HU Resist demanded the university provide housing for all students under 21 and extend the fall 2018 housing deposit deadline, end unsubstantiated tuition hikes, prevent sexual assault on campus, implement a grievance system to hold the administration accountable, implement a new attendance policy that accounts for mental and emotional health issues, disarm campus police officers, allocate money toward combating food insecurity and gentrification and give students power to democratically influence administration decisions.
Press releases by HU Resist posted throughout the week-long protest said the students were prepared to occupy the administration building until they felt their demands had been met. Students led several activities for participants of the demonstration that centered on topics such as political education, Black intellectualism and queer identities.
Students met with administrators to discuss and negotiate the demands, and when the occupation ended Friday, Howard released a statement of commitments with solutions that had been approved by the university's Board of Trustees.
The statement of commitments included extending the housing deposit deadline, allowing students to select and have access to a graduate student ombudsman, implementing a task force comprised of students and administrators to improve the university's Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Services and the consideration of holding undergraduate tuition at current levels for the 2019-20 school year.
The statement included creating a task force to review Howard’s Department of Public Safety, developing a grievance system, providing transportation to hospitals for sexual assault victims, requiring all students to take a one-credit course on sexual assault prevention, allocating money to establish a food pantry in the nearby LeDetroit-Shaw community and providing students with a forum to discuss concerns.
Frederick released a statement on the protests March 30, the day after they began. He said in the statement Howard will always have a spirit of activism, which has created an impact across the nation.
“Your concerns are valid,” Frederick said. “We are listening. We are committed to jointly making changes to move Howard Forward.”
HU Resist said in a tweet that, through negotiations, the group was able to accomplish university-wide changes.
“Last Friday marked the end of the longest student occupation in Howard history,” the tweet said. “Thank you to everyone that supported the #StudentPowerHU movement! Let’s get to work.”