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FAMU BOT approves private meetings for hazing task force

Florida A&M University has approved a plan changing the mission of its hazing task force. Lynn Hatter reports the change steers the committee away from its original task of delivering “best-practices” recommendations and also allows it to meet in private.

Under the new designation of a “fact-finding” mission, FAMU’s anti-hazing task force does not have to hold public meetings. University trustee Belinda Shannon says the change will allow the committee to meet as “expeditiously as possible.” But the move has its critics, like fellow trustee Rufus Montgomery.

 “So, we hired a public relations firm to deal with this kind of thing. But I’m just wanting to know what’s the strategy to stop this from appearing as if, you know, ‘there they go again trying to keep this thing bottled up in secrecy.” 

Fellow trustee Narayn Prasad joined Montgomery in opposing the move. The designation change exempts the task force from Florida’s “Sunshine” Laws. The group created after the hazing -related death of university band Drum Major Robert Champion in November.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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