Howard University Students Protest Financial Aid Scandal With A Little Help From Rihanna

Paula Rogo Mar, 30, 2018

On Thursday, Howard University students staged a sit-in at the school’s administration building to protest the alleged embezzlement of $1 million in financial aid. The students also used a Rihanna hit as their battle cry against the administration.

The protesters came to the building with a list of demands, which included a call for the university president Wayne A.I. Frederick to resign, according to the Huffington Post. At one point, the students punctuated their point by  singing Rihanna’ “Bitch Better Have My Money.”  

The school is currently embroiled in a scandal after a whistleblower accused financial aid officials of misappropriating funds earmarked for low-income students. A university investigation discovered that from 2007 to 2016, employees who received tuition benefits to cover the cost of taking classes were also receiving university grants, according to news reports.

The blogger also accused Frederick of knowing about the embezzlement for over a year. The university announced Wednesday that they had fired six employees after an internal investigation into the matter.

“The investigation found that from 2007 to 2016, University grants were given to some University employees who also received tuition remission,” Frederick said in a statement. “The audit revealed that the combination of University grants and tuition remission exceeded the total cost of attendance. As a result, some individuals received inappropriate refunds. Note that university grants are institutional funds used to help support students with student charges. They are not federal funds or donor directed funds.”

Many students and alumni are angered that Frederick failed to share details of the embezzlement and demanded more transparency from the institution. The school, for example, has yet to confirm exactly how much money was embezzled.

The demonstrators, many of whom were part of the student group HU Resist, told the Washington Post that they planned on staying in the building until their demands were met.

As for Rihanna, the Bajan beauty showed her support of the demonstration by retweeting video of the protesters singing her song.

 

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