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NCCU reviews hazing charges
Campus police launch probe, 36 band members suspended
 
Published Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:38 am
by Michael Biesecker, The Associated Press

RALEIGH – N.C. Central University administrators have asked campus police to review hazing allegations involving members of the school’s revered drum line.


Vice chancellor for student affairs Kevin Rome said Friday that the university’s internal police department is investigating whether the alleged conduct violated state law. Academic officials at the historically black college located in Durham are conducting a separate probe into possible violations of the student code of conduct, which bars hazing.


“The safety and security of our students is of our highest importance so we will take whatever steps necessary to protect our students,” Rome said. “From what we know now it appears to be an isolated incident, so at this point we are just investigating the drum line.”


Officials announced Sept. 13 that all 36 members of the drum line, who are part of the Marching Sound Machine band, have been suspended from performing during the Eagles’ Saturday football game against cross-town rival Duke. The rest of the 200-member marching band performed.


Rome said he hopes to resolve the student conduct investigation sometime this week, though the police review could take longer.
Rome and other officials would not go into details about the nature of the accusations or say how many students may have been involved. A request for comment about the allegations from Chancellor Charles L. Becton was declined.


N.C. Central formed a task force to review its guidelines on hazing last year, developing a zero-tolerance policy aimed at curbing student abuse.


Florida A&M University’s famed Marching 100 band was suspended following the death of a drum major who went through a hazing ritual on a bus last November.


FAMU drum major Robert Champion died in November after being beaten by fellow band members during hazing aboard a bus after a football game. Twelve band members face felony hazing charges, while two others face misdemeanor counts. They have pleaded not guilty. A lawsuit filed by Champion’s parents claims FAMU officials didn’t take enough action to stop hazing.


The resulting scandal triggered the July resignation of FAMU president James Ammons, who previously served as chancellor at N.C. Central.


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