Following the death of drum major Robert Champion, additional reports and incidents of hazing by FAMU band members have been reported. The Florida A & M Marching 100 is well known for its performances and style. Unfortunately, the FAMU Marching Band is now getting notoriety for hazing. The Tallahassee Police Department is investigating a report of battery on Bria Shante Hunter – an 18 year old student. It was reported by Atlanta’s WXIA-TV that Bria had suffered a fractured thigh bone and an injured knee. See Tallahassee Florida Police Investigate Another Case of Hazing.
Membership on teams and organizations like bands, football teams, clubs, and fraternities have formal requirements like grades, background checks, etc. . . There are also “informal” requirements that are built on tradition. These “informal” requirements often times come in the form of ritualistic and systematic acts of hazing. Whether the acts of hazing come in the form of humiliation, binge drinking, physical abuse, isolation or anything else – hazing can be and is harmful to the victim. Just because something is a “tradition” of sorts does not make it right. With respect to the FAMU Marching 100, it will be interesting to see the reports of hazing that come to light in the wake of the death of Robert Champion. Policies against hazing are one thing; however, policies without consistent enforcement and oversight are worthless.