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Family of Victim Calls Committee to Prevent Hazing a 'Stunt'

As we reported last month, the victim of a hazing death at Florida A&M University has filed a lawsuit against the school. Now, the school is apparently forming a committee to help prevent hazing, but the victim’s family is calling the move a publicity stunt.

A 26-year-old drum major died after suffering serious injury at a football game last November, and his death was ruled a homicide. Trustees at the school voted 9-1 recently to form a blue ribbon committee to decide how to stop hazing with the school’s famed marching band.

Sources say the committee is designed to investigate how other universities handle hazing problems, what best practices of the marching band should be, and ways to get students to avoid hazing.

The recent victim is not the first person to be injured in alleged hazing incidents in recent years. Other injuries among band members apparently include blood clots, a broken leg and kidney failure.

The panel also plans to dedicate a memorial to the 26-year-old victim. The family’s attorney, according to Reuters, says, “We don’t need a statue; we need change.”

The family’s representative also says the panel’s actions serve as more of a boon for public relations than any real help. He says they are “appalled” by the school’s lack of urgency in trying to help solve the hazing problem.

The one trustee who did not go for the plan is the president of the faculty senate, who views the committee’s plan as too simplistic.

Source: Reuters, “Florida college plan to stop hazing called a stunt,” Barbara Liston, Jan. 3, 2012

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