedes nothing without demand.’ These are our demands.”
Of the nine demands outlined, the university board has agreed to the first, which is “adequate housing for all students under the age of 21” and extending “the fall 2018 housing deposit deadline to May 1.”
The others are downright Marxist in nature and seemingly have less to do with education and more to do with creating a campus leftist utopia, as if most campuses are not already leftist havens:
• We demand an immediate end to unsubstantiated tuition hikes and complete access to administrative salaries.
• We demand that Howard University actively fight rape culture on campus in an effort to prevent sexual assault.
• We demand that Howard University implement a grievance system to hold faculty and administrators accountable in their language and actions toward students with marginalized identities.
• We demand that Howard University hire more counselors and implement an inclusive attendance policy that accounts for mental and emotional health issues.
• We demand the immediate disarming of campus police officers and the formation of a Police Oversight Committee controlled by students, faculty, staff, and off-campus community representatives.
• We demand that Howard University allocate more resources toward combating food insecurity and gentrification within the LeDroit-Shaw community.
• We demand the immediate resignation of President Wayne A.I. Frederick and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
• We demand that students have the power to democratically influence the decisions of the administration and the Board of Trustees by way of popular vote.
According to student Maya McCollum, an HU Resist spokesman and journalism major, the issues at Howard are not unique to the school but are rather representative of "systematic issues that have lasted for years."
President Frederick addressed the demands in a statement by outlining all of the ways the university is already attempting to address the concerns presented by the students, but Alexis McKenney, lead organizer of the protest, states that the students have no plans to leave the administration building until all of the remaining demands have been met.
Based on the university’s response to the students’ temper tantrum thus far, it seems that they may just get what they want.
Association President Nadia Pinto took a rather sympathetic approach to the protests. "The hearts and actions of our students today mirror the students who stood outside the A-Building fighting for change during the 60's, 80's and 90's," Pinto said. "When we see student protests, we know it is an indication that their voices are not being heard."
Fox News reports that at least 26 faculty members have signed a letter of support for the student revolt. And Howard Alumni Trustee Rock Newman told Fox News that the Board of Trustees has been in negotiations with the students and that he feels “optimistic about reaching a resolution.”
Of course, if the university concedes to the students’ demands, it simply teaches the protesters that they can behave like snowflakes and it will accomplish exactly what they wish to achieve. Hasn’t the university ever heard that age-old maxim, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists?”
Image: Screenshot of Howard University online ad