All clubs and organizations met Monday to review the rules and regulations against hazing on Florida A&M’s campus.
Marvin Green Jr., director of student activities, addressed students and reminded them of the university’s zero tolerance for hazing.
Green said the university will not tolerate hazing of any sort and not only will the hazer face serious consequences, but the hazee could also face legal charges as well.
“Take care of each other,” Green said. “We have 140 clubs and organizations on campus, not 140 gangs.”
Green said he wants clubs and organizations to work together at this university, which is full of positive groups on campus.
Bryan Smith, special assistant to the president for anti-hazing, informed students of the anti-hazing regulations. Smith said that by participating in hazing, students will be in a direct violation of the university’s regulation.
“We are a zero-tolerance university,” Smith said. “No wiping, no beating, no branding.”
Smith also told students that if hazing happen on campus, the FAMU Police Department will investigate the issue and the Tallahassee Police Department will investigate off-campus hazing allegations. Smith said both departments will be working in parallel to handle hazing issues.
“How much do you value yourself?” Smith asked. “How much do you value this university and your organization?”
Although first-year chemistry student Breonna Jefferson, of Jacksonville, thought the event could have used improvements as far as location and setup, she said she thought the forum would help the student body in the long run.
“I think good points are being made for students at the university,” Jefferson said.
Second-year nursing student Khayla Potter, also of Jacksonville, said she thinks the anti-hazing forums keep students safe.
“I think it makes us aware,” Potter said.
According to Smith, events such as the anti-hazing forums provide additional information for students and serve as a preventative measure.
“We have a consistent and constant message when it comes to hazing,” Smith said.
FAMU also participated in an anti-hazing week along with other universities in Florida last week.
According to Smith, the state of Florida has allocated $10 million for an online hazing course for every state institution. Starting next semester, students will be able to take the online anti-hazing course that will provide a certificate of completion that will be linked to student ID information.
Smith said every student will not be required to take the course but the extensive online training will be required for students who wish to participate clubs and organizations on campus.
Lt. Norman Rollins addressed the student body as well in regards to campus safety, urging students to not to walk alone on campus but to use the buddy system when walking at night.
“Don’t walk alone,” said Rollins, encouraging students to use better judgment when walking on campus late at night with the recent assaults taking place on campus last week.
Green said he is aware that clubs and organizations are a means for students to gather together and motivate each other while in college.
“Every club and organization has its own purpose and mission we just want to make sure the purpose and mission fits within the guide lines of Florida A&M University,” Green said.