Anti-hazing town hall meeting to unite campus


An anti-hazing town hall meeting will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Alfred L. Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.

“We want students to leave the town hall meeting with a knowledge of what hazing is, impact of hazing on the victim, personal responsibility individuals have to stop hazing, the importance of dignity and respect in everyday interactions and alternative bonding practices to create brotherhood and sisterhood among members of organizations,” said Sharon Saunders, chief communications officer. “Our goal through this forum is to bring the campus together in an attempt to unite everyone to fight hazing.”

The town hall meeting will include an active question and answer segment.  Audience attendees will be able to tweet in questions with the hashtag #FAMUtownhall.  In addition to the tweeting, electronic polling will be available.  A webcast will allow viewing by those unable to attend.

 Several expert panelists will be speaking at this meeting. Included are Naim Akbar, a clinical psychologist; Elizabeth Allan, an associate professor of higher educational leadership at the University of Maine; attorney Rasheed-Ali Cromwell, an associate for the SG Consulting Group; Victor Gaines, the president of the Marching “100” Band Association Inc., former trumpet instrumentalist, and head drum major of the FAMU Marching “100” band; Hank Nuwer, a hazing researcher and author of four books on hazing; Marissa West, SGA student body president; and James Bland, former FAMU Student Government Association vice president and co-president of Hometeam Entertainment.

 “I would be one of the panelists on Thursday who will be discussing some of the possible psychological determinants for why African-Americans in particular engage in hazing both as perpetrators and victims,” Akbar said.

At Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting Interim President Larry Robinson mentioned the NCAA-type rules that are placed on the music department, as well as new academic and enrollment requirements.

“We’re going to do a little more than just talking heads,” Robinson said. “It’s going to be more interactive. There are going to be people tweeting and interactive responses to questions.”

The town hall meeting is the first of many events, which attempt to reach out to the student body to put an end to hazing.