September 4, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida A&M University (FAMU) Interim President Larry Robinson moved swiftly today ordering the immediate suspension of the Torque Dance Team following an alleged off-campus hazing incident. FAMU received an anonymous report today that the alleged incident occurred during the Labor Day weekend.
According to the Office of Student Activities, the organization was inactive since December 2011 due to the absence of an advisor.
The University has officially launched an investigation based on the anonymous report made by a parent to the university at 1:45 pm today. Robinson said the group is suspended until further notice, pending an investigation. Robinson said the campus police chief, dean of students and director of student activities have all been notified of the alleged incident.
“The University takes very seriously any allegation of hazing and has moved quickly to shut the organization down pending the outcome of an investigation,” said Robinson. “We have zero tolerance for hazing. 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.”
Earlier this year, FAMU suspended new membership intake for all clubs and organizations and implemented more strict procedures as a result of the death of Robert Champion.
Among the revised and new procedures to the intake process are a mandatory “Rattlers First” Membership Orientation, conflict resolution, new member rights and responsibilities, and student organization recertification provided by the Office of Student Activities for current and new members throughout the year. These workshops will address topics such as anti-hazing, community service, time management and professional development. Each potential member of the club or organization must attend these workshops to be considered for membership.
The first meeting to inform student clubs and organizations of the new intake procedures is scheduled to take place today at 6 p.m. These meetings were scheduled prior to the report of alleged hazing.