It is no secret that Howard University’s rival school is Hampton University, and the two colleges have been in a “Who is the real HU?’ debate for decades. Every year, there is a Howard versus Hampton football game and the winner proclaims themselves as the real HU for the school year. Howard students claim their school holds that title because Hampton was originally founded as Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, and didn’t officially become a university until 1984. Students usually show their university pride by making jokes about the other school, but this time the rivalry has gotten serious.
At the most recent Real HU Football game Saturday, Sept. 3, Hampton students were seen with posters stating that Howard University is poor and has mold and rats. These claims come from student complaints of uninhabitable dorms during the Blackburn protest of Fall 2021.
Kasey Bostic, a junior transfer student who attended the football game, was disappointed when she saw the signs. “They actually made me shake my head because this is supposed to be a fun rivalry and people sometimes take it way too far.”
She feels that “there are always going to be things that people will say that have affected their school negatively” and they shouldn’t be used to joke about or attack one another with.
Howard students and fans have taken to social media to express how they feel about the posters. Twitter user @nyeemaaaa tweeted a picture of a poster claiming it was “Completely tasteless.” User @briannamonayee claimed “We learned from the best.” and pulled up an article about Hampton students expressing their own grievances about moldy dorms and unsanitary cafe conditions. Last Bison Standing, a student-run fundraising organization, took to their Instagram page to fire back at the claims made by Hampton fans while users in the comments agreed.
On Monday, Sept. 12, Last Bison Standing posted the 2022 HBCU rankings and pointed out that Hampton has dropped down two spots while Howard remains at #2. Their caption read: “Howard is the most disrespected HBCU… AND STILL the Numbers Don’t Lie. After a crazy year … STILL ON TOP!
IMAGINE disrespecting Howard only to have your placement DROP. 🤡 CLOWNS by The Sea.”
Despite the jokes and jabs, Howard students still have a lot of pride in their school and stand by their decision to attend. Bostic explained that she transferred to the school because the university provides “opportunities for future educators like myself while also representing black excellence.” She explained how the past and present-day impact of Howard is what makes us the true bearers of the title that fuels the rivalry with Hampton.
“Howard University is the real HU because of the values it has carried throughout the years when we were first founded. We do not compare to other HBCUs because we have our own uniqueness.”