Howard University students are continuing to protest housing conditions.
The demonstrations began Oct. 13 and now, after taking over the Blackburn University Center, some of the students are camping out in tents, according to local Washington station WTTG. They are protesting poor housing conditions on the campus, including moldy buildings and vermin in the dorms.
See a clip of one of the dorm rooms:
Lamiya Murray, an 18-year-old freshman living in one of the tents, told ABC News, "I'm not going to say that I expect a lot more, I expect the bare minimum. I expect decent housing. I expect to be in a space where I will feel safe and secure, but the dorms became a health hazard. I was waking up every morning with a cough that I didn't go to sleep with the night before, and struggling to breathe at night."
Howard University Division of Student Affairs issued a warning over occupying the Blackburn University Center. Cynthia Evers, vice president for student affairs, wrote in an email to students, according to ABC News, "You will proceed through a student conduct hearing and face consequences up to and including expulsion from the University. The judicial process will be conducted within the procedures of the Student Code of Conduct.”
The email continued, "We take great pride in Howard students leading the nation in public and private fights for justice and equality in all corners of the nation and, in fact, the world. However, there is a marked delineation between historic protests and what we witnessed yesterday [Oct. 12] . The University looks to fully preserve the integrity and authenticity of students' constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech and assembly while protecting against the weaponization of these rights as false representations of the Howard student experience at large."
Lamita Murray told ABC News that the protesters are not allowing administrators or press into the Blackburn University Center.
There have been 34 reports of suspected fungal growth, which represents 0.67% of the total on-campus beds, Howard University officials claim.
Frank Tramble, vice president of communications and chief communications officer at Howard University, said in a statement to ABC News, “The well-being of our students is always one of Howard University's top concerns, and we always support students' right to peacefully protest. The administration is actively addressing the concerns students have shared. While there have only been a small number of documented reports, we are actively seeking out any issues that may be in the dorms by going door to door to address each room.”
Tramble also stated "long, hot, wet summers, record-high temperatures and humidity” is a cause for the mold.
Demonstrators are asking for town hall with Howard University President Wayne Frederick.