Anti-hazing workshop a must for clubs

Recent claims of hazing incidents have attributed to Florida A&M University’s campus organizations being required to complete a certification and anti-hazing workshop. The workshops run Sept. 19-20, as well as Sept. 26-27. Non-adherence will forfeit a group’s registration as an on-campus organization.

Khare Hawkins, 21, a fourth-year business student from Orlando, and Student Government Association secretary of state, said the anti-hazing workshop does not negatively affect organizational funding.

“It saves us money if an organization chooses not to attend and allows us to redistribute that money to other organizations.”

Hawkins also said students are being cooperative about the procedure, and they will do what needs to be done in order to acquire the necessary funds.

Hawkins said that despite the fact the workshop has not been known to be enjoyable, it is very informative. The question is whether this will really stop hazing. Individuals will listen, but there is not a full guarantee they will put the information into practice.

Marshall Watson, 22, a senior health care management student from Jackson, Miss., and a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., describes prior workshops as “general one-day seminars that explain that hazing is unacceptable.”

“The workshops are normally attended by officers and different facilitators, such as Interim University President Castell V. Bryant, who has led past workshops,” Watson said.

Watson also said attorneys will come and read aloud anti-hazing laws. Discussions within the seminar included the banning of organizations in which any allegation is made against.

“Anti-hazing has always been a statute at Florida A&M University. All that has changed is the punishment,” said Antonea Roe, assistant general counsel. “Whereas of July 2005, it is considered a felony or misdemeanor if anyone disobeys this order.”

FAMU has a hazing history, and some of the incidents that have occurred are relatively recent. In the April 12 issue of the Famuan, there was an incident that occurred with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. where five students were charged with the hazing of one of their pledges. The student was allegedly beaten with canes which resulted in serious injuries while pledging.

In the Nov. 5, 2004, issue, written by the editorial board, information about a 2001 hazing incident was revealed. It explained how a former band member won over $1 million in a civil battery lawsuit.

He was repeatedly beaten with a paddleboard and was also hospitalized for serious injuries.

Some students said the workshop is something they should have to do if they want to be a part of a campus organization.

Apolonia Villanueva, 19, a sophomore social work student from Tampa and president of the Trio Scholars Association, explained that the workshop is a simple requirement all organizations must go through unless they want to be hindered.

“It is just something that goes along with filling out the application,” Villanueva said.

FAMU-regulation, part five in section 6c3-2.028 titled Anti-hazing states, “All existing university sanctioned organizations are required to amend their existing bylaws to include an anti-hazing section, and all future university sanctioned organizations must include the same in their bylaws.”