In the News: A Trustee’s Hypocrisy, Band Arrests

December 13, 2011

With some of the recent posts, we’ve purposely tried to be very solution-oriented regarding hazing. However, it must also be said, we’re still in a phase where a lot of incremental events are breaking around FAMU that just aren’t very pleasant to deal with. We can’t ignore those.

Two such headlines this morning:

•The blog Rattler Nation points out that FAMU trustee Torey Alston was accused in a St. Petersburg Times story in 2007 of going easy on hazing within the university’s Kappa Alpha Psi chapter during his days as president of it.

According to the Times, Alston said during his student days, when confronted by a pledge with a complaint of hazing: “We all went through it. It’s just a process.”

As it happens, Alston was also the trustee who introduced an ultimately successful motion last week to reprimand President Ammons rather than put him on administrative leave over his handling of hazing. In other words, Alston recommended the soft-pedal approach.

See the problem here?

Outrageous stories like this illustrate why we’re taking the approach that we are with this blog, encouraging the whole Rattler community, including alumni, to please come clean about your firsthand experiences with hazing. Forums and stern talkings-to of present-day students alone will not solve it, since hazing is an intergenerational virus amongst us.

The administration, trustees, faculty, and staff of FAMU are (for now) rife with alums who participated in various hazing orgs. Alston isn’t the only one. Not by a mile. It makes zero sense for these people or any other alum who wants to help resolve the hazing crisis to not start out by saying honestly: “I was/was not hazed while joining my favorite student org. If so, here’s what I saw. Here’s what I did or didn’t do about it. Here’s what I think we could do better now.” That’s crucial context for everything else we do now. Otherwise, our actions won’t have credibility and, as a result, they won’t work.

•Still no arrests in the Robert Champion case, but police have arrested three Marching 100 members in connection with the alleged beating of their colleague Bria Hunter, who came forward prior to the Florida Classic.

This story illustrates one of the main dangers of hazing within the band in particular: It’s a co-ed group. That means, unlike with hazing in a frat or sorority, you can have men hitting women.

Not that any form of violent hazing is ever acceptable, of course. But given the general difference in size and strength, you’re getting into really dangerous territory in terms of injuries once men start hitting women as Bria Hunter alleges.

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5 Responses to “In the News: A Trustee’s Hypocrisy, Band Arrests”

  1. Bianca Says:

    Alston did not recommend that motion….go back and get the transcripts…he introduced the motion to have the president immediately terminated.

  2. Bianca Says:

    Let me be clear…Alston recommended that the president be terminated…someone else introduced the idea that a reprimand be put in place as opposed to termination.

  3. Peter McKay Says:

    Do you have a link to the transcript? If so, please pass along, since I don’t see one on Google yet. I would be curious to look.

    In the meantime, multiple reporters and bloggers who were there are reporting that Alston pushed for the reprimand. Rattler Nation blogs anonymously, but I know who the person is. The Democrat also reported the same thing at link below:

    http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20111209/NEWS01/112090329/FAMU-Board-reprimands-Ammons-hazing-case

  4. Peter McKay Says:

    FWIW: Democrat also reports that dissenting votes in final 8-5 decision to reprimand were Montgomery, Langston, Love, Reed, and Turnbull. Ergo, Alston voted in favor.


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