Sunday, June 24, 2018

FAMU adopts rule to report hazing

TALLAHASSEE AP — Still reeling from the death of a Marching 100 drum major more than four months ago, Florida A&M University is pushing ahead with efforts that officials contend will finally end hazing at the college.

One such move came Thursday when university trustees adopted a new regulation requiring those attending, visiting or working at the school to tell police within 24 hours about any hazing incidents.

The rule would not only apply to students or faculty members, but visitors, and even those vendors that do business with the university. FAMU's general counsel said that vendors could find themselves losing out on future contracts if it turns out their employees ignored evidence of hazing. Students and faculty or professors could both face sanctions under the new regulation, including the possibility in extreme cases of being expelled or fired.

The regulation is set to take effect later this year.

FAMU president James Ammons called it just one of a series of aggressive steps the university has taken in the wake of the death of Robert Champion, which has been called a homicide by police. No arrests have been made, though authorities turned over the results of their investigation last month to the state attorney's office.

The new rules come just one week after two professors were put on paid administrative leave following allegations that they were present while band fraternity pledges were hazed back in 2010. Tallahassee police said they could not pursue the case — which they did not learn about until earlier this year — because the incident may have occurred outside the two-year statute of limitations.

The new regulation is not retroactive and would not apply to any previous incident.

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