It’s been a month since Howard University students stopped their protest because of the poor housing conditions they were dealing with on campus. Now, another issue has arisen, alumni of the prestigious HBCU have filed a lawsuit that claims the governing board of the University is excluding students, alumni and faculty from its board of trustees according to the story from The Washington Post.
One of the demands of the students during their protest a month ago was that the alumni, faculty and student affiliate positions be reinstated to the governing board. They obviously have not been met since.
From The Washington Post:
The suit alleges Howard’s governing board violated its own bylaws when it stopped filling vacant affiliate trustee spots in April 2020, moved to remove the seats this June, then voted to amend its bylaws to eliminate the positions in November.
“Resultingly, Howard Alumni in their entirety, which includes plaintiffs, have been injured via their disenfranchisement at the highest level of the university’s governance,” the suit claims. The plaintiffs — a group of 10 alumni who graduated between 1960 and 1994 — allege the board cast votes and made major decisions for more than a year without its full required membership.
So it looks like it’s the Howard University governing body against everyone because they seem to have continued with business as usual without involving anyone else.
Per the report from The Washington Post, a spokesperson for Howard University, Frank Tramble has said that an advisory council was added to help broaden the pool of aspiring trustees that will be on the board in 2022. This lawsuit filed by alumni is an attempt to hold the powers that be accountable and put it in the hands of a judge to see if the governing board violated their own rules. If they did, they will have to fill the empty affiliate positions and annul votes that were cast without the full membership of the governing board.
We’ll see if the alumni and students have their demands met.