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Dover Post
  • Delaware State University investigates alleged hazing within band program

  • Delaware State University recently launched an investigation into alleged hazing activity within the university’s band program after several sources came forward and reported the alleged activity to university officials.
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  • Delaware State University recently launched an investigation into alleged hazing activity within the university’s band program after several sources came forward and reported the alleged activity to university officials.
    According to Delaware State University spokesman Carlos Holmes, the reports were made to the university’s Director of Bands Randolph J. Johnson, who then made the university’s administration aware of the allegations.
    “We have not gotten beyond the allegation stage. We have some allegations. We started a preliminary investigation,” Holmes said. “What we found out during that preliminary investigation has dictated that we continue that investigation and in the process suspend the band activities.”
    All of the university’s band programs are currently under investigation, including the DSU Approaching Storm Marching Band, DSU Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, Pep Bands and the flag team and dancers that support the marching band. Band members were informed on Thursday that all band activities, outside of academic music classes, have been suspended for the remainder of the semester, Holmes said.
    If the investigation continues on into the spring, the university will wait until it is complete and findings have been made before a determination is made in regards to the bands’ spring performances, Holmes said.
    The investigation is being led by the DSU police department, but the Office of Student Affairs’ Student Judiciary Committee will also have a role in the process, as outlined as normal procedure in the student hand book, according to Alton Thompson, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Delaware State University.
    During the course of the investigation members of the band will be interviewed and any leads that come from those discussions will be followed up, Holmes said.
     “We are still talking to people and conducting interviews,” Holmes said. “We are trying to find out what has gone on to date. We don’t know of any injuries, serious or minor, that have taken place.”
    In the event that students are found to have engaged in hazing activities the university bands handbook dictates immediate expulsion from all forms of the band program.
    Holmes said this is the first time, to his knowledge, that there has been any reason to suspend the band.
    DSU makes it clear to students that hazing is not acceptable, Homes said. Hazing and initiation activities are outlined as forbidden in the band handbook that students are given and each year members of the band sign a document that he or she will follow all the rules set down in the band handbook.
    “Randolph Johnson constantly preaches to the kids that this kind of activity is not acceptable,” Holmes said. “It’s made very clear to the kids here.”
    Page 2 of 2 - There is also a provision within the scholarship material for band students that students are required to sign that states he or she will abide by the band handbook’s rules and the prohibition against hazing is specifically spelled out, Holmes said.
    “This is not a new stand that the university is taking,” Holmes said. “It’s something that is a part of our rules and regulations that hazing is not something to be allowed. It’s not something we will turn a blind eye to.
    “The university is not waiting on a student to be injured, minorly or seriously,” Holmes added. “We’re not waiting on a fatality before we take action here. We are trying to be proactive.”
    DSU student Brittney Hughes didn’t feel that hazing would really be all that big of a deal.
    “I think it’s fun in a way, unless someone gets hurt or it’s dangerous,” Hughes said. “I think it’s fun just having to prove yourself to the group or organization. If you prove yourself then it shows you actually want to be in that group.”
    Jenna Jones, a senior at DSU, said she would like to think that the allegations against the band are not true and was disappointed by their suspension.
    “I really like the band. It’s sad that they’re not going to be able to play the last game,” Jones said. “I think it’s fair though. If you’re doing something you’re not supposed to you should be penalized. If there needed to be an investigation, there must have been something that sparked interest.”
     

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