Bethune-Cookman University are sitting in the hot seat with their students over allegations of barbaric living conditions in the dormitories, among other issues. Based on Fox35 Orlando, Some students have complained about rats, lack of hot water and air conditioning, and mold.
In an interview with Roland Martin, the university’s interim chancellor, Dr. Lawrence Drakeresponded to recent complaints – which sparked a protest on Monday (January 24).
Interim President Drake said:
“What I tell them is what I tell them when I walk the campus every day when I am on the campus. What I told them was that we were working on the problems. I just invested a quarter of a million dollars in one of our buildings to treat mold.”
He added that storms and persistent 80-90 degree weather contribute to problems when comparing conditions in cities like Chicago and those on the east coast. The show aired pictures of bed sheets, caps and other dorm areas covered in mold as he spoke. The photos appear to show dark green spores emerging.
Additional photos from the dorm room. Students and alumni I spoke to said that mold has been a problem for many years. They say Reed’s comments about cleaning up the University gave them the strength to stand up. pic.twitter.com/fntqcU5DjS
– Dave Puglisi (@DavePuglisiTV) January 23, 2023
However, the president emphasized:
“It’s mold, by the way, it’s not necessarily mold. Some of those, which you are showing on the screen are a function of things being in the water for a period of time. So they don’t show you everything. Yes, there are some such things, but you can also see that those proportions of the building are not even used. So again, we’re working very hard to clean up a lot of this.”
Student protests also call for the restoration of NFL Hall Of Famer Ed Reed
While the focus of Monday’s protests was living conditions, students also demanded recovery Ed Reed. Some cite Reed as the inspiration behind demanding more from their private university.
In December, the university invited the former NFL player to the position of head coach of the football team. Over the weekend, however, Reed revealed the university had decided not to ratify his contract. He emotionally explained how he cares about the team, students and their needs during a press conference.
Reed wrote on Instagram along with a video claiming:
“I am NOT withdrawing as Head Coach at Bethune-Cookman. The authorities and AD are forcing me out. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my staff throughout this process.”
As a result, the university issued a statement to its students addressing the living conditions, Reed, and his pending surrogate. The proclamation, written by the interim president, claimed Reed’s “behavior inconsistent with the traditions of…founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and the university.”
Bethune-Cookman plans to announce its new Head Coach over a period of one week to ten days. The statement also revealed that a footballer has joined the search committee as an agent so that the players have a say in their next coach.
The students who shared with me this statement were sent by the Interim President of BCU. Students tell me they have heard similar claims for years and feel their voices are not being heard. Right now, they’re holding a sit-in at the White Hall to deliver their message. @fox35orlando pic.twitter.com/JZcoWoBoT0
– Dave Puglisi (@DavePuglisiTV) January 24, 2023
“Behavior” cited by the university may include Reed’s January 15 comment about HBCU programs in need of improvement, according to Sports are illustrated.
“We will also try to help you. Because I know a lot of HBCUs that need help. I’m just here to help first. I see it all too clearly. All of our HBCUs need help. And they need help because of the people who are running it. Mentally broken here. I will leave you with that.