Students accuse of Howard University vandalism agree to reimburse fees

Seven students and two staff accused of damaging university property and entering buildings without permission said they had acted lawfully and were not criminally liable Students at one of Britain’s largest universities accused of…

Students accuse of Howard University vandalism agree to reimburse fees

Seven students and two staff accused of damaging university property and entering buildings without permission said they had acted lawfully and were not criminally liable

Students at one of Britain’s largest universities accused of vandalism and trespassing and damaging property have reached an agreement with the institution that will see them refunded for court fees and pay back the £3,000 tuition fee they had to pay to the police.

Students from Howard University in Maryland held two weeks of protests to demand that housing conditions be improved at the southside campus. One of the objectives of the protest was to demand the removal of a student who they had accused of breaking up a fight and tearing up floorboards in student apartments.

A student filed a report that the intruder had broken some of the university’s property and entered dormitories without permission.

All seven students and two staff were charged with damaging university property and trespassing. Each attended a court hearing on Thursday at which the university pleaded guilty to the charges.

“Howard University has accepted responsibility for its actions,” said the vice-president for student affairs, Amy Hawkins. “Our first priority in confronting this matter has been to restore the stability and safety of campus life so our students can continue their studies, in an environment that fully supports their education and well-being.”

Howard University said that during the court proceedings students and staff had their travel and cellphone use limited so that they could be present.

She said in the hours after the event the university offered to pay off tuition fees for all students or staff involved in the arrest, should they be charged.

After the court appearance, Howard officials said that all student protesters had been offered class credit for the semester.

Stacey E. Vinson, president of Howard University, said: “I want to say to all Howard students and the community that we are happy and very pleased with the outcome of the hearing, and we hope that it can be closed and we can move forward.”

Dean Hilborn, who sat on the union of Howard students with three other women, said: “I was pleasantly surprised at how cooperative the university was in making the deal. The students did not hurt property. The workers did not do anything. It was truly a great day.”

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