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Howard University dorms infested with mice, roaches, and mold, students say


Students at Howard University are on their second week of protest after accusing university administrators of dismissing their reports of mold, roaches, mice, and housing shortages on campus.

Members of the historically black university have organized in tents outside of campus and in sleeping bags inside the social hub and the university center.

On social media, students have said the issues have been persistent for years and improvements are long overdue. 

They’ve shared videos of the unsafe living condition in the dorms, showing cockroaches in the showers, walls covered with mold, mice skittering across dorm rooms, and flooding from burst pipes.

They've shared videos of the unsafe living condition in the dorms, showing cockroaches in the showers, walls with mold, mice making their way inside dorm rooms, and floodings from burst pipes

On social media, students have said the issues at Howard University have been persistent for years and are long overdue. They’ve shared videos of the unsafe living condition in the dorms, showing cockroaches in the showers, walls with mold, mice making their way inside dorm rooms, and floodings from burst pipes

Members of the historically black university have organized in tents outside of campus and in sleeping bags inside the social hub and the university center

Members of the historically black university have organized in tents outside of campus and in sleeping bags inside the social hub and the university center

Students have said the university has largely ignored their calls for action

Students have said the university has largely ignored their calls for action 

Twitter user @MKDominique, a Howard student, shared a video of what she claimed to be her dorm in 2019, in which a mouse could be seen making its way inside a closet

Twitter user @MKDominique, a Howard student, shared a video of what she claimed to be her dorm in 2019, in which a mouse could be seen making its way inside a closet

'My freshman year ('19-'20) Howard had us living in what was supposed to be a newly renovated dorm that was actually under construction the entire time we were there. I recorded this video of ONE of the mice that got into our room,' a student tweeted

‘My freshman year (’19-’20) Howard had us living in what was supposed to be a newly renovated dorm that was actually under construction the entire time we were there. I recorded this video of ONE of the mice that got into our room,’ a student tweeted

Protesters said the university has largely ignored their pleas. They are demanding a town hall meeting with the university’s president before October ends, the release of a housing plan that addresses their concerns, and the appointment of students to the board of trustees.

Jaelan Trapp, a senior at Howard, told CBS he experienced the same issues during his freshman year. Trapp now lives off-campus, as the university only secures dorms to freshman and sophomores, but is supporting the protest.

‘A lot of the dorms have their own issues between mold in the dorm and being different infestations of whatever different creatures like rats and roaches in the dorms. Sometimes the dorms don’t have heating, sometimes the pipes are bursting,’ Trapp told the outlet.

Mario Beatty, an associate professor of Afro-American studies at the university, shared on Twitter that the mold had affected one of his students

Mario Beatty, an associate professor of Afro-American studies at the university, shared on Twitter that the mold had affected one of his students

Another student claimed the university had refused to relocate her and her roomates even when she slipped and fell because her doorm was flooded

Another student claimed the university had refused to relocate her and her roomates even when she slipped and fell because her doorm was flooded

Protesters said the university has largely ignored the infestation, flooding, and mold in dorms

Protesters said the university has largely ignored the infestation, flooding, and mold in dorms

Students are demanding a town hall meeting with the university's president before October ends, the release of a housing plan that addresses their concerns, and the appointment of students to the board of trustees

Students are demanding a town hall meeting with the university’s president before October ends, the release of a housing plan that addresses their concerns, and the appointment of students to the board of trustees

The university has said that an influx of students in 2021, over 400 more than in 2019, has been the root cause of the housing shortage.

Mario Beatty, an associate professor of Afro-American studies at the university, shared on Twitter that the mold had affected one of his students.

‘One of my students told me last week that she went to her hometown to see her doctor and she was diagnosed with mold induced asthma from being in the dorms. The University can not and should not minimize at all the reality of what students are experiencing,’ Beatty said.

Twitter user @MKDominique, a Howard student, shared a video of what she claimed to be her dorm in 2019, in which a mouse could be seen making its way inside a closet.

‘My freshman year (’19-’20) Howard had us living in what was supposed to be a newly renovated dorm that was actually under construction the entire time we were there. I recorded this video of ONE of the mice that got into our room,’ she tweeted.

She said that after reporting the incident, it took maintenance more than a week to fix the air conditioner hole the mouse came through and left without disposing of the mice that had been trapped because ‘it wasn’t their job.’

The university allegedly responded that ‘DC had a rodent issue,’ even though her dorm was on the third floor.

Another student claimed the university had refused to relocate her and her roommates even when she slipped and fell because her dorm was flooded.  

Howard has reticently acknowledged that there ‘may’ be some issues in the dorms but did not explicitly address the mold and mice claims raised by students.

As of Saturday, October 23, the university had made attempts to stop students from entering the buildings where they had been protesting by placing campus officers outside

As of Saturday, October 23, the university had made attempts to stop students from entering the buildings where they had been protesting by placing campus officers outside

In an email, the university said: 'The university along with its campus housing are actively addressing the concerns our students have raised.'

Howard has reticently acknowledged that there 'may' be some issues in the dorms but did not explicitly address the mold and mice claims raised by students

Howard has reticently acknowledged that there ‘may’ be some issues in the dorms but did not explicitly address the mold and mice claims raised by students. In an email, the university said: ‘The university along with its campus housing are actively addressing the concerns our students have raised’

In an email, the university said: ‘The university along with its campus housing are actively addressing the concerns our students have raised. While there have only been a small number of documented facilities reports, we are actively inquiring about reported issues that may be in the residence halls going door to door to interview each resident.’

‘Additionally, members of the administration have also toured and inspected every residence hall on campus and are addressing any documented facility issues directly with our third-party housing managers,’ the email read.

Cynthia Evers, Vice President of Student Affairs, told students that ‘there have been rooms in select residence halls that were affected by mold growth,’ WUSA9 reported.

Evers also allegedly said that mold remediation and HVAC duct cleaning in the impacted rooms were taking place.

A very dividing reality could be seen at Howard as the university made preparations for Homecoming, while tents remained outside of buildings with students refusing to end the protest until their concerns are acknowledged.

As of Saturday, October 23, the university had made attempts to stop students from entering the buildings where they had been protesting by placing campus officers outside. 



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