Tallahassee, FL -- June 1, 2012 --
As FAMU reels from a hazing scandal, Florida's congressional delegation is pushing for legislation to deny student aid to perpetrators.
Members of Florida's Congressional delegation have filed legislation that would permanently deny federal student aid to any college student convicted of hazing.
They believe it's the only way to send a strong message to students that the culture of hazing that's inundated many campuses - most particularly FAMU - is unacceptable.
Kevon Jones is in full support. He says he quit FAMU because hazing became a major distraction.
“If you don't take this action, then there's going to be an outcry, because there's going to be way more hazing than there already is,” he said.
Still, FAMU senior Philip Johnson worries revoking financial aid from convicted hazers could carry unintended consequences.
“It's just going to criminalize it, and that's not the answer,” Johnson said. “It's just going to take away the opportunity for these people to get an education, I mean, you know, of course people went too far with Robert Champion.”
The bill, which is being filed by chief sponsor Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Miami), would also deny federal highway and transit funding to states that fail to pass laws that make hazing a crime.
Wilson, a former state senator, played a leading role in passing the 2005 law that makes hazing a felony.