Save the Howard University Classics Department #SaveHUClassics

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Howard University has decided to close its Department of Classics and we need your support to stop this!

My name is Sarena Straughter. I am currently a Junior at Howard University, and minoring in Latin. I am writing this petition to garner support for our Classics Department and to show Howard University how deeply people care about our department and its faculty. 

After hearing about this decision, students expressed concern and anger towards the closing of our department. I was personally so sad to hear that Howard would make such a decision, especially in regards to letting go professors who have had an extraordinary impact on my educational experience, that I circulated a GroupMe chat to my friends, classmates, and other students in the College of Arts and Sciences and quickly gathered over seventy students ready to help. We organized a letter writing campaign to Howard’s Provost, Dr. Anthony Wutah, and circulated a larger letter on social media which received over 6,000 signatures and endorsements. 

Recently there has been quite a bit of media coverage on this story, and we are appreciative to everyone who has shown us support. But we believe that our only hope for securing the department will be to prove to Howard that we are important enough to keep, and that we can provide the necessary funding to do so. The students understand the financial restraints of our university, and we are fully aware of the lack of funding experienced by HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). 

We now have a website that further outlines our situation and goals, and eventually we plan to establish a fund (through or in conjunction with Howard University) that will be able to secure the department for years to come.

Articles written about saving the Classics Department:


For more information on why the Classics and our Classics Department is so important please read the following letter written to Howard University’s Provost Anthony Wutah in support of our effort. This letter has received an overwhelming 6,000 signatures and endorsements thus far.