A day after nearly Wilberforce University’s entire student body protested about on-going problems on campus and threatened to withdraw, top administrators said Thursday the school has been working to resolve their issues to keep the nation’s oldest historically black university open.
University President Patricia Hardaway and administrators addressed the students’ concerns at her off-campus home where students were not present. She stressed they have had an “open door policy” with students, met with student leaders last month and are working on some of the issues that sparked Wednesday’s protest. Other concerns include expanding library and lab hours, improving food service and safety.
“As we look at our specific situation, of course we would prefer that students remain at Wilberforce University,” Hardaway said. “There is not a university in the universe that relishes the idea of students withdrawing. Certainly we do not relish that idea either.”
Despite their absence from the press conference, students said they will stage a second protest during next week’s Board of Trustees off-campus meeting, said senior Brandon Harvey, student government president and organizer of the protests. On Wednesday, 337 students requested withdraw forms and said they would leave by next fall if changes are not made to “diminishing conditions,” Harvey said.