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Umoja: Protest Revealed

Senior biology major, Jerome Joseph, is the Howard University Student Association vice president.

Senior biology major, Jerome Joseph, is the Howard University Student Association vice president.

There have been many things said in regards to the protest, and I have sat back and heard remarks from all angles. Some things said were good, some were bad and others were ugly. Nonetheless, I say to you that the protest on September 4, 2009 was a success.

Why was it successful? First of all, we showed the administration that as students we care about the quality of our education and the life that we live at Howard University. They never expected that many students to come out and support a cause as one. Was I surprised? No, because I know the caliber of students that we have here at the Mecca and I daresay that they will not underestimate us again.

Right now, we have the administration’s ear in a way that has not been seen in years. We have to continue to hold them accountable for what we need to excel as students. There are certain things that as students we deserve including suitable housing, good customer service and facilities that are on par with the standards of a university that is in the top 100 schools in the country. We met with Dr. Ribeau on Thursday, and we have his commitment to work with us to address all of our demands.

This protest did not concern our current President, but the issues that have plagued this institution long before he arrived. Howard University was founded in 1867. Since that time has had sixteen presidents, survived a Depression, two world wars and has seen the first person of African descent be elected President of the United States. Times are rough, but we will not allow our beloved Alma Mater to fail. We support the direction that he is taking the university in, but we do not expect it to be done overnight. It is going to take a major effort from students, administration, faculty, staff, alumni and the Board of Trustees.

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