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FAMU Band Returns to the Field Sept. 1

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida A&M University (FAMU) director of marching and pep bands Sylvester Young announced today that the Marching “100” will perform during the halftime show at the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney in Orlando Sept. 1, 2013 and at other games during the football season.

According to Young, the band will have fewer members than in the past, as a result of the new, more rigorous guidelines for participation. He also reinforced that the group will be equally dynamic and fully represent the great tradition of the Marching “100.”

“We have made a thorough assessment of the students who have auditioned for the band and firmly believe that we are ready to return and positively represent Florida A&M University and its proud students, faculty, alumni and community," added Young, director of marching and pep bands. “We embark on this season reflective of the circumstances that led to the band’s suspension and are optimistic that this is a new day for the band and the university. Our goal is to support the mission of the university and use this program to recruit top scholars and elevate the stature of the university.”

In June, FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson announced that he would lift the suspension, but would leave it up to Young to determine when the band was ready to perform. Young’s announcement today comes 21 months after the band was suspended as a result of a hazing incident in Orlando.

“We fully support Dr. Young’s decision,” said Robinson. “As the Marching “100” returns to the field, we believe that it will be a model of excellence for other bands in the country as we focus on its founding principles of character, academics, leadership, marching and service.”

Since the Orlando incident, the university has? created a comprehensive anti-hazing plan in which it has:

  • Revised the BOT Anti-Hazing policy;
  • Revised the Student Code of Conduct procedures;
  • Implemented enhanced procedures for reporting and investigating hazing allegations;
  • Launched a new anti-hazing website, StopHazingatFAMU.com;
  • Awarded funding to FAMU faculty and students for research on hazing prevention;
  • Created two unique positions to provide a comprehensive approach to implement the anti-hazing initiatives, hired a special assistant to the President for anti-hazing, and a music compliance officer — to make sure that all music department ensembles including the band meet all standards to be eligible to perform.
  • Scheduled campus training and forums and anti-hazing sessions.
  • Enhanced the membership intake process for clubs and organizations; and
  • Revised the organizational structure of the Department of Music and hired a new Director of Marching and Pep Bands.

In addition to the steps taken in regards to hazing, in May of this year, the university also launched an anti-hazing tour conceived by band students featuring the Music Department ensembles. This group reached out to students in three counties in South Florida.
The new criteria being used to determine who can participate in the Marching Band ensemble is as follows:

  • Must have a 2.0 or better cumulative G.P.A.
  • Must have earned 24 cumulative credit hours during the last academic year (i.e., Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Summer 2013)
  • Based on the Admit Term, the student should have earned the following minimum cumulative credit hours at the end of each academic year:
  • Fall 2012 24 credit hours
  • Fall 2011 48 credit hours
  • Fall 2010 72 credit hours
  • Fall 2009 96 credit hours

Students are only allowed to participate in the Marching Band ensemble for four Fall semesters.

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