Anti-hazing seminar fills Gaither

Students at the Anti-Hazing Seminar walking up to student organizations getting to know them and waiting for the seminar to begin.
Photo Submitted by Christopher Miller.

After the 2011 hazing tragedy that claimed the life of a Marching 100 drum major, Florida A&M University has taken extra precautions to ensure that hazing is not an issue on campus.

Administrators continue to educate students on how serious hazing can be. Every semester the Office of Student Activities puts together a seminar teaching students about hazing and how to report it.

“The hazing seminar should only be once a year,” Keely Coleman, a junior biology pre-med major, said at Wednesday night’s seminar at Gaither Gym. “It’s the same information being presented each time and isn’t changing. It’s repetitive.”

The speakers at Wednesday’s event were William Clemm director of student activities, and other senior staff from the Office of Student Activities including Bryan Smith, who serves as the university’s anti-hazing prevention coordinator.

The event was catered this semester to those students who were interested in joining non-Greek organizations such as Images Modeling Troupe  and ReKonstruKtion Dance Troupe. Attendance at the seminar is required if you plan on participating in any spring 2019 membership.

Smith, when asked has the hazing seminar been helping in the process of lowering hazing allegations, said:

“When FAMU first started the hazing prevention seminar the first year there were increases in hazing allegations. We attributed it to the new way of reporting allegations.

“Depending on the year the number of allegations fluctuated depending on the year. In 2015 the numbers went down, in 2016 the number went back up, then they went back down in 2017,” Smith said. “The 2018 allegations are even lower than 2017.”

When asked why he believes the allegations fluctuated between the years, Smith offered an open-ended response.

“Either people are working, or they have gotten more creative with the way they do things.”

During the seminar students were able to walk up to the organizations’ tables and ask questions pertaining to the organization and the requirements to join.

“I believe the hazing seminar is beneficial,” said Marielle Cameron, who serves as president of the Beta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. “It gives students information on how to report (hazing).”

The event wrapped up with students having to fill out an online survey from a QR code asking them “what was the name of the event speaker and what color tie did he have on?” Students who missed the anti-hazing seminar should contact the Office of Student Activities or email Clemm.