FAMU BOT Discuss Hazing Prevention, Restructuring the Band
by Lanetra Bennett
Tallahassee, FL -- June 5, 2012 --
There could soon be big changes in the ranks of the Marching 100.
Administrators are cracking down on who can put on a uniform and take the field.
It's all fallout from the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion.
Robert Champion's death brought to light a lot of issues with the Marching 100. Some of the measures being proposed to prevent more hazing include putting a cap on how long students can stay in the band, and requiring that all band members be enrolled full-time at FAMU.
"Hazing is going to go down in some way, shape, or form."
Administrators at FAMU hope to make changes to keep that from happening.
The November hazing death investigation of Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion revealed that 101 band members were not students at FAMU.
University President Dr. James Ammons has announced a proposal to require that all band members be enrolled full-time.
Jarell Baker, a FAMU student, says, "It's kind of embarrassing to have students who are marching for this university who actually don't even go to this school. It's like somebody who's walking down the street, if might be the guy sitting in front of the Circle K every day marching and putting on a "100" uniform."
Dr. Ammons also wants to put a four-year cap on student participation in the band... ban practices that are not supervised by staff, and implement more rigorous academic requirements
"It shows them being a little more responsible."
Other proposed measures for FAMU's Anti-hazing plan include: creating an Anti-Hazing Special Assistant to the president and establishing a Compliance Office.
Bryant Williams, another FAMU student, says. "I don't think hazing's going to stop. Is it something we should do to try to stop it? Yes. But, is it ever going to stop? In my opinion, no. But, I applaud President Ammons for trying to stop it."
The Anti-Having Special Assistant would have a broad-ranging authority to address hazing issues through the university.
The Compliance Officer for the Music Department would report directly to that Special Assistant.
The Board of Trustees is expected to discuss these proposed measures during the board meeting tomorrow and Thursday
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 5, 2012 - Noon -
FAMU's Board of Trustees is scheduled to discuss new efforts to prevent hazing on campus. Many of the proposed changes include restructuring the Marching 100 band.
The university was asked to develop new measures as a part of the FAMU Board of Trustees' updated Anti-Hazing Plan. FAMU President Dr. James Ammons has announced the plan and will present the measures to the board.
Dr. Ammons announced he wants to limit the band to *only full-time students. He also wants to put in more rigorous academic requirements and a four-year limit on how long students can play in the band.
Dr. Ammons suspended the band after the November death of drum major Robert Champion. Eleven band members now face felony hazing charges. Among many things, the investigation found that more than 100 members of the band were not even students. Last month, Dr. Ammons decided the band will remain off the field for the next academic year. Other proposed measures include creating a new Special Assistant for Anti-Hazing and a Compliance Officer.
We don't know if the Office of Communications is a part of the changes, but we have noticed that the Executive Director of the Communications Department is posted as an open position.
All of the measures are slated to be discussed during the Trustees meeting scheduled for the next two days.
Dr. Ammons says once this new structure is in place, FAMU will begin the search for a new band director.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 5, 2012
Florida A&M University will hire a special assistant to oversee anti-hazing efforts and make other changes to its famous and infamous marching band in the wake of the November death of Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion, president James Ammons said Monday in preparation for a meeting Wednesday of the FAMU Board of Trustees. “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,” Ammons said in a statement. "This individual will help drive home the message that hazing by anyone will not be tolerated." Among other changes, the university will restructure oversight of the marching band and music department and place further restrictions on band membership. Eleven Marching 100 members face felony charges for the beating death of Champion, who died after a hazing aboard a band bus following an engagement in Orlando. The board has scheduled a meeting for June 6-7.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 4, 2012 - AP -
Florida A&M University is proposing sweeping changes to its famed Marching 100 band.
FAMU President James Ammons on Monday said he wants to limit the band to full-time FAMU students. Ammons also wants to put in more rigorous academic requirements and a four-year limit on how long students can play in the band.
Ammons suspended the band shortly after the November death of drum major Robert Champion. Eleven FAMU band members face felony hazing charges, while two others face misdemeanor counts for their roles in Champion's death.
Ammons last month announced the band would remain off the field for the next year while FAMU tries to cleanse the hazing culture that surrounds the band.
University trustees are scheduled to discuss anti-hazing efforts this week.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) 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.
The job descriptions and responsibilities have been prepared for the Special Assistant for Anti-Hazing and Music Department Compliance Officer. The university is also determining the exact positions that will be created in the Office of Judicial Affairs.