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Students say no to hazing

admin | 12/7/2011, 7:30 a.m.

Four students connected with misconduct expelled

On Monday, Dec. 5th, the Student Government Association (SGA) of Florida A&M University (FAMU), hosted a mandatory forum about the Universities anti-hazing policy. The forum was held in light of the tragic death of Robert Champion, 26, a member of FAMU's marching band that died on Nov. 19th after an alleged hazing incident. "This mandatory forum was a student-led stance against hazing," said Breyon Love, 21, president of FAMU's SGA. "The forum included a charge from me followed by the signing of an anti-hazing agreement by students." Representatives from more than 150 organizations and clubs on FAMUs campus and other students at the University participated in the forum. "I expect to see a culture shift against hazing from this point forward," Love said. He also added that multiple mandatory anti-hazing sessions are held each semester, but this was the first of many student-led initiatives to be held in efforts to curtail hazing. Stephanie Walker, 20, a third-year criminal justice student from Miami who attended the forum said she has high hopes of the hazing culture finally coming to an end. "This really has to end," she said. "Someone has died and if people don't think that can happen again they are sadly mistaken. It has happened in other places before and if we all don't get on one accord to stop hazing someone else could potentially lose their life too." Jasmine Peters, 19, a second-year education student said she believes that there will be a change. "I know that a lot of students are changing their views on hazing,"she said. "Back in the day I know that a lot of our parents may have gone through it [hazing] but that doesn't mean that we have to continue the vicious cycle." Students connected with hazing dismissed As a result of the death of Champion who was one of the band's drum majors, four students have been dismissed from the university. According to a report on the school's student-run newspaper website, thefamuanonline.com, head Drum Major Jonathan Boyce, a 24-year-old senior from Marietta (GA), along with drum majors Shawn Turner, 25, from Atlanta and Rikki Willis, 23, from Miami, were all dismissed by the University last week. The name of the last student is still unknown. University spokeswoman Sharon Saunders said she could neither confirm nor deny the identities of those students who had been expelled due to legal precedence. By Randy Gricergrice@miamitimesonline.com