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Florida A & M appoints an external committee to address hazing

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The anti-hazing committee consists of seven members with diverse professional backgrounds. The committee will be chaired by Stephen Craig Robinson, a former federal judge, former United States attorney and former attorney for the FBI.

The committee also includes Na’im Akbar, a Tallahassee-based clinical psychologist who specializes in Afrocentric psychology, Elizabeth J. Allan, a higher education professor at the University of Maine who has researched hazing for 20 years, and Michael V. Bowie, executive director of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, which awards scholarships to college students intending to become public school teachers.

The other members are David Brewer, a former superintendent of the Los Angeles school system and a retired Navy admiral, Mary Madden, a University of Maine professor and hazing researcher who co-directs the National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention with Allan, and David Starnes, band director and music professor at Western Carolina University.

FAMU trustee Belinda Reed Shannon, who helped select the committee members, said they will work largely through conference calls and the Internet and will continue “as long as is necessary.” She said she expects an initial set of recommendations in about two months.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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