Bethune-Cookman University they are in the hot seat with their students on the grounds of harsh dorm life, among other things. According to Fox35 Orlando, several students have complained about rats, lack of hot water and fresh air, and mold.
In an interview with Roland Martin, the university’s interim president, Dr. Lawrence Drakeresponded to the latest complaints—which led to protests on Monday (Jan. 24).
Former President Drake said:
“What I tell them is what I’ve been telling them when I walk every day when I’m on campus. What I tell them is that we’re working. I just put a quarter of a million dollars into one of our buildings to get rid of the mildew.”
He said strong winds and 80-90 degree weather often contribute to the problem as he compares conditions in cities like Chicago to those on the east coast. The show aired pictures of beds, couches, and other lodgings covered in mold as he spoke. The pictures look like dark green.
Additional pictures from the bedrooms. Students and alumni I spoke with say mold has been a problem for years. They said Reed’s comments about cleaning up the University gave them the strength to take a stand. pic.twitter.com/fntqcU5DjS
— Dave Puglisi (@DavePuglisiTV) January 23, 2023
However, the President said:
“It’s mildew, so it’s not mold at all.” Some of that, what you’re showing on the screen is a function of things that have been in the water for a while. So they don’t show you anything. Yes, there are some of these things, but you can also see that most of the building is not being used. So, again, we’re working very hard to clean up a lot of these things.”
Student Protests Also Call for Reinstatement of NFL Hall Of Famer Ed Reed
Although the main point of Monday’s protest was a place to live, the students also want to be restored Ed Reed. Others said that Reed was the one who encouraged many to apply to their private university.
In December, the university hired a former NFL player to become its head football coach. But over the weekend, Reed revealed that the university had decided not to accept his contract. He passionately explained how he thinks about the team, the students, and their needs at the press conference.
Reed wrote on Instagram alongside the video:
“I am NOT withdrawing my name as Head Coach at Bethune-Cookman. The administration and AD are forcing me out. Thank you to all who have supported me and my staff along this path.”
As a result, the university released a statement to its students about the condition of Reed, Reed, and those waiting to replace him. The statement, written by the former president, said Mr. Reed “behavior was not consistent with the traditions of … founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, and the university.”
Bethune-Cookman plans to announce a new Head Coach within a week and ten days. The statement also revealed that the player has joined the investigation committee as a representative for the players to speak about their other coach.
Students have shared this message with me that was sent from the President of BCU. Students tell me that they have been hearing the same comments for years and feel that their voices are not being heard. They are currently sitting in the White Hall to hear their message. @fox35orlando pic.twitter.com/JZcoWoBoT0
— Dave Puglisi (@DavePuglisiTV) January 24, 2023
The “behavior” cited by the university likely includes Reed’s comments on Jan. 15 regarding HBCU programs in need of reform, at Sports Illustrated.
“We’re going to try to help you all, man. Because I know a lot of HBCUs need help. I’m just here to help. I see it all very clearly. All of our HBCUs need help. And they need help because of the people who run them. Broken hearts out here. I’ll leave it to you.”