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#TakeBackHU: Ways to Let Your Voice be Heard

The first day of fall semester at Howard came and went, but it seemed like the university wasn’t prepared. From issues with the financial aid office to unfinished housing that left many homeless, students are fed up and expressed outrage using #TakeBackHU on social media. The hashtag even started trending nationwide.

Unfortunately, HU students have come to expect these poor conditions. In fact, many just accept these problems as “the Howard struggle.” But as students, we need to hold administration accountable for its actions — or lack thereof. It’s up to us to change what we don’t like, and this is our chance to step up and to leave the university in a better place than it was when we first stepped foot on campus.

If you see something wrong, report it. Don’t just walk away. Our administration is supposed to cultivate an environment that allows students to reach their full potential, and the President, Vice President and Deans need to be aware of our concerns. Here are some ways you let your voice be heard at Howard:

Participate in Student Government. Between the Student Association and student councils of each school, there are dozens of ways you can participate in Howard’s politics. By participating in organizations like these, you are able to be of influence when important decisions are made.

But, if politics isn’t your things you shouldn’t be worried. Participating in other student organizations will do the trick! Usually state clubs, the dance group, or the newspaper will host events. When one student has a particular grievance, at least 20 other students probably have the same concern. Think about these problems and figure out a creative way to address them within whatever organizations you join.

As you can probably tell, the key word here is “participate.” Although administration is still working to resolve some of the issues on campus, the #TakeBackHU movement shows just how important it is to be involved and committed when it comes to advocacy. 

We’re at an advantage here at Howard because we’re right in the middle of the nation’s capital – where decisions are constantly being made in an effort to make the country the best it can be. Why should these decisions stop Howard’s gates? We deserve clean dorms, modern classrooms and decent Wi-Fi like any other modern American university. Think of this year as a new beginning. Get involved, and let’s make a difference!

Essence Patterson is a sophomore at Howard University. She is a political science major from Detroit, Michigan. Essence is an avid tennis player; she enjoys reading, music, and exploring the DMV area. Community service is very important to Essence. In the future she wants to practice law in the educational policy field. She aspires to one day open a non-profit organization targeted toward education for low income children. Integrity, compassion, courage, and innovation are the biggest virtues that Essence lives by.
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