Florida A&M University has gone "overboard" in its attempt to prevent the death of another student and their strict new anti-hazing regulations are too harsh, according to some students and parents quoted by the Associated Press. The new regulations were enacted after 26-year-old FAMU drum major Robert Champion died in November 2011 after a savage hazing from fellow band members. Champion was gay.
A handful of students, as well as the father of a FAMU student, pleaded Thursday with the university board of trustees to help them. "The efforts put forth to eradicate the culture of hazing has gone overboard," Inita Knox told trustees during a meeting held on FAMU's campus.... While the university would not provide exact details, the school's new anti-hazing administrator said that 15 students have been dismissed this year so far over hazing allegations.
A FAMU sorority was investigated for hazing this past February after someone posted a complaint on the university anti-hazing website. The Tallahassee Democrat reported late last month that the Leon County Sheriff's Office decided against pursuing criminal charges in the case. ... That led to the university decision to dismiss several students from school - some for periods up to five years.
A report said pledges were forced to do exercise squats and memorize information about sorority members during the gathering. A pledge of Delta Sigma Theta passed out during the session and was eventually interviewed by police. She told trustees that she had a heart condition and that she had tried to hand over that information to university officials but that she and other pledges had been given the "runaround."
The anti-hazing regulations are "too harsh" ... say the parents whose children are still alive.
Champion died from blunt force trauma after the brutal hazing , which allegedly included being kicked, punched and hit with traffic cones. More than a dozen former band members pleaded "not guilty" earlier this month to charges of manslaughter in connection with the case.
Florida A&M University is the state's only public, historically black university. The Tallahassee-based university was founded in 1887 "and it is the largest historically black university in the United States by enrollment," according to its Wiki.
FAMU is well-known for its Marching "100" Band—which has a long history of violent hazing incidents. The Marching 100 has been suspended since Champion's death. The university will make a decision by May on reinstating the band, reports Tallahassee's WCTV.
Champion's parents publicly revealed in January 2012 that their son was gay. In addition to being vocally opposed to hazing, Champion's sexuality could have been among the reasons why he was viciously beaten during the attack, according to the family's attorney. Read more at my article for EBONY: "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell": Why Has Black Media Ignored the Sexuality of FAMU Hazing Victim Robert Champion?"
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