TALLAHASSEE, Fla. September 5, 2012 (AP)
Florida A&M University, still reeling from the hazing-related death of a marching band drum major 10 months ago, on Tuesday suspended its Torque Dance Team following allegations of an off-campus hazing incident.
Interim President Larry Robinson said the university received an anonymous report from a parent Tuesday afternoon about an alleged incident that occurred over the Labor Day weekend.
“The University takes very seriously any allegation of hazing and has moved quickly to shut the organization down pending the outcome of an investigation,” Robinson said in a news release. “We have zero tolerance for hazing. It’s deplorable and will not be tolerated. It is unconscionable that a student organization would participate in any hazing activity considering what has transpired in the past year.”
The campus police chief, dean of students and director of student activities were all notified of the allegations. Robinson said they’ve launched an investigation, but details about what may have happened weren’t released.
According to university records, the dance team had already been inactive since December 2011 because it didn’t have an adviser.
FAMU has cracked down on hazing since the death last November of drum major Robert Champion, who died after being beaten by fellow band members during a hazing ritual aboard a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel following a football game. The Marching 100 was later suspended, meaning the band won’t be playing at this season’s football games.
Twelve people face felony hazing charges, while two others face misdemeanor counts. They have pleaded not guilty.
Also following Champion’s death, FAMU suspended new membership intake for all clubs and organizations and implemented more strict procedures. That recruitment ban is set to be lifted this month.