DSU: "Student Safety A Priority" After Band Hazing Allegations - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

DSU: "Student Safety A Priority" After Band Hazing Allegations

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DOVER, Del. - The Delaware State University's band is well-known throughout the campus.

According to Bill Anderson, a senior, "everybody can hear them" no matter where they practice.

But after hazing allegations surfaced, it may be quite some time before the band marches on again. On Thursday, the university suspended nearly 150 musicians from performing for the rest of the semester, including the last home football game this season on November 23rd, after "multiple sources" reportedly made claims that hazing happened.

Carlos Holmes, a spokesperson for the university, says the suspension also bars members from performing at December commencement, but students will still continue taking music classes for credit. 

"The safety of our students is a paramount priority for this institution and hazing is not a safe activity," said Holmes.

WMDT found those regulations in the university's band handbook, where it states in part that "[hazing] will not be tolerated and will result in immediate expulsion from all components of the Band Program."

But Holmes says it's too early to say what would happen to the band if the claims were found true.

"It's premature to talk about whether there's anything criminal there," said Holmes. "What we do know is that we've had some allegations of hazing and we have some very clear cut regulation concerning that."

A decision for band activities during 2014 spring semester won't be made until after the investigation.
"It's unfortunate, especially what happened in Florida," said Anderson.

Kelsey Faux-Dugan, a sophomore at Delaware State University, told WMDT it was "a shock" to her because the university is so small.

"Why does it have to be taken to that level?" asked Faux-Dugan. "I don't like the fact that it's happening on our campus."

"It's kind of embarrassing, because that's our band. It's somebody that represents us on the field," Aeisha Bray, a freshman said. "I'm kind of disappointed."

"We can't wait until we have an injured student, a seriously injured, a fatality, before we act," said Holmes. "We have to act right now."

While on campus, WMDT asked current and former band members how they felt about the suspensions, but multiple people said it wasn't appropriate to comment at this time. As far as the allegations, Holmes wouldn't go into any details about what may have happened or how many members were allegedly involved.

Holmes also said there are no plans at this time for the university to launch an anti-hazing effort, saying it's still too early into the investigation.

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