Hundreds of students at Bethune-Cookman University gathered on campus Monday afternoon in protest against unlivable conditions in dormitories and facilities Daytona Beach News. The unrest was sparked in part by the university’s decision not to renew the contract of Ed Reed, whom it had tentatively agreed to hire as head football coach last month, after he released a video complaining about the state of the campus.
Students at B-CU, a historically black university in Daytona Beach, Fla., said dormitories have mold, lack of hot water and air conditioning and more, and that B-CU administration has ignored such problems for too long. During the protests, the students demanded to remove art the entire board of trustees and for the University to correct equipment problems and to resume contract negotiations with Reed.
B-CU reached “agreement in principle” with Reed on Dec. 27, but never completed the deal; he has worked on campus without a contract since then. After Reed published video with profanity after taking to social media last week to complain that the athletics facilities were in disarray and that he and members of the football team had to pick up trash on campus, the university announced that he had “decided not to pursue contract negotiations” and was resuming his search. for the new coach.
B-CU President Lawrence Drake II issued another statement Tuesday, responding to the protesting student complaints — which he said would be addressed in meetings with university leaders — and clarifying the decision to end talks with Reed.
“As we continued to monitor him, we felt his behavior was inconsistent with the traditions of our founder and university,” Drake wrote, adding that a new coach would likely be selected in the next “week to ten days.”
Daytona Beach was also one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ian in October and Bethune-Cookman suffered more damage than most state campuses. It was closed for two weeks afterwards, and cleaning and renovation work is still ongoing; Drake implied that this damage contributed to the dilapidated state of the campus.
“For some buildings and facilities, due to two unprecedented weather events … and the increase in the number of students, we immediately began renovations and construction,” he wrote.