#HomelessatHoward student offered place to stay after breaking rules

UPDATE: 11/8 — A Howard University alum has offered to give the homeless university student a home, rent free, for the rest of the school year, according to sources who spoke with NBC 4 in Washington late Saturday. 

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WASHINGTON — A Howard University student knows he broke the rules by propping open an emergency door at his dorm, but he says booting him out of housing was the wrong way to address it.

The #HomelessatHoward hashtag is burning up with a debate over whether Jawanza Ingram, 18, should have been evicted from his dorm. The hashtag on Twitter was reportedly created by his friends to generate sympathy for his cause. Ingram says he is from Miami and now has nowhere to live while attending classes at Howard.

The sophomore marketing major is certainly taking advantage of social media to get the word out, posting photos of himself looking forlorn among his packed bags, and speaking with reporters. He says he propped the side door open — which is against the school’s security policies — at 11:45 p.m. on Monday so friends could slip in for a birthday party. The next day he received a letter saying he needed to get out of the dorm and would not be allowed back until July 2016.

Ingram tells NBC4 that he has no disciplinary record, and attends on a full scholarship that covers the cost of housing. “They shrugged their shoulders at me. They had nothing to say,” Ingram said of school officials.

“Maintaining a safe and secure campus is a top priority at Howard University,” university vice president Bill Whitman Jr. said in a statement. “Any violation of Howard University policies is taken seriously, investigated and appropriate action is taken to mitigate risks.”

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