“Free the 100” couldn’t be more a ridiculous slogan. It suggests that the band is a victim that is being treated unfairly. But the real victim is FAMU. FAMU has been victimized by hazers and willing hazing pledges who choose to support beating rituals that they know are illegal and dangerous.
The suspension of the 100 still hasn’t convinced some students to start cooperating with criminal investigations of hazing. FAMU’s work to try and help the Tallahassee Police Department bring criminal charges against alleged hazers in the Torque dance group and the Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity went nowhere because none of the students interrogated by detectives provided any information that was sufficient to secure arrest warrants.
This simply proves that FAMU can’t afford to treat the students in campus organizations with long-running hazing problems like responsible adults. The Marching 100 used to trust its drum majors to help report hazing to university officials. But four of the ex-drum majors from 2011 face hazing charges. An investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office concluded that two other drum majors from that year, Keon Hollis and Robert Champion, “willingly participated” in hazing.
Robinson should also consider rebuilding the band with entirely new members. FAMU can still honor to scholarships of all its current music students without ever letting them back on the field.
The interim president would also be completely justified if he chose to keep the Marching 100 on the sidelines for the entire 2013 football season. If he thinks that the new band director, music compliance officer, and special assistant to the president on hazing will need more than eight months to implement the controls that are necessary to rebuild the 100 into a safe student organization, then he should give them that time.
And if the students with the “Free the 100” shirts don’t like that, then they’re free to go somewhere else for their college education.