From Where We Are

College students protest poor living conditions

From mold and mice, to windowless rooms, university housing options prompt concern and outrage.

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Millions of students in university-owned properties around the U.S view them as mid-to-low-quality. Students across the country have been protesting against harsh living conditions and the future of university housing in the U.S.

Howard students have been protesting for the last 30 days demanding betting living conditions.

Students at the university have been living in dorms that have mold, mice, and even rodents. Chandler Robinson is a freshman at Howard who has been attending the protest since day one.

Chandler Robinson: The protests began on October 12 as a request to President Fredericks to hold a town hall with students to basically just address their issues and have a conversation. He did not show up. They are trying to downplay our concerns and say that only 31 rooms are affected by mold and that it’s not as bad as we say it is. But even if there were only 30-34 rooms affected by mold, which is not true, that’s still an issue that needs to be addressed.

Robinson is saddened by the current climate at Howard and says as of now she would not recommend a friend attend the university.

Chandler Robinson: I would not recommend this to any of my friends just because we are fighting so hard to get what should have been available to us once we arrived. And an HBCU is supposed to be that kind of protection to the African American community because we face so much scrutiny in our daily day to day lives.

Howard student affairs released a statement on October 13 saying they support the students peacefully protesting and that the office of student affairs will continue providing support during this time.

Here in California, there was a recent student-led protest at UC Santa Barbara after news was released that the university is set to open an 11-story windowless dorm. That left many students on campus stunted by the “jail-like” design.

Camille Macario, a third-year transfer student at UC Santa Barbara, is concerned about the future design of the Munger Hall dorm and the recent protest that took place on campus.

Camille Macario: So at first I was like, ‘Oh great, it’s going to be like a new dorm.’ But then when I found out that it’s like, windowless I was kind of shocked because...it just feels like I’d be like so kind of claustrophobic. I would say it seems claustrophobic in a sense that they’re like students will not be able to have the fresh air and having windows and such.

At USC, poor living conditions haven’t been a current issue, but across other universities in the U.S., they fail to view that same reality.