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Howard 'Blacks Out' to Raise GPAs (839 hits)

By Jessica Lewis -- Black College Wire

Bryan SMart

No music, no programs, no events and no distractions; everything blacked out on Howard's campus from 7 to 8:30 p.m on Oct. 14.

The Howard University Student Association (HUSA) hosted the first “Blackout Wednesday” in Douglass Hall in an effort to promote academic excellence and to raise the overall GPA of the entire campus.

“When I came to Howard, I felt that it had fallen off its legacy,” said Taneesha Williams, a sophomore public relations major. “It was riding on [the legacy’s] coattails.”

To give students a direction not centered on parties, organizations or events, HUSA asked all student organizations not to host any events this evening. In addition, honor students and societies have been asked to lend their expertise to help their fellow students.
In order to make a lasting impact, HUSA will host the event once every month.

“We noticed that there weren’t a lot of programs and initiatives put in place for the academic support of students,” said HUSA Executive Vice President Jerome Joseph. “It’s very easy to get lost in the various events and programs.”

The blackout will work to reverse negative stereotypes of Howard University students. “The Black American Princess (BAP) Handbook” lists Howard’s stereotype as the “black hole,” where students go in and seldom come back out. HUSA Executive President Bryan Smart said approximately 49 percent of students graduate in four years.

Smart said the event serves as an acknowledgement of the fact that we are our brothers’ keeper.

“It’s not just HUSA; it’s a communal effort,” Smart said. “It’s students helping students.”
Williams, the coordinator of the event, said the hardest thing is getting students to respond and show up.

The resources are there for students to take advantage of, but she said at some point it is out of her hands.

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Jessica Lewis writes for The Hilltop, the Howard University student newspaper, which originally published this article.

Posted Oct. 14, 2009
Posted By: Jehan Bunch
Sunday, October 25th 2009 at 12:25AM
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Jehan: Wow.. great post about the situation at Howard. Only 49% graduate as a Bisom within 4 years. That is not the Howard tradition, my uncle told me that the number of males enrolled at Howard is considerably below the census compared to his freshman class in 1972. Big ups to the HUSA committee for enacting this gloroius event to wake our Bison students up! What is the current administration leadership doing to address the low number of so-called Black Americans male enrollment census at Howard?
Sunday, October 25th 2009 at 10:29AM
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