Band Members Speak Out

The Famuan received reports from at least 13 present band members who witnessed Robert Champion being forced onto Bus C, a bus with a reputation for hazing.

The band members were interviewed independently. They asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. The Famuan decided to honor that request.

The 13 sources each claimed that band members from Bus C met Champion, who was assigned to another bus, when his bus arrived at the Rosen Center Hotel in Orlando, Fla., after the Florida Classic football game. The group then allegedly forced Champion onto Bus C.

On Nov. 22, four students, including head drum major Jonathan Boyce, a 24-year-old from Marietta, Ga., were notified via letter they had been dismissed by the university due to their alleged involvement in incidents surrounding Champion’s death. The confidential letter was written and signed by the Vice President of Student Affairs William Hudson Jr., Ph.D.

The letter stated that the students were “hereby dismissed for an indefinite period from Florida A&M University.” The letter also said the individuals are not allowed to enter upon the grounds of the campus.

The rationale behind the dismissal was quoted clearly in the statement. In addition to violating two codes from the Student Code of Conduct (1. Hazing (Regulations 2.012 (10) (h) and 2.028 (1-4) and 2. Conspiracy (Regulation 2.012 (10) (o)). The letter also stated, “The conduct and offenses you have engaged in are detrimental to the University and are of such a serious, heinous or repulsive nature as to adversely affect members of the University community and your suitability as a member of the academic community.”