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Florida A&M Lifts Marching Band Suspension

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UPI) — Florida A&M University’s interim president said he lifted a suspension on the school’s marching band, a year and a half after the hazing death of a student.

Larry Robinson said Thursday the school’s Marching 100 would be back on the field under direction of new director Sylvester Young, CNN reported.

Activities of the 400-member band were suspended in November 2011 after drum major Robert Champion died hours after a hazing incident.

Champion endured 300 blows from band members while on a bus after the band performed at a football game. The hazing was known among FAMU band members as “Crossing Bus C.”

As part of a school overhaul to combat the prevalence of hazing, officials created two new positions — a music department compliance officer and a special assistant to the president who focuses on anti-hazing, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Another change will be that the Marching 100 will be significantly smaller than before, and there will be new academic requirements for band members, The New York Times reported.

“We don’t think you need to be the biggest,” Robinson said. “You just need to be the best.”

Champion’s parents said the anti-hazing steps the school is taking aren’t enough, CNN reported.

“You need a lot more in order to get that message out,” said Pam Champion. “You need to be in those schools, in their face, every opportunity that you can get.”

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