Just days after 12 former FAMU students were charged with manslaughter for the hazing death of Robert Champion, Jr., the university released a press release regarding the suspension of the Beta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and several of its members. FAMU stated the chapter is on “inactive status” until an investigation is completed in reference to an alleged hazing report. The incident was reported on the university’s anti-hazing website. This is the same chapter that was put on inactive status last month.
“We believe that all of the measures that we have put in place have increased overall campus awareness of hazing,” said Bryan Smith, assistant to the president for anti-hazing. “We will investigate this complaint as with any that is brought to our attention. Once this investigation is completed, the inactive status may be lifted or if warranted, additional sanctions may incur.” The school has received a plethora of bad press since the death of Champion. FAMU has made sweeping changes to enhance its efforts to promote a zero tolerance for hazing. One of those changes was the position of special assistant to the president for anti-hazing, who is responsible for tracking all complaints and ensure the complaints are fully investigated and resolved.
The university has also added two new positions in the Division of Student Affairs – a director of judicial affairs and a coordinator of judicial affairs – to provide additional support and oversight. A new anti-hazing website, which was used to report this incident, also serves as a resource for information and an avenue for students to seek help and report hazing. FAMU’s interim president, Dr. Larry Robinson, released a statement about the incident: “This is a very unfortunate situation. We applaud and continue to encourage those students who are coming forward to report incidents of hazing. We remain vigilant in our efforts to make it clear that hazing is a serious issue and we have a zero tolerance policy toward it.”