SMH: Update on Howard University Scandal

Just when you thought the Howard University scandal was simmering down.

Tyrone Hankerson, Jr – the student at the epicenter of the scandal –  reportedly plans to sue Howard University for $10 million dollars after his financial records were leaked by a whistleblower last month.

His lawyer, James Walker, told WAMU that he has drafted a lawsuit, and he expects to file in D.C. Superior Court on April 6, 2018.

Howard University scandal


Hankerson and his lawyer have denied any wrongdoing and voiced a desire to clear his name in several interviews. He went on to further say how his “life has turned completely upside down” and he has become the victim of “bullying and harassment”.

Next month, Hankerson is scheduled to graduate from Howard University with his law degree.

Need for Accountability

After the Howard University scandal erupted on social media and news outlets, frustrated Howard University students led by a protest group called HU Resist began a sit-in at the administration building. They demanded broad changes and the need for accountability on campus.

Their list of demands included the following:

  • We demand that Howard University provide adequate housing for all students under the age of 21 and extend the Fall 2018 housing deposit deadline to May 1.
  • We demand an immediate end to unsubstantiated tuition hikes and complete access to administrative salaries.
  • We demand that Howard University actively fight rape culture on campus in an effort to prevent sexual assault.
  • We demand that Howard University implement a grievance system to hold faculty and administrators accountable in their language and action toward students with marginalized identities.
  • We demand that Howard University hire more counselors and implement an inclusive attendance policy that accounts for mental and emotional health issues.
  • We demand the immediate disarming of campus police officers and the formation of a Police Oversight Committee controlled by students, faculty, staff and off-campus community representatives.
  • We demand that Howard University allocate more resources toward combating food insecurity and gentrification within the LeDroit-Shaw community.
  • We demand the immediate resignation of President Wayne A.I. Frederick and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  • We demand that students have the power to democratically influence the decision of the administration and the Board of Trustees by way of popular vote.

Bigger Than One Person

After a historic nine day sit-in, students reached negotiations with the board-of-trustees and the administration. They dropped their demand for the President’s resignation. Deciding issues on campus were bigger than one person.

What are your thoughts on Tyrone Hankerson, Jr.’s lawsuit or the resolution of the sit-in? Let us know in the comments.

Video credit:  CBS News | Youtube

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2 thoughts on “SMH: Update on Howard University Scandal”

  1. I had heard about this in passing, but not the whole story. This laid it out really nicely and helped me to understand. To me, it’s a story about the power of collective action by students and the importance of using your voice when you find yourself being treated unjustly.

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