*Delaware State University has suspended all band activities amid unspecified allegations of hazing, reports USA Today.
The immediate suspension — with a police investigation under way — sidelines about 150 student musicians in performing groups from marching band to jazz ensembles and the band flag team and dancers.
“The band has never been suspended in the history of the university,” Provost Alton Thompson, vice president for academic affairs, said Thursday.
College band hazing gained national attention two years ago, when a student was killed at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.
Multiple sources raised the hazing allegations at Delaware State to band director Randolph Johnson on Monday, the provost said. But details are not yet known.
The allegations did not report any injuries, Thompson said. But the investigation is determining what did happen.
While all extra-curricular band activities are canceled, students’ academic music classes for credit will continue, he said. Kappa Kappa Psi, the band fraternity, is not believed to be involved.
No band unit has been identified in connection with the allegations, so the investigation is looking at the whole band, Thompson said. University policy requires an entire organization to be suspended for the duration of any investigation related to its activities and actions, Delaware State said in a statement.
Thompson said the university “takes these allegations of hazing very seriously.” Although the suspension comes from concern for student safety, Thompson considers it disappointing.
“It’s a shame that a few people can’t follow the rules and the whole band has to suffer as a result at this time,” said Thompson, whom the university identified as its sole spokesman on the hazing allegation and band suspension.
He said the band has been a great source of pride at the historically black university. The Approaching Storm performed the 2009 inaugural parade for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. The group also has performed in Europe and at NFL games.