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October 10, 2012 11:00 AM Florida A&M’s Latest Problem

By Daniel Luzer

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Earlier in the year politicians and administrators began to crack down on Florida A&M University after a drummer in the school’s renowned marching band died last year on a bus. The student suffered internal bleeding apparently caused by repeated beatings. The marching band has long been a source of pride for Florida A&M, a historically black school in Tallahassee. Now, shockingly enough, it turns out there’s another problem with the marching band; its grades.

According to an article by Denise-Marie Ordway in the Orlando Sentinel:

Nearly 50 members of Florida A&M University’s famed marching band had GPAs last fall that were below a 2.0 — the minimum grade-point average required to participate in student organizations on campus.
Twelve had cumulative grade-point averages of 1.0 or below, with some as low as a 0.14.

University policy requires students to have a G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher to be involved in student activities.

Of the 230 band members whose grades were released to the Sentinel, the average G.P.A. was 2.48, normally the sort of number that would inspire a “maybe you should think about quitting the band and concentrating on your studies, kid” discussion.

Then again, the band, while celebrated at the school, isn’t exactly rigorous about policing members’ academic progress. During the hazing scandal the Sentinel revealed that 100 of the 350 members of the band last fall weren’t even enrolled in Tallahassee colleges. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer