TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida A&M University's suspension of the Marching 100 has been
lifted, Interim president Larry Robinson announced this morning.
considering all of the measures we have put in place, I believe this
constitutes us having the right conditions," Robinson said.
new Director of Marching and Pep Bands, Dr. Sylvester Young, will
decide when the band is ready for public performances. Young said at a
news conference, it is too soon to say when that will be. He said there
is a lot of work to be done to get a new band ready.
"We'll see. We are moving in the right direction," he said.
band had been suspended from performing, practicing or meeting for 19
months, since the November 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert
Champion on a band bus following the Florida Classic football game in
Orlando. Champion's death put a spotlight on a pervasive culture of
hazing at the university, leading to the retirement of longtime band
director Julian White and the remaking of the famed band. Young was
hired as the new director of bands in May.
The specter of
hazing also led to the resignation of former FAMU President James H.
Ammons last July, the same day the Champion family filed an ongoing
wrongful-death lawsuit against the university.
has been working closely with university staff to address the culture of
hazing on campus, creating two new positions devoted to fighting the
practice, a compliance officer in the music department and a special
anti-hazing assistant who reports directly to the president. The
university also started an anti-hazing website where hazing can be
reported anonymously, leading to the suspension of campus organizations.
addition, FAMU administrators required every student to sign an
anti-hazing pledge in order to enroll, and every student organization
was required to go through a new intake process focused on anti-hazing
practices in order to be recognized by the university. Anti-hazing town
halls and forums were held. There are still plans for a panel of
national hazing experts to meet on FAMU's campus.
all of these measures, the 2012-13 academic year did not see an end to
hazing at FAMU. Last fall there were 20 allegations of hazing involving
official student organizations, resulting in the suspensions of two
Jennifer Portman | Karl Etters Democrat staff writers, Tallahassee Democrat