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A nine-day occupation of the administrative building at Howard University came to an end on Friday, after the students said they reached an agreement with university officials who promised to meet most of their demands .
The announcement was greeted with applause and celebration, and the students are calling the accord a victory.
"This will take time to arrive," said HU Resist student organizer Alexis McKenney at a press conference on Friday.
"It is important for us to recognize that no significant change that has taken place within the black community has happened without a fight."
Among the changes agreed upon in the long negotiation is a review of the school's sexual assault policy, the creation of a food bank to serve the students and the surrounding community, and a review of the policies that allow police officers to campus station reporter Patrick Madden told NPR.
"Today marks the next chapter of progress at Howard University," said Marie Johns, board member. "These commitments are intended to address the needs and are for the benefit and well-being of the entire Howard University community."
The student group HU Resist led the sitting that began on March 29.
In several controversial sessions, the student leaders developed a final version of a "Declaration of Commitments" with the members of the Board of Trustees. For days the two parties deliberated on a list of conditions of nine points. In the end, they committed themselves in seven.
A great victory for students is a board agreement to consider freezing undergraduate enrollment rates at current levels. Howard will also revisit the adequacy of campus housing for students.
HU Resist had asked the president of the university, Wayne Frederick, to resign, but eight days after the protest, they withdrew.
On Tuesday, student organizers issued a tweet alerting other activists: "There were 8 days of negotiations, and we have been deliberating on ways in which we can refocus our cause around the overall improvement of our institution instead of eliminating a That said, we are no longer asking for the president's resignation, "the message read.
It has been 8 days of negotiations, and we have been deliberating on how we can refocus our cause around the general improvement of our institution instead of eliminating a figure. That said, we are no longer asking for the president's resignation and
– #StudentPowerHU (@HUResist) April 6, 2018
Some additional terms that the university agreed to include:
• Students will have a voice in the selection of the student ombudsman, who will be a graduate student, report to the vice president for student affairs and be expected to attend meetings of the Board's Student Affairs and Life Committee to make reports.
• Subject to approval, the "interested parties" of the university will commit to the student body, to provide a forum to express concerns about all aspects of student life to the Board as necessary. "
•" The Board agrees to establish a working group, co-chaired by a student, with representation from the Howard student body and the Howard administration to review existing grievance mechanisms at the University and best practices in other universities, and establish a grievance system that maintains faculty, administrators and students responsible in their language and actions towards anyone in the Howard community. "
The WUSA local television station obtained a copy of the complete Declaration of Commitments.