Students at Atlanta’s historically Black colleges and universities have launched overnight protests against housing conditions and other issues. They’re reaching out to administrators with a list of demands they want met.
Tuesday marked the second day of protests near the Atlanta University Center. “The dorms that we do have, many of them have things such as mold. I personally have a friend who had a dryer fire in her dorm,” said Marcellus Kirkland, a Morehouse student and protest organizer. The students attend Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse, Spelman and Morris Brown Colleges. They’re protesting in solidarity with Howard University students who are facing similar issues. “To see the struggles they are enduring, I think that speaks louder than any pictures we’ll ever see of mold,” said Clark Atlanta student Alivia Duncan, another protest organizer.
They say there’s been mold and leaking pipes, particularly at Clark Atlanta and Morehouse. Students are also protesting high student loan debt and blaming the Biden Administration for cutting proposed federal education funding from $45 billion to $2 billion, which is a major blow to HBCUs. They’re demanding better housing conditions, more funding and more transparency. “Sometimes, greatness does come through struggle, but at the same time, some struggles simply shouldn’t be necessary,” Kirkland said. Ironically, the protests are happening in the same area where students launched historic movements for justice and equality decades ago. Now, they’re launching a new movement drawing attention to college housing and funding issues. “I love what our ancestors have done, but I don’t believe that we should continue to do this every single year,” said Duncan.