Howard University Announces New Security Measures After ‘Fight Club’ Incites Brawl Outside Residence Halls

Howard University | Drew Angerer
Howard University | Drew Angerer

Howard University is implementing new safety measures after a brawl left several students injured, including one that was hospitalized after being stabbed. A group of around 50 young people, dubbed a “fight club” by school and city officials, swarmed areas surrounding campus on Sunday morning.

“I was prepared to die,” one student told NBC Washington. “When I was on the ground getting stomped out, I just stopped feeling the pain at one point.”

Students said they started being kicked and punched by a large group of people. They were able to escape but some of their friends got left behind, including the student who was stabbed.

“He got stabbed in the back and he got just beat on by like 30 people, him by himself, and security looked at him on the ground, watched his body go limp, and just walked away. Didn’t call anybody, didn’t do anything,” a student told the news outlet.

The man who was stabbed is an architecture student at Howard. He is reportedly out of the hospital and home with his family, according to The Washington Post.

The incident ocurred at a restaurent near campus and in areas surrounding residence halls. A student group addressed the assaults, pointing out that campus police did not respond the situation after students asked for help.

A private security officer hired by Howard Uniersity, as well as a campus police officer were suspended pending an internal investigation, Monica Lewis, a spokeswoman for the university, said, according to The Washington Post.

“We certainly apologize for any failings in the university’s initial response and certainly will do better on behalf of our students, our faculty and staff to make sure we are keeping everyone as safe as we possibly can,” Anthony Wutoh, the university’s provost, said in a virtual town hall.

Howard University plans to install about 1,000 more additional cameras on campus, as well as card readers to control access to university buildings. Campus police officers will now be required to wear a body camera.


The university hosted a campus safety event, which included self-defense lessons, on Thursday. Bison Week events for new student are being held inside rather than on the Yard for safety reasons.

Students can also contact campus security by dialing 202-806-1100, and are being handed out devices to call for help. Howard University is also encouraging students to contact counseling services for mental health support.


The incident prompted Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to implement a curfew in the District of Columbia for individuals 17 and under starting Sept. 1.

“Washington, D.C., is having a tough time right now,” Howard University Police Chief Marcus Lyles said, according to The Washington Post. “There are too many guns on the street, too many juveniles that are conducting violent crimes.”

The city passed emergency public safety legislation to combat rising crime earlier this summer.

The incident comes a year after Howard University received multiple bomb threats and Black fraternities and sororities were vandalized.