TALLAHASSEE — FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson announced at a press conference today that he has lifted the suspension on the Marching “100,” highlighting the sweeping changes the university has implemented during the past year and a half to address hazing.
“When considering all of the measures we have put in place, I believe this constitutes us having the right conditions,” said Robinson in a statement. “Our newly appointed Director of Marching and Pep Bands, Dr. Sylvester Young, will decide when the band is ready for public performances.”
Robinson added: “We have created a comprehensive anti-hazing plan in which we revised the BOT Anti-Hazing policy; revised the Student Code of Conduct procedures; implemented enhanced procedures for reporting and investigating hazing allegations; launched a new anti-hazing website, StopHazingFAMU.com; awarded funding to FAMU faculty and students for research on hazing prevention; created two unique positions to provide a comprehensive approach to implement the anti-hazing initiatives, hired a special assistant to the president for anti-hazing, and a music compliance officer — to make sure that all music department ensembles including the band meet all standards to be eligible to perform; scheduled campus training and forums and anti-hazing sessions; enhanced the membership intake process for clubs and organizations; revised the organizational structure of the Department of Music and hired a new director of Marching and Pep Bands.
“As a result of these actions, it helped us respond more swiftly and decisively to deal with allegations of hazing in any university groups, emphasizing our zero tolerance approach to hazing,” said Robinson.
In May of this year, the university launched an anti-hazing tour conceived by our students featuring the Music Department ensembles, reaching out to students in three counties in South Florida.
According to Sylvester Young, the director of Marching and Pep Bands, he is continuing his assessment of the band. Since his appointment in May, Young has been communicating with the university in scheduled sessions regarding the right conditions needed for the return of the Marching “100.” He officially reported to work June 14.
“We are looking at the faculty who will be involved in the band under the new structure, the maximum and minimum sizes of musical units needed for standard of excellence we’ve grown accustom to. We are also assessing equipment, uniforms, pre-drill activities and other related processes to determine our readiness,” said Young. “As soon as the assessment is completed, we will announce when the first public performance is scheduled.”
Young said that he is honored to be back at FAMU and is excited about preparing the band for its first performance.