Seven-year suspension served


In Scripture it signifies completion.

And at noon on Saturday, the seventh day of the month, a seven-year suspension will officially be complete as 25 students in crimson and cream reveal their identities.

Although the suspension was lifted in January, the new faces of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. will officially return to campus this weekend with their probate.

The organization was immediately suspended in 2006 after hazing allegations arose involving pledge Marcus Jones, a former Florida A&M student from Decatur, Ga.

Five defendants were charged in what became the first major hazing-related court case in Florida since the state made hazing a third-degree felony when it “results in serious bodily injury or death of such other person.”

And for Jones, who testified that he was struck with wooden canes as part of his initiation into the chapter, his ruptured eardrum, stitched buttocks and blood-soaked jeans fit the description.

So for seven years, the chapter was nonexistent at FAMU.

“It was a sad time,” said Carl Goodman, a spring 1985 initiate who was named adviser of the Alpha Xi chapter in August.

However, FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson said he thinks the absence will help everybody “better appreciate the fact that you are here now and the opportunities that you have to set an example and preserve this opportunity for future Rattlers.”

Robinson said he believes the university now has an environment where all clubs and organizations can prosper.

“We are proud of all of our organizations,” Robinson said. “We see this as an opportunity for one more to join back into the fold to be a productive member of the FAMU community.”

Goodman agreed, adding that hazing “definitely” will not be an issue under his leadership, which is something Bryan Smith said he is hoping for.

“It’s a lofty goal,” said Smith, special assistant to the president for anti-hazing. “It’s something that we want to strive for, for all our organizations. That’s our goal: to try to fully eradicate hazing.”

Goodman has some goals of his own.

“One of my primary goals really is making sure that they’re doing the right thing in all areas,” he said. “That’s giving back to the community, making sure that academically the average GPA is at least a 3.2 or above.”

Goodman said the pledges are eager to restore the name of Kappa Alpha Psi, and one of his immediate goals to win Chapter of the Year, both in the Southern Province and nationally, is very much so within reach.

“We have identified some outstanding young men who have an exceptional record in terms of academics,” Goodman said. “We feel that the amount of talent and the skills that they have, bringing those 25 guys together should make for such an awesome display of a chapter.”