defective showers at howard university


‘Why were students not informed?’: Viral video shows defective safety showers at university research lab

'This has to be an OSHA violation.'


Rachel Kiley


Posted on Nov 1, 2021   Updated on Nov 1, 2021, 9:55 am CDT

Howard University students have been embroiled in a fight with the administration for better living accommodations for some time now, alleging infestations of rats, bugs, and mold in the dorms. Students also allege that those in charge have been shirking responsibility for addressing these concerns.

Now, a new video shows the issues at Howard may go beyond housing.

A short clip shared on Twitter by @HowardChemists shows someone trying to turn on a safety shower in one of the research labs, but nothing happens.

“Why are the safety showers in research labs at @HowardU not working and why were students not informed?” the accompanying text reads. “We have been working with hazardous chemicals without the ability to wash them off our bodies if we have an accident.”

While allegations of mold and unlivable dorm conditions present long term health concerns, the claim that safety showers aren’t available—and particularly that science students were not informed of this—may present an immediate threat to students’ safety, many online are pointing out.

The lack of safety showers isn’t the only concern presented by the @HowardChemists account, which has posted photos of other alleged safety violations and asbestos in the labs.

These tweets follow a long string of complaints that have hounded the university in 2021. 

“We’ve also had floods, and people’s rooms have been destroyed and all of their stuff because of the floods,” an anonymous junior told the Daily Beast earlier in the month. “There are showers with mold and mushrooms growing out of it. It’s really unacceptable.”

The overall issues prompted a sit-in protest that began on Oct. 12 and drew national attention, including support from prominent Black leaders throughout the United States and a condemnation of the protest from both the university’s president, Wayne A. I. Frederick, and its chief operating officer, Tashni-Ann Dubroy.

School leaders ultimately met with students twice last week after allegedly failing to attend prior meetings set to address concerns, although a resolution of all the issues presented has yet to be reached.

The Daily Dot reached out to @HowardChemists and Howard University for comment.

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*First Published: Nov 1, 2021, 7:09 am CDT