College Guide

Blog

February 01, 2012 6:49 PM When Very Bad Things Happen at Band Camp

By Daniel Luzer

In apparent reaction to the hazing scandal at Florida A&M University in the fall, the university president, James Ammons, is cracking down.

On November 19th, a drummer in the school’s renowned marching band died on a bus outside an Orlando hotel after a football game. He died of internal bleeding apparently caused by repeated beatings. Hazing was long rumored to be a feature of the marching band’s culture.

According to a Reuters article by Barbara Liston:

[The university] banned all student organizations from recruiting new members until next fall and cancelled a band camp.
The ban was set by Florida A&M University President James Ammons one day after he informed the university’s board of trustees that police were investigating another hazing incident that allegedly occurred in the spring of 2011 during an initiation into a band fraternity.
Ammons also cancelled the FAMU summer band camp in which members of the university’s celebrated “Marching 100” band help coach middle and high school band students.

A&M trustees will evaluate Ammons’s performance on February 8th.

On December 15th Florida Governor Rick Scott asked the president of the FAMU board to suspend Ammons immediately. The board president apparently refused, though the board did publicly reprimand the school’s president.

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