Going to school in Washington, D.C., comes with a unique set of boons and banes. For one, as the epicenter of American politics, the city makes daily life electric with urgency, breaking news and rumormongering, so much so that the melodrama of the federal government can, at times, distract from school. On the other hand, few places in America have as rich a history as D.C. does, and that history spills over into the classes, campus, faculty, commute, housing — everywhere.
Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C., has had its share of controversy this year. Just last month, students waged a weeklong sit-in to protest the embezzlement of funds by members of the staff, a crime that led to six firings. Student leaders also demanded the under-21 housing that the university promised them, drafting a list of demands that the school needed to meet before they would end the protest.
In a city symbolic for its role in governance, the Howard protests showed, once again, the importance of civil disobedience in the face of injustice. While attending a university surrounded by the chicanery and corruption of the U.S. government may present a host of problems for its student body, it also teaches them exactly how to deal with those issues.