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Florida A&M University to unveil anti-hazing website

An undated family photo of Robert Champion Courtesy: Robert Champion's family

Florida A&M Marching 100 Drum Major Robert Champion
AP Photo/Don Juan Moore

(CBS) TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-  Florida A&M University has announced it will be unveiling an anti-hazing website on Friday in the wake of the death of Robert Champion, a drum major from the famed "Marching 100" killed in a hazing ritual. The site is the school's next step in combating the hazing culture that has permeated organizations on campus, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Since the November death of Champion, the university has updated its anti-hazing policies and had town halls in order to educate students about the problem. However, this week, a female member of the "Torque" dance team was suspended after a parent reported an alleged hazing incident.

Henry Kirby, the associate vice president for student life and dead of students, said that every student club and organization is now required to attend university meetings and workshops in addition to submitting a copy of its bylaws which include anti-hazing regulations.

"The vast majority of clubs, in my opinion, will comply," Kirby said. "There will always be a few students who will try to test the university. If they do, they will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately."

Being on inactive status due to a lack of a faculty adviser did not stop the Torque dance team from hazing their members. University officials received an email from the parent of a member who claims the club members required her daughter to drink alcohol and run up hills.

The team was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday.

The vice president of the Student Government Association, senior Michael Jefferson, took a mandatory pledge to not take part in any hazing when he joined Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.

He also said he has no problem with the administrators' decision to suspend the dance team, because they are affiliated with the school.

"It is best to err on the side of caution," Jefferson said. "When those types of allegations arise, the university has to put things on pause with that organization to conduct a thorough review."

The Marching 100 Band was also suspended last year after Champion's death. Long-time band director, Julian White, and university President, James Ammons, both resigned after the tragedy. The university also put a halt to new membership in all student groups.

Larry Robinson, the interim FAMU president,  had two meetings with students organizations earlier in the week, marking a first step towards each of the estimated 150 student groups to be allowed to accept new members.

Complete coverage of Florida A&M hazing on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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