Hazing Policy, Committee Revised after Meeting

The Florida A&M Board of Trustees Student Affairs Committee agreed Friday to add new language to university anti-hazing regulations.

Included are penalties for anyone who fails to report a hazing incident within 24 hours to the FAMU Department of Public Safety.

It also prohibits retaliation against anyone who comes forward to report a hazing incident. Anyone who faces retaliation of any form will have the right to file a retaliation complaint with the Division of Audit and Compliance within 24 hours of becoming aware of the act.

The previous sections of the anti-hazing guidelines specifically apply to students; however, the proposed additions apply to students, trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, members of direct organizations, vendors, guests and volunteers.

“You cannot include penalties for additional individuals in one section without revising the previous sections to include penalties for these same individuals as well,” said trustee Rufus Montgomery.

Attorney Avery McKnight will make revisions to the proposed new language regarding anti-retaliation guidelines, and the final draft will be voted on.

Following through on threats made the week before, two anti-hazing committee members resigned following members resigned following a vote that mandated them to open their meetings and allow public access to their records

Committee Chairman Stephen Craig Robinson and local psychologist Na’im Akbar stepped down following the FAMU Board of Trustees’ vote on March 30 to include the committee under the regulation of the Florida Sunshine Laws.

The committee must now conduct public meetings and make available open access to records. The group is now a “fact-finding” committee that will offer recommendations to the BOT.

“I believe that the remaining members of the committee will do the job that they are asked to do,” said Montgomery.

“We appreciate those that continue to serve and wish the best to those who do not.”

Akbar was reluctant to talk about his decision for resigning.

“I haven’t had a chance to speak to the rest of the committee members about my resignation,” said Akbar. “I don’t want misconstrued information spread. I’ll be speaking to them before explaining my reasons anywhere else.”

The committee said subjecting to the law would hinder it from producing the research FAMU wants within the time allotted by the BOT.

Before the 8-2 vote, Robinson said more than half of the experts on the committee would quit because of the reversal.

Robinson could not be reached for comment.


Montgomery called the committee’s threats childlike and that they should “go ahead and resign.” “I don’t think, as a board, we should be held hostage under the threat of resignation from anyone,” he said.