Posts Tagged ‘campus administration’

Well, lookie here…

March 26, 2013

Great news! FAMU has implemented on its website an online form for students to anonymously report hazing incidents.

As a recent video on the university’s official YouTube channel points out, the feature is already paying dividends for the university’s new hazing czar. Just three days into his new job, he took disciplinary action against nine members of Delta Sigma Theta, which was mentioned in a submission.

As elucidating as this video from the university is, though, it does leave one major question unanswered: Where, oh where, did the university get this wonderful little anti-hazing idea?

Oh. Right.

Open Thread: Pressure On Ammons

December 16, 2011

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has made his strongest remarks yet about the future of FAMU President James Ammons, advocating that Dr. Ammons be put on leave pending investigations into hazing and possible financial mismanagement within the Marching 100. FAMU’s trustees could take action as early as Monday.

Probably the best thing we can do is open up the comments below and encourage members of the community to share your thoughts. Frankly, we’d much prefer to focus on specific solutions to the hazing problem at the root of FAMU’s woes. But a big personality-driven story like this is obviously going to dominate community discussion for the next few days, so we may as well provide the best forum possible.

A quick reminder about our comment guidelines: We’re big believers in free speech. We welcome comments from all users, regardless of their opinion on an issue. However, we do reserve the right to block or delete anything that’s threatening, profane, or personally abusive.

With that said, let’s open it up!

Livestream of FAMU Anti-Hazing Meeting

December 5, 2011

WCTV is carrying a livestream of the campus-wide meeting President Ammons has called regarding anti-hazing policies.

[UPDATE: Many good things said at this event. Let’s hope it’s the start of great improvement regarding hazing. Probably the most powerful was when President Ammons reminded students they could face criminal charges for hazing and thus it’s just not worth their future. They’re in school to have a better future. Amen.]

[UPDATE: After President Ammons was done speaking, he answered some questions from reporters, including a corresponent from the CBS Evening News. Here’s the story she filed, noting that Ammons defended the university’s past handling of hazing. He also has what could be a fateful meeting with trustees coming up.]

FAMU’s Task Force Is Shutting Down. We’re Not.

December 2, 2011

By Peter McKay | FAMU ’97 | Email

If you’re hoping for independent scrutiny of hazing abuses at FAMU, this blog and other journalistic undertakings like it may be your last hope for now. Seems President James Ammons has shuttered the inquiry he announced for awhile.

The Tallahassee Democrat’s Doug Blackburn and Jennifer Portman report:

Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons announced Thursday night that the task force he appointed last week to look into hazing within the band has been suspended pending law-enforcement investigations and a probe by the Florida Board of Governors into whether top FAMU officials took appropriate action to address reports of hazing within the band.

“Based upon input from the governor’s office and in light of the recently announced Nov. 29 investigation by the Board of Governors, I believe it will be prudent to postpone the work of the task force to allow this and other investigations to be pursued with our full cooperation and attention,” Ammons said in the one-line statement.

Also on Thursday, several members of FAMU’s Board of Trustees said they are disappointed they haven’t been able to question Ammons in the wake of the Nov. 19 suspected hazing death of Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion.

I’ve written previously on my personal blog about the task force’s apparent flaws, chiefly that it seemed from the beginning to be too narrowly focused on the band rather than the broader problem of hazing at all campus orgs. The president’s early remarks about it also didn’t dwell much on outreach to alumni, who can provide a key piece of the puzzle in figuring out how hazing is transferred from generation to generation.

Even so, one could easily envision the task force’s scope broadening over time as a policy inquiry. It’s not as obvious to me how the criminal investigations into Champion’s death, or his parents’ civil suit, might achieve similar breadth. If anything, I’d bet that those legal actions will mostly continue along the lines of sussing out a single tragic event on a specific date at one campus organization.

To really combat hazing campus-wide, you need an approach that’s a little more broad-minded, but maybe not so abstracted as a lot of the conversations I’m seeing among alumni on social media these days. That script usually goes something like this:

“Well, I’m a (fill in Greek organization or section of the 100) with a degree in (major) and … yadda yadda yadda…skipping over every detail of what it took to get into said org and how the speaker treated subsequent pledges… and I love FAMU! Strike and strike and strike again!”

Come on. The first step we need is to ask one another some very specific, telling questions: Who was hazed? Were you hazed? Did you haze afterward? In their younger days, what was the hazing experience, if any, of some of our administrators and staff who are alumni?

It only takes one person at a time, not an investigative force of any kind, to answer those sort of questions. But they can add up to a whole lot.

FAMU Site Now Has a Page For Band Updates

December 2, 2011

We just noticed that the official FAMU site recently added a dedicated Band Update page. We’re going to add a standing link to it in the lefthand column/navigation area of this site shortly so that our users have ready access to the university’s latest official take on things whenever you want.

For the moment, the band page is pretty basic, a series of links to press releases and primary government documents. Who knows, maybe FAMU’s staff of several paid tech and communications people will eventually add something akin to the online form to report hazing that we built here in a few days with literally zero budget and our webmaster more than 900 miles from Tallahassee.