At FAMU the week started with a botched negotiation with a band director candidate. But now it’s ending on a high note. As Whitney Ray tells us, 14 months after the hazing death of Drum Major Robert Champion, FAMU has hired the school’s first anti-hazing czar.
Moving forward, Florida A&M University has hired a man they believe can end the dangerous tradition of hazing. It all began 14 months ago, when Drum Major Robert Champion was beaten to death in a hazing ritual called Crossing Bus C. Arrests were made. The Band Director fired.
Friday, as part of FAMU’s ongoing mission to end hazing on campus, the school hired Bryan Smith. An Atlanta charity director turned FAMU’s Anti-Hazing Czar. Interim President Larry Robinson says Smith already has a plan to stop the dangerous tradition.
“He provided me with what he called his 90 day plan. He thought through this, what he’s going to do, who he needs to do it with in the first 90 days to get the ball rolling,” said Robinson.
Smith beat 60 other candidates to land the 90-thousand dollar a year job. Students seem pleased.
“That’s a good move because it shows that they are actually trying to deal with the situation,” said Tawanna Randall, a junior from Sarasota.
“Campus is kind of dead you know. We need some school spirit,” said Freshman Lashawnda Morgan.
And with the hiring of Smith, the school’s just two positions away from completing its anti-hazing plan. FAMU’s close to naming a new compliance officer to work with Smith and the search for a new band director is underway.
Tuesday, after calling reporters to campus, FAMU’s negotiations with a band director candidate broke down. The hope is their next search renders better results. Smith starts Feb 1st. He’s graduated from FAMU in 1998 with a maters degree in public management.