Alumni, students take sides as Howard University protest draws on

- More people are weighing in on the Howard University student protest that has garnered national attention. Alumni – and even students themselves are split in their support.

Monday marked Day 5 of the takeover of the administration building. It also signaled the longest-running protest in Howard University history. The one in 1968 lasted four days while the protest in 1989 lasted three days.

Alumni from those eras have come out to support students and provide guidance on how to handle the high-level negotiations. But the Howard University Alumni Association came out Monday supporting University President Wayne Frederick.

The alumni group supporting student protesters says the official campus alumni association is controlled by Howard University.

“The budget of the alumni association is controlled by the administration as well as the majority of the operations of the alumni association across the country are controlled by the administration,” explained Talib Karim with the TEC Law Group. “Therefore you can read for yourself whether or not you think that is an independent voice or not.”

Karim went on to say that out of 20,000 Howard University alumni worldwide, the Howard University Alumni Association is only made up of about 800 members. FOX 5 has reached out to the Alumni Association for comment.

This split comes as the university announced Frederick met with students in the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library on Monday. Students represented there include HU United, FLA, Bison STEM scholars and some graduate students. But there was no representation from the student protesters.

“Students who were part of these groups were not fully aware of what they were walking into,” explained Ahmari Anthony, one of the protesters who addressed the media Monday night. “Not all of them knew they were going to be walking into a meeting with the president. Not all of them knew how it was going to be utilized in the press. And not all of those students who are in those organizations were informed of this meeting because of some of our involvement in this building.”

HU United officially on Monday has come out against the student protest, saying on Twitter, “While we commend @HUResist for their persistence in protesting for what they believe in, Howard United stands with @HUPrez17 and does not support any demand for his resignation. His love and commitment to @HowardU is undeniable."

What is not clear is where D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser stands in this whole battle. FOX 5 has reached out to the mayor’s office to get her stance. In past Howard University protests, the mayor has had to step in and help mediate. With no sign of this ending anytime soon, that may be required once again.

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