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FAMU Back on the Field

June 27th, 2013 by Mike Vasilinda

FAMU Band Reinstated

Florida A & M Universities Marching Band will be back on the field this fall. Interim President Larry Robinson today lifted the suspension that was imposed after the hazing death of a drum major in 2011. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, school officials say there is no guarantee that hazing has been totally eradicated.

The Florida A&M Marching 100 band was suspended following the hazing death of Drum Major Robert Champion. Since the November 2011 tragedy, an anti hazing czar hired, there are also nearly a dozen new procedures to cope with hazing.

“When considering all of the measures we have put in place, I believe that this constitutes, what I’ve been saying for the last several months, the right conditions to lift the suspension of the Marching 100” says Interim President Larry Robinson.

The new band director was asked if hazing were still a threat “I’m thinking, in time, the culture of the band will change” says Dr. Sylvester Young.

Students cheered the news and the band director posed for pictures with excited band members. “We have a different mindset, you know the band is going mentally and maturely also”  says Miami Tuba Player Lance Roberts. Roberts marched with the band one year before it was suspended.

Incoming freshmen Destni Hamilton and Aleya Hamilton say they chose FAMU for the historically black college experience.

“You always wanted to come to HBCU, and so I didn’t really care what was going on, ’cause I’m not my school, I’m me” says the Jacksonville Freshman

Now they say having the band will only make their college stay more vivid.

“It’s going to bring liveliness to the school, more spirit, hopefully more people start getting involved around campus, you know, so we are really excited. Out freshmen year will be amazing” says Orlando Freshman Aleya Bradley.

Not having the band has financial consequences for the university, fewer people in the seats here and in away games.

The band director hopes to be on the field at the first football game, September first but that depends on how many students show up and how ready they are to March and play.

FAMU remain embroiled in litigation with the drum majors family. They have asked the suit be dismissed because Champion consented to the hazing. The family is seeking an unspecified amount of money.

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