Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons has launched a $50,000 research initiative that would give faculty at FAMU the opportunity to study the nature and extent of hazing behaviors among campus organizations and groups.

“Hazing is one issue that many colleges and universities face; yet, it presents a serious challenge to uncover and address as a hidden culture, shrouded in secrecy,” said Ammons. “I want our faculty members to be leaders in finding solutions and creating a body of work as FAMU becomes a part of this national discussion on hazing.”

The announcement of the research project comes on the same day the FAMU

Board of Trustees announced the appointment of the FAMU Anti-Hazing

Committee, an independent committee tasked with providing recommendations on determining the most effective and indelible approach to end hazing on campus.  Both the Committee and grants are part of FAMU’s overall efforts — both immediate and long-term  — to eliminate hazing.

The “FAMU Anti-Hazing Research Initiative with a “Focus on Evidence-Based Measures” will offer small grants for faculty to conduct collaborative research across disciplines to study the nature and extent of hazing behaviors among campus organizations and groups. This anti-hazing research initiative will serve as a mechanism to stimulate additional FAMU participation in research to help better understand hazing at FAMU and around the nation that will lead to the development of strategies to eradicate hazing from our midst. The specific focus areas of this initiative:

1. Promote interdisciplinary approaches to study the nature and extent of hazing behaviors among student organizations, unofficial sub-groups and off-campus entities;

2. Develop strategies that offer alternatives to hazing and promote respect and dignity;

3. Develop novel approaches to eliminating the fear of retribution and encourage unencumbered reporting when hazing incidents occur to include administrative structure, alignment and reporting; and

4. Identify effective education, training, communication, and awareness mechanisms for existing students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as new entrants into the university community.

“As academicians across this country engage in research in this area, we want to ensure that FAMU is represented in a very significant way among these scholars,” said Ammons. “We view this as seed money for faculty to be involved into the greater pool of resources available to address this issue.”