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FAMU steps ip anti-hazing efforts

By Charles Drinks
On January 17, 2018

 

It’s not a secret, if you want to pledge a Greek organization on a college campus, there’s a chance that a student may be hazed physically and mentally during the new member process.

Many colleges’ organizations may force a student to drink dangerous amounts of alcohol or be physically whipped and beaten. But today in 2018, FAMU’s administration is trying to prevent any future allegations or reports of hazing with any of their school’s organizations.

We all know that Florida A&M’s organizations have had a past with hazing allegations. In 2011, the death of Marching 100-member Robert Champion cast a dark shadow on the university to this very day.

Right down the road, FSU suspended all Greek life after the November death of Andrew Coffey who was trying to pledge Phi Kappa Phi.

FAMU hosted an anti-hazing seminar on Jan. 14 in which school officials encouraged all students who may be interested in joining any Greek organization to come and listen to it.

Most organizations had representatives present and over 400 students came that night.

FAMU’s anti-hazing administrator, Bryan F. Smith, gave a short lecture that night to educate students about the university’s regulations regarding hazing.

“It’s against the law and it’s against campus regulations, we are here to ensure the safety of our students and we will not tolerate hazing anymore.”

Smith has a special position on campus and he serves as one of President Larry Robinson’s personal assistants.

Robinson says a big part of Smith's job is to thoroughly investigate and track any reports of hazing.

But to thoroughly prevent hazing you need everyone to be on the same page. From Smith to current members, and students trying to pledge, everyone needs to know that this university doesn’t tolerate hazing and will try to press criminal charges if anyone is accused of hazing.

Darias Bowers, a senior at FAMU and also a member of the Alpha Xi chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, was very pleased to see the university shine a light about the realities of hazing on college campuses.

“I think that our college is making great strides towards ensuring that students are safe and organizations are following the school’s regulations. We as Greek members, were enlightened on the repercussions if any members of any organization is accused of hazing.”

Many members of organizations were happy to see FAMU’s faculty embrace the harsh reality in regards of FAMU’s past with hazing. Especially after the death of a pledge down the road, leading FSU’s president to ban all Greek life and activities.

Antwan Booker, a new member of Iota Phi Theta, was also satisfied with the faculty’s efforts during the seminar.

“The seminar was very informative, it was very great to see FAMU step up to the plate and try to protect any students who are interested and may try to be pledge an organization. I think it’s the school’s duty to try to prevent anyone else from being harmed during a new member process.”

There’s some stereotypes that all Greek organizations haze new members but Elijah Smith, a fourth year Phycology student and also a new member of Upsilon chapter of Omega Psi Phi Inc, believes that many organizations including his, have put an end to hazing any new members who are trying to pledge.

“We were very happy to see FAMU raise awareness about the university’s past with hazing. As a member of a non-hazing organization we were proud to participate and see the university enforce the rules and restrictions in regards of hazing.“

 

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