Florida A&M Bans Student Group for Hazing

ABC News

Florida A&M University has booted another student group from campus amid the latest hazing allegations that continue to plague the school.

Larry Robinson, FAMU interim president, announced Tuesday the suspension of an all-female Torque Dance Team after he says the school received a tip from a parent that the group was reportedly forcing some members to drink heavy amounts of alcohol and run up hills.

"We have zero tolerance for hazing," said Robinson. "It's deplorable and will not be tolerated. It is unconscionable that a student organization would participate in any hazing activity considering what has transpired in the past year."

FAMU is still reeling from the death of 26-year-old Robert Champion, a member of the school's famed marching band. He was killed in November 2011 during a violent hazing ritual where he had to walk from the front to the back of the bus while allegedly being pummeled by fellow band members.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Champion decided to subject himself to hazing after months of debate with fellow drum major Keon Hollis. In a three-page written statement to the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office, Hollis said both men decided to do it to keep the respect of their fellow and often younger band mates during the football season after they were both openly challenged.

Hollis said that Champion withstood one round of beatings but was dragged from the back of the bus to the front and forced to start over at one point before a few drum majors began helping him.

Champion was rushed to the hospital and died as Hollis says he returned to his hotel room after vomiting repeatedly in the parking lot outside of the bus following the beatings.

His death exposed the ritual which had festered within the organization for years. It also led to the arrest of 14 students, 12 of whom face felony hazing charges. The band director and the former president of FAMU resigned after the scandal.

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