FAMU BOT to Discuss Hazing Prevention, Restructuring the Band

By: The News Service of Florida
By: The News Service of Florida

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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FAMU Release

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.


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  • by REALISTIC Location: TALLAHASSEE on Jun 6, 2012 at 12:58 PM
    WHY IS THE MARCHING 100 EVEN ALLOWED TO STILL BE IN EXISTANCE. SOMEONE WAS MURDERED BY FELLOW BAND MEMBERS. THE BAND SHOULD BE SHUT DOWN, THE SCHOOL SHOULDN'T BE SPENDING MONEY TO REBRAND THEMSELEVES, THEY SHOULD BE FIGURING OUT WAYS TO KEEP IT OPEN.
  • by Harry on Jun 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM
    I can't stop laughing at Tammie McDonald. She is what FAMU is all about. Ignorant and stupid students. I think I'll copy her comments and send them to the BOG.
  • by Tammie McDonald Location: FAMU on Jun 6, 2012 at 09:26 AM
    I dont thing Art even know what kind of school we have. We have good teachers who educate us a lot of hope. We learned about faith too in the bible.. Every person in Florida should get the special education at FAMU. It last forever just like getting some redemption and financial aids. I do not know Rick or Tony but I go to band with Antuan. Jamal Taylor got hisself arrested or he could still be in the band and would not pick on people unless they wanted it.
  • by Tammie Mc Location: Tallaysee on Jun 6, 2012 at 02:40 AM
    I don't know why everyone is upset. I been getting my GED while playing in the band for 2 years. Yeah we had to get some hazing from the guys. They should make a hazing class to cut out sex hazing. Most of the other stuff was just regular hazing. I dont agree with troll that our sins should be taxed. We don't get any stimulus any more so we have to do things to get our band benifits. It cost at least 10 dollars to clean our uniform unless you wash it at home. Then it cost not as much but it is hard to get dry. You can;t dry your hat in a dryer because it shrinks and makes you head look big. Why Marshall sick of us getting our college aid promised to us by the lottery and tax on rich people. The news just announce another round of stimulus so we might able to get all our members back except Robert Champion.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 6, 2012 at 07:14 AM in reply to Tammie Mc
      You are awesome. Do you know Rick or Tony?
  • by anonymous on Jun 5, 2012 at 05:42 PM
    Dr. Ammons changed the Marching 100 band policies the first year he became President in 2007. Interim President Castel Bryant had put into place a written mandate that only full time FAMU music students were allowed in the Marching 100. She was greatly scorned by Dr. White because the band became smaller in numbers and in finances. The irony of it all....
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 6, 2012 at 04:28 AM in reply to anonymous
      Mrs, Bryant nothing like being able to come back and say I told you so.
  • by Art on Jun 5, 2012 at 04:50 PM
    FAMU needs to kick Tammie McDonald out of school. There is no hope for such an idiot.
    • reply
      by Hey Art on Jun 6, 2012 at 02:57 PM in reply to Art
      I suspect she could very easily soon be the President of that "school" (used loosely). She certainly has all the qualifications.
  • by Bubba on Jun 5, 2012 at 02:46 PM
    @Substance, You are focused on a single act - I am looking at the diseased whole. Cancer is a systemic disease. FAMU has cancer.
  • by Duhman on Jun 5, 2012 at 02:01 PM
    Will someone please answer my questions. 1. How do you play in a college band and not be enrolled in that college? 2. How many years are you allowed to play in the band? I am just wondering if I am 30 and have not gone to school for 8-10 years can I still be in the band? ( It is a joke but not really). 3. How would the bus driver be responsible for the death and not the entire band and faculty that knew about it? 4.Why are people so willing to continue hazing when "Staff will loose their jobs not us" statements are made? 5. How can the college student base not demand reform? Just some questions I am wondering.
    • reply
      by Duh Simple on Jun 6, 2012 at 11:41 AM in reply to Duhman
      All of your questions can be answered with just two words. Ready? "african descent". The rules the rest of us live by do not apply to them. Don't believe me? Ask Tammie.
  • by Sam Location: Quincy on Jun 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM
    A barbaric level of hazing is deeply ingrained in FAMU's culture. The current spotlight on the situation will make the behavior more secretive and possibly more desirable.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM
    This is such a distraction for the Obama Administration. Please stop this so we can get him re-elected.
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