A Texas Southern University Management Task Force, led by President John M. Rudley, has levied some stiff penalties against members of the University’s Ocean of Soul Marching Band. Several members of the band were found to have been involved in elements of hazing.
Student members, guilty of hazing, will be immediately suspended from the university, in addition, they are permanently removed from the university band. All guilty students will have their band scholarships revoked. Some scholarships totaled in the tens of thousands of dollars. An individual band scholarship could be as much as $10,000 a year. The suspensions and revoking of scholarships are effective immediately. These sanctions are subject to appeal by the students.
The university is looking at lifting the band suspension for those members who were not involved, but with restrictions. The band, approximately 180-students strong, will see their performances reduced and performances closely monitored. Out-of-state-travel will be decided on a case by case basis. The university has canceled performances at a Thanksgiving Day Parade and has removed itself from the competition for the Battle of the Bands in Atlanta. Band members will also have to perform community service, including anti-hazing workshops at area high schools and at community events.
The university took these actions to send a serious message to students, that there is “o” tolerance for hazing at the university. Additionally, officials feel “we still have an obligation to those students who were not involved in this incident,” stated TSU’s Spokesperson Eva Pickens.
The university management task force is comprised of employees from the university police department, student services division, human resources, and the university communication and community affairs department.