Following the death of Robert Champion, the Florida A&M University Drum Major who died Nov. 19, the religious community of Tallahassee, Fla. has called for community-wide prayer followed by deliberate action against hazing at HBCUs, according to a statement released this week.
The clergy is not only calling for an end to hazing, but has also formed a task force with presidents of historically Black colleges and universities to deal with the issue of hazing through educational workshops during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebration in 2012.
“We all grieve and are saddened by the untimely death of this drum major. Also, we will pray to God to strengthen and help the Florida A&M University (FAMU) administration and this community, to seek God’s guidance and wisdom in developing policies and programs to truly and totally eradicate hazing from the culture. Hazing is never acceptable; hazing is illegal, immoral, and irresponsible,” said Dr. R.B. Holmes, pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, in a statement.
Hazing, the practice of physical, emotional and/or psychological abuse is most often attributed to fraternities, sororities and team sports. It is illegal in many instances, but remains an ingrained culture on some college campuses. Parents of the multi-award-winning FAMU Band members say students have recently complained about the behavior.
The death of Champion has renewed national attention to the possibility that the activity may be more prevalent than the general public knows. Holmes says the community’s goal must remain focused on healing; then educating about the wrongs of the abuse on campuses across the nation.
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SOURCE: The Seattle Medium
Hazel Trice Edney