Here we go again.
Despite all the examples, from the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, to Ivery Luckey, a former band member, it seems that some students from our wonderful campus have not learned the effects of hazing and neither has some of the administration.
On Saturday, Nov. 19, Florida A&M student and drum major Robert Champion died. Champion was unconscious when Orange Country Sheriff’s deputies and paramedics arrived on the scene and was pronounced dead at Phillips Hospital. Investigators suspect hazing to be the cause of death, but no charges have been filed. When I heard of Champion’s death, I was somewhat numb to the situation. But the magnitude of his death did not hit me until I went home for Thanksgiving break and reflected on the situation.
How can the Marching “100,” the band known for its outstanding high-stepping, precision in marching, dynamic choreography and brotherly love, allow something so severe to happen?
Now don’t get me wrong; I am not blaming every band member for Champion’s death, but I am blaming the ones who are responsible for his death.
Whether you were the person doing the hazing or the person sitting by the window watching, you belong in jail. Those who are part of the culture of hazing also bear some responsiblity.
Champion was someone’s son, brother and friend. Where is the logic in inflicting pain on someone just to be part of a school organization?
Where is the logic in causing Champion pain, his loved ones heartache, and damaging our university’s reputation? This is a catastrophic event. People all over America are watching us, not because of our academic excellence but because a life was lost due to ignorance.
According to StopHazing.org, hazing is usually associated with Greek organizations and began around 1657 at Harvard University.
The upperclassmen were hazing the freshman to teach and build school loyalty among all students. Many university presidents encouraged hazing until it led to serious injuries and the deaths of students, the website reported.
The National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention reported that 55 percent, or more than half, of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.
There is no logic behind hazing. It leads to severe injuries, deaths and hospitalization, so why do it?
I looked at Champion’s Facebook page and anyone could see he was loved, admired and cherished.
The ones who committed this crime deserve to pay for what they have done to Champion, his family, our university community and our good name.