Umoja: Howard’s Challenge
What is Howard University’s Biggest Challenge?
The question presented in the title of this piece is an inevitable thought when considers Howard University. We all love this place, but at the same time there are certain shortcomings that are very visible. With that being said, I believe that Howard University’s biggest challenge is ITSELF.
The university is in a very delicate state right now. We are at the end of President Sidney A. Ribeau’s first year in office, over 300 employees left the parted ways with the university via the VSIRP (Voluntary Separation Incentive Retirement Program) and one of the largest classes to date has begun their matriculation at the Mecca. President Ribeau prides himself on being students first and he has made that his primary agenda since setting foot on campus last year. However, historically every Howard University President who has claimed to be “students first” has been usurped out of the position by students. This may be to no fault of his, but to that of those who surround him. Everyone surrounding him is not in line with the vision that he has for the university and we urge him to realize this fact because it could be his downfall. We may have a new President, but most of the same old people from H. Patrick Swygert’s regime remain behind the scenes. The time is now for new blood here at Howard University.
Students are sick and tired of being sick tired. We are tired of hearing that a new dorm is in the works or that the wireless for College of Dentistry is on the way. Dr. Ribeau says that we must renew the legacy of Howard University and we totally agree with him. However, this legacy will not be renewed with some of the people who are in certain key administrative positions. There is a breaking point is close at bay. The time for diplomacy is nearing an end. Students are hurting and we hear your call.