Students at Washington's Howard University complain about mold, rats

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 03, 2015 2:28 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Officials at Howard University on Thursday met with students who have been complaining about rats, mold, high tuition and other issues at the school, one of the oldest historically black U.S. colleges.

Howard students first vented complaints on Twitter using the hashtag #TakeBackHU, which started trending nationally on Wednesday.

University officials are aware of the issues and met with student leaders on Thursday to discuss their concerns, university spokesman Anthony Owens said in a statement.

Students posted pictures of what appears to be mold and exposed electrical wires in dormitory rooms. Others complained about limited staff, living with rats, mice, broken showers and air conditioning, and ceilings falling down in living quarters and classrooms.

"Is this what Frederick Douglass had in mind?" someone asked on Twitter, referring to the 19th century black abolitionist and Howard trustee.

Undergraduate tuition is $21,450 a year at the school, which has 10,265 students.

The university's alumni include Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and actress Phylicia Rashad. It celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017.

(Reporting by John Clarke; Editing by Sandra Maler)