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#BlackburnTakeover: Exposing Elitism within HBCUs

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The conversation around elitism at HBCU’s has sparked a lot of conversations. As I am writing students of Howard University are still protesting with a sit in called #BlackburnTakeover. Howard University is known to be a part of the Power Eight or Black Ivy’s alongside of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Tuskegee University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University, Southern University, Morehouse College and Hampton University.

As a student of Savannah State University with a population of about 3,200 students seeing bigger historically black universities get more funding and overall recognition can be discouraging. Howard University has over 10,000 students and a cost of 40k after aid students have been experiencing homelessness and have called the living conditions unlivable. To see these students fighting for their right to have at least livable conditions or places to live while their president makes 1 million dollars a year. These unbearable conditions include mold, rats and rodents, and contaminated plumbing systems.  As tuition costs rise and more students pour in, there should be some form of accountability. Black people send their children to these institutions by any means necessary and students work hard to receive the qualifications as well as the scholarships to attend. So, it’s very disheartening that the administration will not take accountability for their university. Students are even getting work done as they protest.

The reason why elitism plays a big role is because at Howard University specifically the board of trustees who oversee tuition, budgeting and costs are an unelected wealthy group of individuals who are not being held accountable for students, faculty or university workers. HBCUs were created in order to provide education for Black Americans and to preserve black history and culture. HBCUs are also safe havens for black students and right now Howard is dishonoring its true purpose by not doing right by its students. Without the students Howard cannot be the elite institution it is.

Students of Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta also known as the AUC has also decided to participate in the movement and protests their complaints as well.

The list of demands that the Live Movement is asking for:

In-person townhall with President Frederick and administration scheduled before the end of October. Which was not met the University sent the police to clear out the students.

Reinstate all affiliate trustee positions (students, faculty, and alumni) on the board of trustees with voting power.

The president and chairman of the board propose a meeting with student leadership outlining their housing plan to protect a meeting with student leadership outlining their housing plans. As of right now The Live Movement is asking for hot food and snacks please follow @_thelivemovement for all updates and to see how you can help.

Aniyah Coaxum

Savannah '25

A proud and new member of the Savannah State University chapter of HerCampus. Born and raised in Duval County, Florida.
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