ast Thursday, at the sesquicentennial Howard University Convocation, a group of students apart of HU Resist demonstrated an act of protest against President Wayne I. Fredrick and Howard University’s administration. The protest comes on the heels of President Fredrick’s meeting with newly confirmed Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Rightfully so, students are frustrated with the lack of communication from administration, the lack of representation and defense of marginalized communities constantly belittled and threatened by the Trump administration, and the lack of resources and outlets for these communities on our campus. At one of the most important and influential events of the year, students decided to vocalize their frustrations in a public manner and are receiving both praise and criticism, for taking such a public stance.
The protest was held at one of the biggest events of the year, and was necessary to start conversations of change amongst faculty, students, and staff. Howard prides itself on being the Mecca. We are supposed to be agents of change and catalyst for activism. It is the history of our beloved institution and engrained into our curriculum. The students who participated in the protest were doing what they have been taught to do. See a problem, fight like hell to fix it. There is no better way to bring attention to topics affecting a great number of students, than a demonstration of such magnitude.
However, what I do not agree with, is the defamation and vandalism of our campus. A protest and written hate speech are two very different mediums of protest. One is an organized performance and the other a chaotic unprofessional assault. HU Resist has denied any involvement with the many cases of destruction of property. Nothing constructive has ever come from defacement. It is childlike and contradictory for a person to say they want to change the school for the better, by making it worse.