Friday, September 28, 2012

Why is hazing an important ritual among college groups and fraternities? These kids are willfully getting down on their knees and having groups of members take turns hitting their asses as hard as they can about 30 times each. Now students are dying from their injuries and new laws have been imposed so that now college kids are in jail and college kids are dead from this stupid act of violence that is now a tradition at colleges. It is a long standing ritualizing tradition of harshness and often brutal act of violence called hazing.
At Florida’s A & M University last fall death became a reality from hazing. The marching band at this University is often called the best band in the land. The 100 member band is known to be the first band to break with just traditional moving patterns on the field while playing to making their performances very exciting with new contemporary music and lots of dance moves while marching. They marched at the Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies in Washington and performed with Prince at the Super Bowl.
At the University people don’t come to see the football game they come to see the band perform. Robert Champion is dead and wasn’t just a member of a band he was a drum major. Hazing at this college was a way to exist and had nothing to do with drugs or booze. Hazing was a ritual that made you somehow respected by the other members of the band so, you had to go through it. If you refuse to be hazed then you are isolated and alienated by the other band members that will even try to make you quit the band.
Of course hazing is forbidden by the school but it happens anyway. Robert died on a bus where everyone on that bus beat him to death. It was ruled as a homicide the result of blunt force trauma to the body. It seems to happen at black college bands like Florida Southern University. Two years ago it happened but now it is happening everywhere. Other band members look forward to the hazing nights. So, it has to stop.
The intervention of the criminal justice system has to happen. Baton Rouge District Attorney Steve Danielson prosecuted students who were hazing and they all pleaded no contest to second degree felony battery. It isn’t just men that endured the beatings. Regina Moore wanted to play flute in Alabama A&M Show band of the South and also was subjected to hazing. In that case the school found out about the ritual and threw the entire flute section out of the school.
Dr. Ricky Jones a professor at the University of Louisville has been researching violent activity in black college groups for over a decade. He has observed that the hazing is worse in the bands at historically black colleges and universities than other colleges. Last May prosecutors filed felony hazing charges against 11 members of the Florida A&M band in the death of Robert Champion.
Since Robert Champion’s death, Florida A & M University’s band has been suspended indefinitely and the president has resigned. Why did it take a death for A & M to get serious about hazing? This University like many other historically black colleges have a reputation of violence in the band and a history for not stopping it; perhaps because these popular big time bands continue to bring in big time money for the school.
In the past 10 years there has been at least a dozen arrests and multiple hospital visits from hazing’s In 2004 the college settled a case where a clarinet player was beaten 300 times . A saxophone player was charged with three counts of aggravated battery and that was 8 years ago. In 2006 four members of the band was investigated by the United Stare’s Attorney’s office. In 2008 a female band member had cuts to her face, urinating blood and needed a hospital stay. Obviously, the President of the college has not responded in the past and now death has occured there.
Penn State brought in lots of football money and they ignored the pedophile nightmare this college brought in lots of entertainment money from the band and ignored the hazing. These are stories of embarrassment and greed. The administrations of these colleges must explain as to why they didn’t do anything to stop the abuse. Now there are different statues to the law in Florida that define hazing as different from assault.

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