Does The Punishment Fit The Crime? Howard University Student Kicked Out Of Dorm For Breaking Rules

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Howard University Sophomore Jawanza Ingram was kicked out of on-campus housing after throwing his friend a birthday party and violating a myriad of dorm rules.

On Tuesday, Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discussed Ingram’s ousting and if the punishment administered by Howard University meets the crime.

In a recent interview, Ingram told reporters, “Everybody else before me who has committed this infraction has either gotten off with a warning or relocation — or even relocation to another dorm. My housing campus-wide has been terminated.”

Ingram, who is from Miami, does not have any family living in the Washington D.C. area and is now trying to figure out where to live while pursuing his degree.

Bill Whitman, Jr., VP of Communications at Howard University, said in a statement:

“Maintaining a safe and secure campus is a top priority at Howard University. Any violation of Howard University policies is taken seriously, investigated and appropriate action is taken to mitigate risks.”

NewsOne Now panelist Shermichael Singleton reacted to Howard’s decision to terminate Ingram’s housing access by saying, “I think it’s immoral, the actions that Howard University has taken.”

Singleton added, “This kid broke a minor rule, punish him, make him pick up trash or say you can’t have guests over for a month or two, but to put him out in the winter when it’s cold — 40 degrees at night in D.C. — is absolutely immoral.”

“And the fact that he has a full scholarship that covered housing — I think his family may have some legal action they could potentially take against Howard University. But Howard should be down-right ashamed of themselves.”

Tiffany Dena Loftin, Community Organizer and Former President of USSA, told Martin:

“I live three blocks away from the University of Howard and my rent is $1,850. This young student with a full-ride should not be trying to find out where he is going to stay, where he is going to live, looking on Craig’s List or trying to get a $3,000 studio that’s in the area. His primary concern and focus should be in his studies and in his books.”

Michele Jawando, VP of Legal Process at the Center for American Progress, asked if the “punishment fits the crime.”

“In this situation, you see a young man who is taking ownership and culpability for violating the rules, but what discipline meets the crime and/or the infraction in this situation? And so there has to be a wholesale conversation about discipline across the board and we haven’t had that most of the time in higher education and it’s something that we need to start discussing,” said Jawando.

Many on social media have sounded off, calling the student selfish for endangering an entire dorm. Watch Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the case in the video clip above. Do you agree with the panelists?

TV One’s NewsOne Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watchNewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

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