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[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."

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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.
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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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