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Band members charged

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ATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – Two men have been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged hazing incident involving the Southern University Band.  Both men are members of the band.

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested Harvey Harrison and Carlos-Andres Carter, both 19 years old. They are each charged with aggravated battery and ritualistic acts.

Two male band members are hospitalized in the intensive care unit at a Baton Rouge hospital as a result of injuries they suffered during the incident. As of Tuesday morning, both victims were listed in serious condition.

“We have interviewed a witness, and have several suspects to interview today,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kellie Engels said Tuesday morning. Deputies are investigating the incident, which reportedly happened last Friday. The band took part in Saturday’s Bayou Classic football game in New Orleans, which featured Southern University versus Grambling State.

Sources say hazing is nothing new within the Southern University band, but it depends on your definitionHarrison Harvey (Courtesy East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office) of hazing. Our source within the band says most often, hazing usually hovers around paddling, slapping, or neckin,’ which is a stiff slap to the back of the head. It is in the form of older studenCarlos-Andres Carterts picking on younger students, so they may earn their letters.

The incident that has left two students hospitalized went well beyond that. Sources say the two students in the hospital are both freshmen and from out of state. The band members usually hang with others in the sections they play in. Sources say these students played horns and that the hazing took place off-campus, near Zachary. It also allegedly involved people not in the band.

The university would not release specific details of the incident and issued only a brief statement late Monday afternoon. In a two-line statement, the university wrote:

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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