Tallahassee, FL (written by Doug Blackburn/Tallahassee Democrat)
A female dance club at Florida A&M was suspended indefinitely Tuesday hours after university officials were notified of an alleged hazing incident during the Labor Day weekend.
FAMU, which has suspended its famed Marching 100 band this school year following the November 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion, has stressed a zero-tolerance approach to hazing.
Larry Robinson, FAMU’s interim president, said a parent of one of the students on the dance club emailed university officials Tuesday afternoon about an alleged hazing incident during the previous three days.
It involved alcohol consumption and running up hills, Robinson said.
FAMU police and possibly other law-enforcement agencies will be investigating the allegation, which occurred off-campus, Robinson said.
“This is very disappointing,” Robinson said Tuesday evening in between scheduled appearances before student organizations on FAMU’s campus, which included a reiteration of the university’s rigorous approach to stamping out the decades-old culture of hazing.
The dance club, Torque Dance Team, is one of several female dance clubs affiliated with FAMU.
It has been inactive since December 2011 because it did not have a faculty adviser, Robinson said.
“It does appear that this is a group that is not getting the message,” Robinson said. “I am re-stating the message to those who are coming to these sessions tonight. We want to help bring home the point that we are very serious that there is nothing about this that is necessary to be part of an organization at Florida A&M.”
Robinson added that he was glad to hear from a parent after their child had been involved in a possible hazing incident with a group associated with Florida A&M.
“We know this is not something we can wipe out overnight,” Robinson said.