To mark the start of a new school year, FAMU’s Interim President Larry Robinson, gathered the entire student body and addressed the school’s hazing problem head on.
“If in fact they do occur, I just want everyone to know our actions will be swift and decisive,” said Dr. Larry Robinson.
Robinson says the school is getting closer to hiring an anti-hazing czar, to help prevent rituals like the one last November that cost FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion his life.
The band remained suspended Friday as Robinson unveiled a new website where students can report hazing. A video on the site says hazing has no part in school activities.
“Hazing does not define brotherhood.”
It’s not just rhetoric. On Tuesday, a university dance team was suspended, just hours after reports of members forcing freshmen in the group to drink alcohol and run up a hill.
Students we spoke to were impressed with Robinson’s quick action.
“The incident that happened over the weekend with the dance team, he took care of it. He was active on that,” said FAMU Senior Martez Hurt.
“I’m just happy that somebody is saying they are going to do something and sticking to what they say,” said FAMU Sophomore Jonathan Jones.
As a result of FAMU’s hazing problems and the bad publicity that followed, fewer students have enrollment this year. Enrollment is down by about a thousand and that’s affecting the school’s bottom-line.
“We may need to prepare ourselves for possible budget reductions,” said Robinson.
While students seem pleased with the direction Robinson is taking the school, his time at the top is waning. Robinson told students, the school’s search for his replacement is nearing an end.
Robinson also reported at FAMU’s Convocation Friday, the school is still searching for a new band director, but that search in narrowing.