Local News

NCCU reinstates drum line after hazing investigation

Posted September 26, 2012 12:21 p.m. EDT
Updated September 26, 2012 6:40 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina Central University has reinstated its drum line after completing an investigation into whether members of the university marching band were involved in hazing, officials said Wednesday.

The drum line of the Marching Sound Machine Band was suspended two weeks ago while N.C. Central officials investigated the hazing allegations.

Officials didn't disclose whether any hazing occurred, saying only that some students violated the school's Student Code of Conduct.

"Any time you have hazing allegations, they are always serious, and we take them very seriously," Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Kevin Rome said. "Or, if you have violations of the Student Code of Conduct (like) in this case where we had violations of the Student Code of Conduct, we always take those issues seriously."

All 36 members of the drum line, even those who didn't violate the code of conduct, will have to attend a hazing prevention workshop and perform an extra 10 hours of community service, N.C. Central officials said. Students are required to perform 15 hours of community service each semester.

The school also will require more supervision of the drum line at practices and meetings.

The drum line members also were suspended for one game, but officials made that sanction retroactive. The students missed performing at N.C. Central's Sept. 15 game against Duke University.

Campus police are still investigating the allegations to determine whether any criminal charges are warranted. There was no word on when that probe might be finished.

N.C. Central students said they are relieved the drum line is back.

"I'm happy. You know, it's a very big thing on this campus when it comes to the football games and things," junior Harold Elmore said. "(The band) is a big part of our inspiration when it comes to the football team."

"That's like the heart of the band, and the band is the heart of Central, and when we have games and stuff, we need them," junior Kara Robinson said.

Students said N.C. Central emphasizes throughout the year a zero-tolerance policy on hazing, and recent events reinforce that.

"It does cause a little awareness and let students know that Central is looking at us and watching carefully," Robinson said.

The university is hosting a series of events for National Hazing Prevention Week, including a panel discussion at its law school Wednesday and a candlelight vigil for hazing victims on Thursday. Officials said the events were planned before the allegations involving the drum line surfaced.