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    « Wasted Season for the Mighty Gators | Main | Tebow the Magnificent »

    December 11, 2011



    For what it’s worth, I think the recent scandals at Florida A&M are big news. Very big news.

    There a silver lining. If Florida A&M had new dynamic leadership (perhaps like Walter Kimbrough), it would be able to turn all of this negative publicity into an opportunity. The negative publicity is not a bad thing – it means there is outrage. It means that people are not acting as though ungodly horrors are simply to be expected from an historically black institution.

    Florida A&M has an opportunity to chart a new era, push for higher appropriations, and campaign for donations from alumni and other well wishers. This is an opportunity to replace hazing with other rituals. (One could start by burning the paddles in a bonfire.) This is an opportunity to rise above corruption.

    Imagine if the University of Kansas basketball team were suspended. Or the football team of Alabama or Auburn. Or the hockey team of North Dakota. Whenever a university becomes a “one trick pony”, political attention focuses on that one event. The Marching 100 appears to be Florida A&M’s main extracurricular attraction.

    Florida A&M can act the way most colleges with low morale do (hiding from the publicity, sweeping scandals under the rug, acting as if everything is wonderful when it isn’t, et cetera), or it can use these scandals to build upon Florida A&M’s strengths to grow into a better institution.

    Hazing is not only political indoctrination that teaches hierarchy and subservience, but it is also a major historical reason for segregation. Hazing at Florida A&M has a subtext of black acceptance of Jim Crow. I’m not sure that is a message the Florida A&M community actually wants to send.

    Todd Vann

    HI Rattler - I rarely post, but I do read your blog weekly!! You do a great job.


    Much obliged, Todd.


    Alexis, trust me, I'm not ignoring you. The hazing situation is personally complex for various reasons; wifey has been sent in to clean up the Music Department. I will necessarily not comment on the matter further.

    The comments to this entry are closed.

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