FAMU Is Not Penn State: Hazing Should Not Kill A Storied Program

Categories: Luke's Gospel
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Alex Izaguirre
Luther Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Campbell comes to the defense of Florida's largest historically African-American university, which has been caught up in a deadly hazing scandal.

This past weekend, the St. Petersburg Times published a lengthy article in which experts suggested Florida A&M University shut down its storied Marching 100 band in the wake of the November 19 death of Robert Champion. The drum major allegedly died after receiving blows during a hazing ritual. The story quoted Walter Kimbrough, hazing expert and president of Philander Smith College in Arkansas, this way: "Your chances of having a marching band hazing incident are zero if you don't have a functioning marching band." That's absolute BS.

This all is tragic, and law enforcement should investigate and criminally charge anyone involved in the young man's death. But let's be real here. Hazing goes on whenever you are part of a secret society or an organization. In fact, the drowning death of a University of Miami student involved in a fraternity hazing years ago is what prompted state legislators to make it a crime. 

And it's not just fraternities and sororities. Fire and police department rookies are hazed all the time. In Major League Baseball, veterans constantly play jokes on younger players such as throwing pies in their faces or making them dress up like women.

Two years ago, a football player on the University of Central Florida team died on the practice field from an intense drill, but no called for the firing of head coach George O'Leary. He got to keep his job even though a kid died on his watch. 

The FAMU problems could have happened on any college campus. But because we're talking about the storied college band from one of the nation's best-known black colleges, the media wants to paint FAMU as an institution lacking control. It's totally unfair.

FAMU's scandal is unlike those at Penn State and Syracuse, in which legendary coaches Joe Paterno and Jim Boeheim, along with administrators, turned a blind eye to the sexual predators in their midst. FAMU's longtime band director, Julian White, cracked down on hazing. He did what Paterno and Boeheim wouldn't do. White dismissed more than 100 band members who participated in hazing and many times canceled scholarships. Band members are even required to sign a form acknowledging that hazing is illegal and not tolerated at the school. Four others were expelled. Unfortunately, FAMU fired White, making him a scapegoat.

People want to crucify FAMU now and forget all the school's great accomplishments, such as playing at three presidential inaugurations and five Super Bowls, as well as representing the United States in Paris for France's 200-year Bastille Day celebration. There is no doubt Champion should not have been hazed. But White fought hard to stop that.

If the Marching 100 disappears, future generations of talented African-American musicians won't get the chance to play. That would be a shame.

Follow Campbell on Twitter @unclelukereal1.

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52 comments
zunevk
zunevk

Lol @ "Storied Program"

That's exactly the problem. Traditions need to be changed or prospective band members will get the dirt kicked off of them... Imagine going to FAMU; an expensive HBCU to find out you are barely affording tuition with your $2,000 marching band scholarship. Imagine then feeling safe for the first two days of band camp; and once you get to know your section members and they get to know you, then you are forced to get hit every night till the end of the regular band season..


You will have no choice but to march. Imagine getting beat every single night till it gets beat into you the same sort of anger, then you do it to the next person the following year because your second year is wayyy easier than your freshmen year.


It's not anger towards people, it's anger towards the tradition and you can't do anything about or you will be "kicked" out of your section. If the story isn't re-written for FAMU then the same thing will happen.. a drum major gets beat to death. Seriously, you know how stupid the title of your post sounds?

SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

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SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arellacheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the"fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to befrozen.--Agedate. c0m --a nice and free placefor younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact witheach other.

SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arellacheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the"fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to befrozen.--Agedate. c0m --a nice and free placefor younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact witheach other.

SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arellacheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the"fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to befrozen.--Agedate. c0m --a nice and free placefor younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact witheach other.

SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arellacheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the"fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to befrozen.--Agedate. c0m --a nice and free placefor younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact witheach other.

Bosticklc
Bosticklc

This was a very tragic incident and is very shameful to the university.  This is a cross all former, pressent, and the Marching 100 supporters, have to bear. It is still a gem in not only historically Black universities, but in all universities throughout the United States.  The school will inevitably have to pay for this, and that is to be expected.  Dr. Foster, Dr. Ammons, and Dr. White all knew the experience of joining any fraternity or organization on campus, but you would have had to pull a 24-7 guard duty to prevent it from happening. It was no one's intention for this young man to die.  I am not trying to defend what happened, but has there been an autopsy to verify that the blows he took was what killed him?  Was there a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by the blows?  How many students have taken those same blows? After all, the young man was a little older than the majority of underclassmen.  It is ludicrous to think that anyone would even utter the words to cancel a band with such a storied past.  What other school can say that they have more than 400 students on scholarship and other aid?  Long Live Florida A&M!

Guest
Guest

"White dismissed more than 100 band members who participated in hazing and many times canceled scholarships. Band members are even required to sign a form acknowledging that hazing is illegal and not tolerated at the school. Four others were expelled. "

And still Champion died. Time to disband the band.

MASTERSPRODOGS
MASTERSPRODOGS

Once again the clowns who are responsible for this act should be punished not the band.

K_virgil712
K_virgil712

I'm a former member of the Marching 100. Closing the program until everyone there graduates and starting over will change nothing. Fraternities have been suspended for hazing until all the current members have graduated and when they reopen the new members start the same things. First thing we don't even know all the details. His death is hard to live with. But so far only 4 people have been mentioned in being involved. So 400 other people and countless incoming people must pay. Dr. White did all he was supposed to do and more. The problem is people are being suspended and expelled but until some people do jail time nothing will change. Jail time not killing a program like the Marching 100 or the backyard band is the only thing that will stop hazing. If you do it to Famu you have to do it to everyone.

Darealist561
Darealist561

Famu band needs to come to a end point blan. Dr. White has tried to cover up for his band for years and now someone has lost there life and want be able to be here for Thanksgiving or Christmas. He will not be able to graduate in the spring term. Ban the marching 100!

NUPE_5
NUPE_5

Champion should not have participated in the foolishness that took his life. Even as a hazee he had the chance to refuse to take part those activities.

Being that I am a member of a fraternity that is known for hazing, we have to learn how to think clearly and follow the rules and regulations that is set forth by the organization. Many horrible things can be prevented if people did that.

THINK people. How hard is it to do that? Damn!

Cst3mz
Cst3mz

You know this is really a shame. White hazing and black hazing? Has that really become the topic now? Let's be honest hazing is going on everywhere but the extent to which the black organizations are hazing is completely different....our culture as blacks has seemed to push hazing getting worse and worse among the true 9 organizations we claim....it is a old truth to say blacks have been put into a "school daze"...students pledging up to a year? Brutal hazing is going on in these organizations and they are sought after by such a great amount of students....WHY? The most popular answer I hear is "job opportunity" (use the time your pledging to actually invest in studying....that's the way professionals are made)...I hear its part of the" college experience"... (Possibly because it extends it for a few semesters because there's noway to pass a full time schedule going through a "real" process...unless you've got people doing everything for you) and in my experience the administration push for the "real" process to go on....the administration relates to the brutality...is this the case at PWIs? No. Blacks have taken something and made it more so to fit our culture...unfortunately our culture has seen a more vigorous and extreme medium....and in all honesty the marching 100 is merely a class elective...look at the facts the young man was 26 and a drummajor in the band yet he had not 'crossed' any section(the clones/clarinet section)....take it from someone who did not submit to the peer pressure of this ignorance that 'hazing builds character'....the student had been a thorn in the side of all members of the band who did cross the sections which in the marching 100's case is pretty much everyone...he eventually submit to the peer pressure and they took this chance to do everything they could to stop him from now being in a position to be 'one of them' hence why this happened after the classic which traditionally is part of the final rituals...the band being suspended won't do much though because the high school band directors breed this culture in the high schools, the 'black band' is a big black frat that will continue to haze underground....its a sad truth that with these great ensembles there is a price...the real question is are we as blacks going to allow another life to be lost because 'whites do it to'? If we are going to play the race card consider that historically black men went through rituals in African tribes...it was the culture...but if they failed they were shunned...this same mentality is a factor in these black schools but the rituals are detrimental to our 'talented tenth' the members of these organizations develop mentalities that bleed through generations...trust my words and just think on the statements said....take it from a witness to the culture in a graduating senior from a highly ranked HBCU and a four year member of its band program who deals with the same disease....please forgive the rambling I figured I would vent in a forum such as this while I sat on my cell on the way to class....

Guest
Guest

You missed a few things.  No he was not a member of the Clones; no of the clarinet players from his high school do it.  However he was a member of another underground band subgroup which was the cause of the recent young lady in he news injuries.  So sitting there saying he was subjected to peer pressure is absurb especially when he previosly took place in "hazing rituals."

FAMU Alumni/Activist
FAMU Alumni/Activist

I agree with some pointsthat Luke has said. But, I do believe that the band should be suspended toteach a lesson. Dr. White is an amazing person who has took the 100 too manyplaces and heights. On the contrary, this is White's 4th hazing incident duringhis 13 year reign as band director. After all White is solely responsible forthe safety of each student, especially during trips. FAMU has already been suedonce already from a hazing incident from the band earlier in this century. Thissuspension will serve as a lesson and reality check to the band staff andmembers and prove that NO organization is bigger than the university itself.President Ammons is doing a great job protecting the schools name by doing so.Yes this will hurt the institution some years to come, but in essence he issaving the institution. Its only going to get worse before its gets better.Keeping the 100 will only make the university look like they condone this typeof behavior and the media circus will continue and continue.

Over the years at FAMUgreek lettered organizations have been suspended to "the deathpenalty." (Minimum 8 years) These organizations are suspended due tohazing, more over the school and governing alumni chapters wait until eachperson of that chapter is graduated from the university to start all over.As so in some instances the suspensions are longer than 8 years.After the suspension is up these organizations make sure that something likethis does not happen again. If these organizations get suspended from hazing (in any form) the band should be as well for the death of a student. Some type ofpunishment is needed to ensure this will never happen again.

Imaguest
Imaguest

FAMU, FAMU I Love thee......

Luke this article said it best.. Everyone seems to want theBand to stop functioning.. Has anyone requested that the athletic programs atPenn or Syracuse to stop, so why would you request our band to be suspended?Though a man died due to alleged hazing, the university should not be heldaccountable. You cannot hold Dr. Ammons accountable for 15k students just likeyou can’t hold Dr. White accountable for 500 band students. If this happenedhours after the bus was unloaded and was cleared by the driver and the staff,how can you hold the university or administration accountable? This is on thebus driver and company. There was nothing the university or its delegates couldhave done to prevent this.

Though I empathize with the fallen rattler, but when do whenhold him accountable for the action he chose. He was a 26 year old man thatchose to partake in illegal activities, and the cost he paid for choosing thiswas his life, unfortunately. In life, we have the power to choose our actions,but the consequences of our actions are not ours to choose.

I say, don’t throw hate at FAMU due to this incident thatthey could not control. Under the watchful eye of the employees of theuniversity, there were no problems, but when things go off the record and noone is looking, that’s when this incident took place. There is nothing the universitycan do when something happens when they are not looking. In the case of Pennand Syracuse, this was university an official doing the crime, but no one seemsto be calling for their sports programs to be suspended for an “X” amount ofyears, but everyone wants the incomparable Marching 100 and FAMU to crumble… ITHINK NOT!! Don’t set different standards for FAMU and don’t hold predominantlywhite schools to the same standard.

 

oorfenegro
oorfenegro

Yes the programs at Penn State and Syracuse should be suspended, and that's the problem with college sports.  Former USC athletic director Mike Garrett, former coach Pete Carroll assumed that not much would happen if they ignored the fact that Reggie Bush was getting paid at USC, and to a degree they were right.  USC is on probation and can't go to bowl games,  but they were on TV this season and SC will have no problem getting top recruits despite losing scholarships.  There's relatively few consequenses for USC for violating major rules, particularly since USC didn't lose TV revenue or money from USC ticket sales (USC tickets aren't cheap). Since schools assume the NCAA will never again impose the death penalty against a major university they don't seriously adhere to NCAA rules.   The reason the NCAA doesn't impose the  death penalty for major schools becaue the NCAA and the conferences would lose millions if there was no Ohio State, USC or Miami on TV or in stadiums

The philosophy of people who coach a team or run a university is reflective of the behavior of  students and players. For example take Duke, where nearly all its basketball players graduate on time and rarely if ever are involved in criminal activity either while at Duke or after the graduate.  It's a testimony to coach K's philosophies and standards in recruitment and behavior on and off campus. Coach K won't recruit a talented payer who has a shaky personal resume whereas other coaches will go after any top player regardless of his background or character.  Coaches, athletic directors and university officials have to be responsible for the players they recruit and sign.  Again Coach K, and a generation ago, John Wooden made it clear that their players were accountable to them for their actions, on and off the court.

bandhead
bandhead

The Penn State Football team isn't being suspended because it wasn't Penn State football players committing the crime.  And. unlike the case with the 100, there was no history of past inappropriate activity going back years and years and years.  There were no other coaches accused of molesting little boys.  There were no previous lawsuits against the coaching staff for child abuse.

I see once again that someone is equating the University with the 100.  Are they THAT interchangeable? Will the entire University crumble and fold if they don't have a band for a few years?   I don't think any (rational) people are calling for FAMU to shutter its doors.  But what they are calling for is some kind of punishment and reorganization for the band.  IF Mr. Champion's death was due to hazing (and that has not been officially confirmed yet) he certainly didn't haze himself, and according to those within the program itself, including its band director, this was no isolated incident. This was not a case of some band members meeting at some undisclosed location; this (allegedly) happened while they were together as a band and as representatives of the University.  (And I won't even go into the attempt at holding the bus company responsible!)

When a small group of 100 members performed on the Grammys with Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, I'm sure other members had no problem basking in that incredible achievement.  Now, when a few members do something incredibly wrong, it's just a handful of individuals and not the band itself.  Can't have it both ways. 

Taz
Taz

TTTHHHHHAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK YYYYYYYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

bandhead
bandhead

Interesting that throughout your commentary, you seem to be using FAMU instead of Marching 100. The band, storied though they may be, is NOT the University. And if, after all of the procedures Dr. White initiated, the hazing culture was still as rampant and ingrained as it has been reported to be (by other students, band members and Dr. White himself), how can anyone possibly want to keep this program running?  Signing pledges and attending mandatory workshops didn't work.  Suspending individual students didn't work. Having a million dollar lawsuit against the program didn't work.  As someone else asked, just how many more students need to be injured in order for this program to be suspended? You say that because it's the famous MARCHING 100 that people want to see it banned; I say that if it were any other band they would have been gone already.

FSUgirl22
FSUgirl22

Well said. Apparently, they have tried "everything" and hazing still occurs. I think this is great way to teach them a lesson.

bminor
bminor

i hear where you're coming from i just don't think they should stop 400 kids from marching for the stupidity of a few section leaders or who ever was involved. I marched in the 100 and no one is for hazing. I can tell you the names of the 4 guys that tried to mess with me out of the 50 members in our section.  They need to suspend them for the rest of the year while they go through each section and expel the hazers.

Theres a difference between rituals and hazing someone.

guest
guest

unfortunatley this will not "solve" the problem.  hazing is like bullying. it will always be apart of American culture whether we end one program or not.  its just like sororities and fraternities suspending chapters for years and "starting over" on a particular campus.  even though the offenders are long gone, when things are restarted the cycle of hazing/pledging starts again with new people.  it is what it is. its all about individuals, not programs.  we must also look at the people being hazed. at what point do we make adults responsible for what happens to them? these are not children and when they allow themselves to be hazed they become apart of the problem. in certain sororities, women who are caught participating in being hazed are no longer allowed to become apart of the sorority because they know the rules, as do the women who are already apart of it

bandhead
bandhead

Weren't 30 students suspended from the band before the Florida Classic?  And yet the culture of hazing still exists within the 100??  And the 4 who were just recently expelled...weren't they DRUM MAJORS as well?

Yes, it is unfair that other students will be denied a chance to march with one of the best marching bands in the country, but the Champions having to bury their son over the Thanksgiving holiday was also unfair.  Having an entire institution under the microscope is also unfair.  Watching high schoolers who idolized this band for years and who now see their dream of being "in that number" crushed is also unfair.  But if the powers that be are SERIOUS about eradicating this plaque from their program, they're going to have to do more than the bare minimum in order to do it.  Plucking out a bad apple here or there will not solve the problem if the whole tree is diseased.   Cut the tree and plant a new one.

bandhead
bandhead

"If the Marching 100 disappears, future generations of talented African-American musicians won't get the chance to play. That would be a shame."

Um...The Marching 100 is not the only marching band in America you know.

Carfunkle
Carfunkle

Glad someone is coming to bring some perspective and guts to this debate.  Dat punk as Common just cancelled his Saturday appearance at FAMU cause he doesn't want anyone to ask him about hazing. A spineless b*tch

Sugar_suite
Sugar_suite

UNCLE LUKE Speaks! :)  Well stated. Thank you.

Guest
Guest

Simple question: how many need to die before heads start to roll? Five? Twenty? Give me a number, tell me how many to bury before this officially becomes a problem.

Mastersprodogs
Mastersprodogs

Listen who ever you are, no one needs to die, the clowns who are responsible for the cruel act should be punished not the band! 

oorfenegro
oorfenegro

What needs to be determined is whether there is a police department type code of silence in which a band member might not be involved with hazing but knows that its happening and will say nothing about it.  Also while there may be evidence that particular band members may have been involved with the hazing that caused Champion's death, there are others in the band who have hazed others but not linked to Champion's death and will carry on the hazing tradition "after the heat dies down." 

Ken Hahn
Ken Hahn

"FAMU Is Not Penn State: Hazing Should Not Kill A Storied Program" ....i.e., it's ok to beat a band member to death for dropping his baton.

Rattleration
Rattleration

He didn't drop his MACE. (We don't use batons) The head drum major dropped it. Please bring correct information to the table if you're going to make an argument. 

Dcshnic
Dcshnic

Fu*k wit 'em, Luke.  FAMU has a great tradition that is now in jeopardy because of this tragedy.  These rushes to judgements and blood offerings by way of knee jerk firings should stop until some thorough investigation is done.  Let the band sit out for a while, but let's get some facts and turn the outrage and indignation into concrete actions to cut out this foolishness in bands, frats and everywhere else.

Brian504
Brian504

Luke is so Right, FAMU IS NOT Penn State....   Penn State has been the subjective of an ongoing investigation for 2 years and only now has come out with 40 criminal counts.  The FAMU incident is only 2 weeks old and all the FACTS are NOT known.  

FAMU took action after Champion's death by suspending the band until the facts can be determined.  Penn State looked the other way.  Condemming FAMU at this juncture is like having a trial without an investigation!!!  Ass backwards.

oorfenegro
oorfenegro

Since 2000 numerous FAMU band members hae been convicted of various charges connected with hazing allegations and the school has paid out more than a million dollars in hazing lawsuits. FAMU really had to choice but to take action because Champion died in a public place which had to be reported and investigated by public officials and the media.  Would we know about Champion if he had passed out at band practice or had a non fatal medical emergency that could have been covered up like at Penn State?

oorfenegro
oorfenegro

Luke, Luke, Luke....FAMU's band needs to face the death penalty where anyone and everyone associated with the Marching 100 is removed from the program and the band shut down until any student with the band now graduates.  Praticial jokes are one thing but beating someone to death, forcing people who can't swim to walk into the ocean or forcing someone to drink massive amounts of alcohol is a crime, and things that have been done in Black frat and HBCU hazing rituals.  This type of hazing doesn't happen at Ohio State, USC or other non-HBCU band.  For some reason people believe that hazing is part of HBCU band culture and tradition and folks either ignore reports of hazing or turn the other way when they see it happen.  If this type of hazing, which has resulted in the death or serious injury of students in black frats and HBCU bands went on at a NCAA school, they would receive the death penalty or the would be suspended the entire season by the commissioners of the NFL, NBA and MLB.  Unfortunately there is no regulatory agency policing HBCU bands and as you mentioned, the Champion incident isn't the first time hazing has happened at HBCU.  Shutting down the Marching 100 for the next four years would give the University time to restructure a new band with students and staff that have no ties to the current band where members and staff believe it's OK to haze. It would also send a message to other HBCU bands and Black frats that they can expect the same treatment if any hazing goes on.

Iwilborn4
Iwilborn4

Clearly, you don't know what you are talking about, get your facts straight and stop hating , FAMU has influenced many young minds musically and will continue to do so

Dana
Dana

This type of hazing doesn't go on at PWI bands? Really? Do you have facts to back this up?! Hazing goes on at EVERY school! Should the entire Penn St football program face the "death penalty" for Sandusky's actions and Joe Paterno's turning the blind eye? No. So why should the entire band and music program suffer because of what some students did?

oorfenegro
oorfenegro

The court records, or lack of prosecution or lawsuit of the USC, Notre Dame, Michigan or Ohio state bands.  And regarding Penn State, Joe Paterno was the defacto athletic director and  president of Penn State and mayor of State College and raises questions if he was willing to turn a blind eye toward such serious allegations, what else did Jopa sweep under the rug, and has Penn State escaped the scrunity of USC, Miami, SMU and other schools regularly accused of NCAA violations because of Paterno's excellent reputation, in that Penn State is one of a handful of top football programs never sanctioned by the NCAA.  The Penn State scandal is an example of how very successful coaches at major insitutions have widespread power that transcends the overall mission of a university and where the philosophy is win at all costs. The University of Miami's football program  is a perfect example of a program that has had repeated violations of NCAA rules and it seems that university officials do little more than issue statements promising to do better

FAarmyguy
FAarmyguy

Dude you are a fool if you believe does not happen @629dc23d82cc1d98629c42536b137e10:disqus  UCLA, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame or the Military Academies. It's all hush hush until someone does.....

Butta18
Butta18

Lets remove the FAMU incident from this conversation for a moment and discuss hazing in general. Hazing occurs in some for in every organization on this earth.  It certainly happens at Ohio State, USC and non HBCUs.  More than 5 students have died at UCF alone in the past three years as a direct result of alcohol poisoning and attending frat and sorority rushes.  Are you asking that they be shut down too?  No! You are not.  You are OK with the University and local police punishing the INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE.

Taz
Taz

Actually, hazing originated at PWIs. But to say the entire band deserves the "death penalty" is absurd. The entire band did not participate in the acts that killed this student, a few band members did. So they should be the ones being punished.  "If this type of hazing, which has resulted in the death or serious injury of students in black frats and HBCU bands went on at a NCAA school, they would receive the death penalty or the would be suspended the entire season" < That's not true. Several students die each year from hazing at PWIs. But society doesn't know about it because it is swept under the rug. Hazing has been a well hidden secret across this nation for far too long. Yet that does not mean this entire organization should suffer. Not all students and certainly NONE of the staff support hazing, in fact they are against it. Your argument sounds like you just want to punish HBCUs all together for whatever you have against them. 

oorfenegro
oorfenegro

First of all I have nothing against HBCUs and their primary mission, which is the unique brand of education they provide, which is threatened by moves to either shut down HBCUs or consolidate HBCUs like Southern into LSU.  It's that same concern for the primary mission of HBCUs which is at the heart of this issue.  The bands at many HBCUs have overshadowed the primary mission much in the same way football has overshadowed the academic mission of USC, Ohio State, Miami and Penn State,  top 25 football schools that are, or will soon be on probation.I guess I should have been more specific in stating that the type of HBCU BAND hazing does not happen at non HBCU schools and I would challenge folks to produce reports of the type of prosecution and civil lawsuits of bands in the Pac 12, Big 10 and other major conferences.If  what happend at FAMU was an isolated or first time incident I would understand your point but since  there's been various suspensions of the band, prosecution of band members and civil lawsuit settlement where the university had had to pay out more than a million dollars related to hazing related injuries would shutting down the band be the wake up call that the band's future existance depends on a policy that treats hazing the same way jokes about terrorism or hijacking are not tolorated at the airport.  In the Bay Area the Stanford band performed a stunt at Notre Dame offensive of the pope and the Catholic Church.  The band is forever banned from Notre Dame and was suspended for most of the next season, but has never done anything on that level again.  On a more serious note, the University of San Francisco voluntarily shut down its top ten basketball program after widespread NCAA violations.  The shutdown was far worse than anything the NCAA would have done, but the school president ended basketball for four years to send a message that the mission of the university was more important than basketball.  Shutting down the A&M band for a similar period would send a similar message that the primary purpose of A&M and other HBCUs is to educate students since the school can operate without its band, particularly at a time when the financial future of  HBCUs is in question.  The University of Phoenix has no marching band or sports teams but they do very well, and maybe HBCUs should embrace their model as a way of surviving budget cuts and increased costs that make HBCUs less affordable.

Rattleration
Rattleration

What the hell are you talking about? Did you not read all the emphasis on anti-hazing that Dr.White took? Seminar after seminar, paper after paper and students kicked out of both the band and the school. Not to mention that such an act as hazing is done on the hazee's consent (Especially if they're a 26 year old male at the highest possible position in the band) Where does personal responsibility and account come in to play in this discussion? I'm not even going to go into other school bands hazing because I have my friends in the FSU trumpet section who have told me what they go through. 

Shutterbug
Shutterbug

Can we agree this is not just an HBCU issue!!!!!!!!FraternitySuspended, Members Arrested for Hazing, Virginia

November2, 2011 - LongwoodUniversityhas suspended the TauKappa Epsilonchapter and university police have arrested 16 people for hazing. Theinvestigation is ongoing.

18-Year-OldFound Dead in Fraternity House, UCLA

November5, 2011 - Glen Parrish, 18 years old, was found dead in the ThetaChifraternity house at UCLA Saturdayafternoon.  Police indicate alcohol and drugs may have been afactor in his death, and the investigation is ongoing.

SuitFiled in Cornell Case, New York

June27, 2011 - Marie Lourdes André, the mother of deceased CornellUniversitystudent George Desdunes, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in KingsCounty, New York, against SigmaAlpha EpsilonFraternity (“SAE”), its officers and members (case no.500460/2011).  The suit seeks to hold SAE, its chapter officersand members responsible for his death by hazing as that term isdefined generally, under the laws of the State of New York, and theGuidebook of Rights, Responsibilities, Requirements and Resources(the “Guidebook”) of Cornell University. 

April2, 2011- University of Arizona sophomore Wilson Forrester wasfound dead in his fraternity house Saturday morning.  FIJI (PhiGamma Delta) has not issued a statement, and the cause of deathremains under investigation.  Wilson was a pre-physiology majorfrom Nashville, Tennessee. University Withdraws Recognition ofFraternity, Cornell

March19, 2011

CornellUniversity has withdrawn its recognition of the Sigma AlphaEpsilon fraternity based on information and shocking allegationsprovided to the University regarding the death of member GeorgeDesdunes on February 25, 2011.  Initial reports are thatDesdunes was provided alcohol "while in the care of fraternitymembers" and that "members and associate members recognizedthe position Desdunes was in, [but] they failed to call forhelp."  Members will have until the end of March to vacatethe house, and the fraternity will be banned from operation on thecampus for five years.

PledgeHospitalized, Virginia March1, 2011A 19-year-old first-year student pledging ZetaPsi fraternity was hospitalizedin a possible case of hazing.  Pledges were required to eat ameal of dog food, matzo balls, gefilte fish and soy sauce.  The12-18 ounces of soy sauce the pledge drank caused an electrolyteimbalance that led to seizures.  The pledge was placed inintensive care and hospitalized for 4 days.

Alcohol-RelatedDeath, Ithaca College, New York February26, 2011Victoria Chen, a 17-year-old freshman at IthacaCollege, was found dead in thesnow behind a house near campus on Saturday afternoon.   Alcohol is believed to be a factor in her death. Hazingand Possible Sexual Assault, Yale University February 19,2011An invitation-only party for people seeking to join thePundits, a senior pranking group at Yale University, includedforced consumption of alcohol and allegations of sexualassault.  The party led to the hospitalization of 10 studentsfor excessive drinking.  Yale police are investigating thehazing and sexual assault complaints. 

FraternityChapter Suspended for Hazing, Michigan - February9, 2011The University of Michigan chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilonhas been suspended by the University's Interfraternity Council andthe national fraternity.  The chapter has reportedly admitted tohaving hazing practices in its pledge program.

FraternityHazing Death Lawsuit Settled, Utah January26, 2011The family of Michael Starks, an 18-year-old freshman whodied during initiation week in November 2008 while attempting to jointhe Utah State Universitychapter of Sigma Nu, settled their lawsuit against the University. The terms of the settlement, all non-economic, were for theUniversity to adopt recommendations made by a task force convened bythe University following Starks' death, including education on hazingand the dangers of binge drinking.

famudee
famudee

Thank you Shutterbug for pointing out that hazing takes place everywhere. Luke did the same thing in his article. This is not a FAMU or HBCU only issue.

Now the writers of that Tampa-St. Pete Times article can suggest what they want. However, they don't educate children in music or legislate at FAMU. Many of the black college band directors and high school band directors across this country attended and graduated from FAMU's music department. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water by suggesting the entire department be closed.

Changes are being made and the university will rise up, learn and comeback from this tragedy. 

-Dee

Agaggag
Agaggag

It does happen at WHITE schools...the U of M student that started the hazing laws in FL ...those students went to a WHITE SCHOOL Fyi

Rattler100
Rattler100

And when it is determined that hazing was NOT the cause of death (being that a specific cause of death has not even been determined yet) will you retract your conclusion-jumping statement?

oorfenegro
oorfenegro

The autopsy report is out today and the state M.E. determined that Champion's death was a homicide cauzed by hazing.  I guess I won't have to issue that retraction.

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