Tallahassee- July 11, 2012- 11:47pm
On Wednesday evening a group of FAMU freshmen entered Lee Hall for Freshmen Orientation. Their orientation fell on the same day the president of their brand new university turned in his resignation.
For months Dr. James Ammons has been under a cloud at Rattler Nation, beginning with the hazing death of Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion in November last year. Many people have criticized how Dr. Ammons has since handled hazing within the band.
"I think in order for students to understand the seriousness of hazing we have to first make the repercussions of it serious, I think a year for this young man's death isn't sufficient," said Kyle Washington who works in the FAMU Office of Student Activities.
He is referring to when Dr. Ammons decided to suspend the band for one year in the wake of the several hazing investigations that surfaced since Champion's death.
"I was very concerned for Dr. Ammons from day one with all this controversy," said Calvin Robinson, who has been a professor at FAMU for 17 years.
Robinson describes Dr. Ammons as down to Earth, approachable and a great leader.
"Dr. Ammons, I've always said was the man for the job. I'm sure he and I as anyone else have made mistakes or could have done things differently. But his success outweighs any mistake he may have made," said Robinson.
"It was definitely a surprise to the University community, we were not expecting this today," said Michael Jefferson, the Student Body Vice President at FAMU.
While some members of the student body say they're still coping with the news, they are looking forward to a new tomorrow.
"We are confident he made this decision in the best interest for his family and for the future progress of this institution," said Jefferson.
And they're confident that this new class of Rattlers will succeed as Florida A&M turns a page in its next chapter.
"We will be OK, we're Rattlers, we will strike out of this," said Robinson.