Howard University lays off workers amid student protests over housing concerns
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Howard University has laid off a number of workers as students continue to protest poor housing conditions on campus, according to the university's Twitter.
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"We’re sad to report the occupation of Blackburn has led to an unintended consequence for the HU community. Due to the café being closed, some Sodexo workers have been laid off," the university announced on Twitter. "We are committed to working with our students to avoid more repercussions like this one."
More than 150 students have been taking part in a sit-in for weeks now with many camping in tents outside the Blackburn Center.
Students say living with rats, roaches, mushrooms and mold are just some examples of what kind of housing conditions they're exposed to at Howard.
READ MORE: Howard students enter second week of sit-in on campus to protest poor housing conditions
Howard's President Wayne A. I. Frederick sent out a letter on Tuesday leading up to his annual state of the University address on Friday.
"I maintain my willingness to sit down with the student occupants of the Blackburn Center as soon as the building is vacated," the letter reads in part. "There are many elected official student leaders on campus who were not part of the weekly meetings I previously had with our HUSA president prior to the protest. I have listened to our students’ feedback and learned that the information we shared in those meetings may not have been disseminated to all our students. In direct response to this feedback, and as I have committed to, I am engaging with a broader group of student leaders to hear their concerns and to inform them of what our team is doing to address their concerns. Last week, I, along with other senior executives, also met with the Howard University Parent Advisory Council and spoke with nearly 900 parents. I will continue to listen and speak to the entire Howard University community."