FAMU Board to Discuss New Efforts to Prevent Hazing

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  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University  President James H. Ammons will present to the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) for discussion new measures the university was asked to develop as part of the BOT’s updated Anti-Hazing Plan.

    The proposals were developed at the direction of the Board of Trustees and in consultation with the administration’s internal crisis management committee and the Trustees.

    The proposed measures include:

    • The creation of a FAMU Anti-Hazing Special Assistant to the president, with broad-ranging authority to address hazing issues throughout the University.  
    • The establishment of a FAMU Compliance Officer for the Music Department, with direct reporting to the Special Assistant for Anti-Hazing.
    • The re-organization and expansion of staff in the Office of Judicial Affairs to facilitate the adjudication of hazing issues and other matters pertaining to the student code of conduct.
    • The establishment of a FAMU Anti-Hazing website and Facebook page to be in place for the fall semester to enhance education efforts and reporting.

    In addition, Ammons will discuss with the board a comprehensive strategy on the structure and operation of the Band and Department of Music at the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for June 6 and 7. Once this new structure is in place, FAMU will begin the search for a new band director, he said.

    Among the measures proposed for the band are:

    • A four-year cap on the number of years a student can participate in music department bands.
    • A requirement that all band members be enrolled full-time at FAMU
    • Practice would be limited to 20 hours a week, with a ban on practices that are not supervised by music department staff.
    • More rigorous academic requirements to ensure timely matriculation of students.

    The band has been suspended since November 2011, following the death of Robert Champion, a FAMU student and drum major.  On May 14, Ammons announced that the band would remain inactive through the 2012-13 academic year. The band’s long-time director, Julian White, retired earlier this month.

    Also at the upcoming June Board of Trustees retreat, the administration will discuss a comprehensive strategy outlining a process to reinstate intake and membership activities in all campus student organizations.  These will include appropriate controls and measures designed to prohibit hazing and promote sound financial stewardship, Ammons said.

    In January, Ammons suspended the induction, enrollment, initiation, membership intake and recruitment for all student clubs and organizations until fall 2012.  Ammons said the moves are being made to outline clear, well-defined roles and procedures for addressing hazing and reforming the operation of the band.

    “The new FAMU Special Assistant for Anti-Hazing will work closely with faculty, staff and students to enforce our hazing-free campus code and address any and all potential issues related to hazing,” he said.  “This individual will help drive home the message that hazing by anyone will not be tolerated.”

    The FAMU Anti-Hazing website and Facebook page will be an easily accessible resource for FAMU students to engage in real-time dialogue, report any incidents and seek out information on school policies and procedures, including questions about hazing, the FAMU anti-hazing pledge and ways to report suspected incidents.

    The Music Department Compliance Officer will have duties similar to that of a compliance officer for NCAA sports.  The officer will make sure band members at all times meet all eligibility requirements established by FAMU.  
     

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