Following a major misappropriation scandal of financial aid funding by former employees at Howard University, students staged a sit-in at the school’s Administration Building. Now, after nine days, the protest has ended.
Led by the student group HU Resist, the protest came to an end after university officials agreed to seven of the nine demands expressed by students, according to a report from NPR. The agreed demands included an overhaul of the school’s sexual assault policy; the creation of a food bank; freezing undergraduate tuition rates at current levels; reexamining on-campus housing for students; and a review of policies allowing campus police officers to carry weapons.
In return, HU Resist stopped calling for the resignation of school president Wayne Frederick.
“This is a long time coming,” HU Resist student organizer Alexis McKenney said at a press conference Friday. “It’s important for us to acknowledge that no significant change that has ever happened within the black community has happened without struggle.”
“Today marks the next chapter of progress at Howard University,” Marie Johns, a member of the board of trustees, also said during the conference. “These commitments are meant to address the needs and are for the benefit and welfare of the entire Howard University community.”
The protest stemmed from a since-deleted report on Medium detailing how six former Howard University employees were misappropriating financial aid funds.
The report revealed that former financial aid officials received nearly $1 Million in financial aid funds between 2013 and 2017. The embezzlement was allegedly discovered by a student employee who noticed an irregularity between the type and amount of grants being awarded. They then realized that the grants were being given to their colleagues.