[UPDATE] FAMU Alumni Association Holds Press Conference

By: Angelica Alvarez, Eyewitness News Email
By: Angelica Alvarez, Eyewitness News Email

Tallahassee, FL -- December 18, 2011

Around 4 o'clock this afternoon dozens of FAMU alumni gathered together on the steps of Lee Hall for the press conference called by Florida A&M National Alumni Association President, Tommy Mitchell. They started off the conference singing the FAMU Anthem in unison.

At the conference Mitchell read a statement saying the association wants the investigation to be completed in its' entirety before anyone is suspended. Mitchell also stated that no other institution involved with acts of hazing has had the president of the university step down.

In the statement Mitchell said the Governor doesn't have the constitutional authority to intervene. The association asked that the Governor and all those not directly affiliated with the University stay out of FAMU matters.

The Florida A&M University National Alumni Association President, Tommy Mitchell stated "I have a granddaughter here now, she's going to remain, and I have seven others I want to come...where can I go then that they might not get killed, since hazing is happening everywhere? My position is, she will die a Rattler."

Tallahassee, FL -- December 17, 2011

Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (FAMU NAA) President, Tommy Mitchell will address media on the steps of Lee Hall at 4pm, Sunday, December 18, 2011 regarding the governor's request for the suspension of FAMU President, James Ammons. He will also comment on incidents of hazing at other institutions that are not being reported in the national media nor resulted in the governor's intervention.

President Mitchell is urging all alums who are available to join him at the press conference. The multi-purpose recreation area near the Grand Ball Room will be open from 2-4pm as a gathering place for alums before the press conference begins. Representatives will be on hand to guide alums to the gathering area.
Governor Rick Scott says, "I think it will be better for the university. I think it will be better for him. That he says, look, If I were in his position, I'd say, look, I want a thorough investigation, I want to make sure everyone feels comfortable that I am cooperating, because I want to come back and continue to build the university."

Governor Scott, just back from a long trade mission in Israel, calls for the suspension of FAMU's president, Dr. James Ammons. Some say the governor shouldn't step in just yet.

Christopher Rich is a FAMU student and says, "I'm against it, I don't think it's right he should be suspended, especially since all the evidence hasn't come out yet."

Another student who did not give their name says, "He's not that fully responsible to be suspended, he's doing everything he can to make the school a better place, so far I think it's working."

The governor's recommendation comes on the heels of the investigation into the alleged hazing death of drum major Robert Champion, and three band members arrested this week for what authorities say was another hazing incident before Champion died.

Eighteen year old Marching 100 band member, Bria Hunter, says she was beaten so badly she suffered a broken bone. And to top it all off, now the band's finances are being investigated. Expense reports show fewer students actually went to the Orlando Classic than originally reported. Sill, many stand behind President Ammons.

FAMU student, Stacy Williams, says, "I am very upset because I believe he has done a great job in his tenure here."

Tommy Mitchell, Sr., the President of the National Alumni Association says, "No decision should be made until the investigation is over."

In a statement, Dr. Ammons responded to Governor Scott's call of suspension.

He says, "This is a very critical time in the life of FAMU considering the circumstances surrounding the Robert Champion incident. All involved must do what is in the best interest of the university because there are many students, families, faculty and staff depending on us to make the right decisions about how FAMU will continue to carry out its mission. During my tenure as president, we have had many significant accomplishments. I’m sure that this investigation will determine that under my leadership, the administration acted appropriately. I serve at the pleasure of the FAMU Board of Trustees and I will abide by whatever decision the Board reaches.”

All this comes on the eve of graduation, as more than six hundred FAMU students get ready to walk the stage tomorrow night.

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  • by Verb Conjugation Location: Trustees on Dec 20, 2011 at 07:23 AM
    I was curious as the trustees spoke. Do they really teach FAMU trustees to conjugate the verb "to be" as " I be, he be , they be doing it so why shouldn't we be doing it." We be responsible fo our students.It be our decision on Dr Ammons. HE be having our full support. Let us get busy and explain good reasons why it be okay to beat students. They other colleges be doin it.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 20, 2011 at 05:28 PM in reply to Verb Conjugation
      "He stay with me" "I be going to the store" "We was feeling good"
  • by Anonymous on Dec 20, 2011 at 06:11 AM
    DIVERSITY doesn't work.
    • reply
      by Holly on Dec 20, 2011 at 07:27 AM in reply to
      Neither do FAMU students and faculty. They have discovered it is easier to missappropiate tax dollars rather than earn them. I know a girl that got her student loan, bought a new car and an apple laptop and dropped out after the first hour of school. She had a baby so she now gets welfare, healthcare, day care, and food stamps. She then quit her job because she said " I no make more than I can working. Her college? FAMU. Look into to student loan default rates at FAMU.
      • reply
        by Loan Fraud on Dec 20, 2011 at 10:00 AM in reply to Holly
        I know who you are speaking of. she used to work at a motel on the north part of town. Actually there were 2 girls at the same place spending their loans...the second was playing some type of gambling shopping online and lost all of her taxpayer fund.
  • by Glenn Location: Tallahassee on Dec 20, 2011 at 01:33 AM
    She will die A Rattler.... REALLY? I guess that makes sense to someone, somewhere. Let's let Joe Pa and that Sandusky fellow teach ethics and child safety at FAMU.
  • by Easy education, just squeeze on Dec 19, 2011 at 04:10 PM
    I just finished in the bathroom and earned another 15 of those FAMU diplomas. There must be a few hundred more on that roll.
  • by elijahboy10 Location: Tallahassee on Dec 19, 2011 at 02:13 PM
    Dr. White has been reporting hazing to the administration and to the police since even before he became the director of the band. And a lot of you on here just keep talking about firing Dr.White but lets talk about all the great things he has done since he's been director of the band. Before this event happen all of you on here was supporting and crowning Dr.White as a great band director. so lets stop trying to fire Dr. White, the one person who's been trying to stop this ritual with the band and also out of the band. Lets really focus on the bigger picture at hand which is finding the one's who was involved with the crime and finishing the investigation.
  • by Dr. Feelgood on Dec 19, 2011 at 11:46 AM
    FAMU has failed to live up to its mission of educating underserved black youth. It has failed to address the long-standing and rampant corruption that nearly cost the "school" its accreditation. It has failed to provide inspired leadership to the black community. Its graduates are hardly literate despite being American born and raised. FAMU does nothing of exceptional value. End the pain and close the "school" since it is clear that the alumni, students, faculty and adminisatration have failed individually and collectively to resolve any of the problems associated with the school.
  • by don't understand on Dec 19, 2011 at 08:01 AM
    I have a master's degree and attended four different colleges. I was never beaten or threatened in my entire college experience. Why do the goons at FAMU think that they need to?
  • by Pam Location: Quincy on Dec 19, 2011 at 06:40 AM
    FAMU does not need to be shut down. Nor should it be merged with TCC or FSU. FAMU needs to have a quota system set-up so that a more diverse student body can be enrolled. The same needs to be done for hiring/replacing the staff. This beautiful school is so out of balance, it can barely relate to the rest of the world.
  • by Christina on Dec 19, 2011 at 06:06 AM
    That was a really dumb speech by Mr. Mitchell. Hazing is going on everywhere so it might as well be done by a Rattler? Who knew college was a life or death decision.
  • by Paul on Dec 19, 2011 at 05:46 AM
    I'm white, southern, but have been watching people all my life. This board has displayed racism way beyond the racism that I thought still existed. I knew it was still pretty bad and buried under rhetoric. There is a need for universities that allow students to go to an all black university. Most of these kids come from all black communities and the comfort of staying within their culture helps in their studies. English as it should be written and spoken is difficult for many because people are raised to speak as their parents and community speak. I grew up with teachers telling me to check to see if what I wrote 'sounded' right. Many people can't do this. Some 'white' communities have the same problem. This does not mean a student can't learn complex subjects. FAMU must continue to exist. Much of the culture has to cease to repair their reputation though. It seems to make membership into a college is difficult enough to pile on extra pain. I just don't get it.
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