Mark Woods is a writer with the Jacksonville Times Union. Woods wrote an excellent and right on point editorial article titled – Message to End Hazing Way Too Late. By now, it is well known at FAMU and the rest of Florida that a band member died and the death is suspected to be related to hazing. Since the death of FAMU band member – Robert Champion – other reports and incidents have come to light in the press and media. However, it appears that the existence and knowledge of hazing in the FAMU band has been well known to band members, former band members, band officials, and, yes, the administrators at FAMU. What was done to stop the hazing? What enforcement actions were taken? How were the activities of the band monitored? Was the atmosphere and environment of hazing tolerated? As pointed out so astutely by Mark Woods in his article, the band played on even though there were reports and incidents of hazing. Rules are one thing . . . . enforcement of rules is quite another . . .
Being selected to a band, fraternity, or sports team should result from hard work and dedication. Being on the team should not be preconditioned by hazing type of activities by other teammates or members. There should be a zero tolerance to hazing as this will be the only way to end years of abuse and neglect of the student / child.