For more than two weeks, Howard University students have been protesting living conditions and a lack of housing opportunities at the school.
On Tuesday (Nov. 2), The Hilltop released an official statement detailing times in which their coverage of the viral issue was censored.
According to the statement, staff writers were asked to take down their coverage of the second night of protests because of “minor edits” and were later instructed to send all stories to the advisor before publishing.
On another occasion, they claimed that President Wayne A.I. Frederick denied a statement he made off the record but failed to provide reporters with a correction.
The Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, Director of Residence Life Shelton Higgins and Walter Servance, the Coordinator of Housing Operations have also declined to provide commentary on students’ day-long demonstration against the unsanitary dorm conditions.
For the past weeks, over 100 students have been camping in tents outside the Blackburn Center in an effort to stand up against the poor housing conditions that reportedly include rodents, roaches, and mold.
Following complaints, the Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Cynthia Evers conducted a meeting between student leadership and administration on Oct. 26 and asked that managing editor Jeresa Anderson and Jada Orr, the digital media editor, attend and cover the session. The demand, however, included a request that the newspaper’s editor in chief stayed away from coverage.
Despite the current censorship of The Hilltop, staff writers promise to objectively deliver information about the protests.
“The Hilltop will continue to fight for the freedom of the press,” the statement read. “We know that our rights have been infringed upon, and we are currently being advised by the Student Press Law Center. Our one objective is rooted in our ability to accurately and unbiasedly report the facts.”
Read the full statement below.
The Hilltop is committed to delivering unbiased news with integrity. Our reporters will not stop researching and writing stories that provide full coverage on all issues pertaining to Howard University. Read the full statement online “The Hilltop: In Full Transparency” #forzora pic.twitter.com/gwDrk3DAr6
— The Hilltop (@TheHilltopHU) November 2, 2021
Howard University recently said that the ongoing student demonstrations at its student center have led to employees being laid off.
We’re sad to report the occupation of Blackburn has led to an unintended consequence for the HU community. Due to the café being closed, some Sodexo workers have been laid off. We are committed to working with our students to avoid more repercussions like this one.
— Howard University (@HowardU) November 2, 2021
For the many alumni who you are embarrassing and the funders who you’ve managed to get $$ from who are probably thinking never again, stop acting like you are Hillman college and straighten this mess out, @HowardUniv
— ProfB (@AntheaButler) November 2, 2021
While, in the past, I have used Homecoming weekend as a time to deliver the state of the University address, this year, the event was postponed, as the campus atmosphere was not suited for an address of that kind.
— Wayne A. I. Frederick (@HUPrez17) November 2, 2021