A prestigious national band fraternity has stripped its Florida A&M University chapter of its charter, following an investigation into hazing incidents that happened in the spring of 2010, according to a statement on the website for Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity.
The hazing incidents in 2010 were not directly related to the highly publicized hazing death of FAMU Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion. But the historically black university in Tallahassee has come under fire since the November death and other incidents that reflect a persistent culture of hazing in the band and in other campus organizations.
“Hazing is not in line with our mission, ritual or values and is simply against the law,” Kappa Kappa Psi said in a prepared statement. “We steadfastly advocate and support the removal of hazing practices from college bands and society.”
Kappa Kappa Psi learned in January of an investigation into a hazing incident involving its Delta Iota Chapter at FAMU.
Following the death of Champion, a FAMU student revealed to a faculty member that 14 people who were pledges for Kappa Kappa Psi in the spring of 2010 were paddled and hit with hands, according to published reports. Two members of the FAMU Music Department, who are said to have been participants in the Kappa Kappa Psi activities, have since resigned from the university, school officials have confirmed.
“On March 28, 2012, the Tallahassee Police Department concluded its investigation and released its findings. Following the completion of that investigation, Kappa Kappa Psi went forward with its investigation that had been held pending the completion of the police work,” according to the Kappa Kappa Psi statement.
“As a result of this investigation and the incident that occurred in spring of 2010, the National Council has voted to remove the Delta Iota Chapter at Florida A&M University from the roster of active chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi,” the statement said.
Under the terms of the suspension, the Delta Iota Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi:
-Will be closed for a period of at least five years, or until May 3, 2017.
-All undergraduate members of the chapter in the spring semester of 2010 have been expelled from the organization.
-All of those who were in the joining process during the spring semester of 2010 have been expelled.
-A total of 28 individuals have been expelled from the Delta Iota Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi.
-Current dues paying student members of the Delta Iota chapter who were not members during the spring 2010 semester have been placed on alumnus status with the organization and may not participate in any undergraduate chapter activities for Kappa Kappa Psi since the FAMU chapter is no longer active.
The announcement of the chapter’s expulsions came on Monday, the same day FAMU President James Ammons announced that the famed Marching 100 band’s suspension would last for a least another year, and the band would not march this fall during the football season.
Ammons said that extending the suspension was necessary because of several issues including the retirement of the long-time band director, the dismissal of two faculty members, and a number of unresolved issues about the operation and regulation of the band. He said that the death of Robert Champion Jr. in November was “paramount” in determining the band’s status.
“In making this decision regarding the band’s return, and as a parent, I was heavily influenced by the need to be respectful of Mr. Champion’s family and other alleged victims, Ammons said in a prepared statement. “A young man lost his life and others suffered serious injuries.”