For the past few weeks, Howard University students have expressed concern about residents walking their dogs on the campus. Now, the president of the private institution has issued a statement.
In a lengthy email sent to the school’s students and staff, President Wayne A. I. Frederick said pet owners should not bring their animals to the historically black university’s private areas.
“We recognize that service animals are a necessary aspect of modern-day life and we will accommodate them as needed,” he wrote. “We appreciate pet owners respecting our campus by not bringing pets onto the private areas.”
He said he wants to see the campus “remain pristine and symbolic of all that Howard University represents.”
Earlier this month, Howard University students condemned local residents who picnicked, sunbathed, exercised and dog walked on The Yard, an open campus area surrounded by academic buildings.
The controversy has sparked a debate about race and gentrification. Many students said residents are degrading the school’s space by walking their dogs on the campus, especially when the dogs relieve themselves on the lawn.
On the other hand, some locals believe the campus is a public space.
Frederick noted the 152-year-old historically black college has shared a “long-standing relationship” with the residential area for years, listing an array of campus events that have been open to everyone.
He said the school has previously held meetings with the advisory neighborhood committees and has recently reached out to them to “engage in dialogue.”
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