JSU to hold hearing in band hazing incident

Published 1:08 pm Friday, September 25, 2009

No criminal charges are being pursued in an alleged hazing incident involving members of Jackson State University’s marching band, a police official says.

Jackson Police Department spokesman Lee Vance said the alleged victims, who school officials say were paddled, won’t file charges in the case.

“Without that, without cooperation from the alleged complainants, we can’t take any action. That’s where it stands right now,” Vance said Wednesday.

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Vance said he couldn’t speculate on the reason the alleged victims didn’t pursue charges.

Meanwhile, the university is moving forward on its end of the case, planning a judicial hearing sometime next week on campus.

Marcus Chanay, JSU associate vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Life, said one of the 22 alleged victims in the off-campus incident sustained a fractured shoulder. He said a university probe determined that underclassmen were paddled and beaten.

Chanay said the university learned of the event after a student’s parent contacted his office. The alleged incident occurred late Thursday or early Friday.

“According to what we have garnered from the information, there was some paddling involved,” Chanay said Wednesday.

Chanay said officials don’t know exactly where the incident occurred, but it was off campus within the city of Jackson. Chanay had earlier said police were investigating.

The 45 accused band members could face suspension, indefinite suspension or expulsion for university allegations that include hazing, assault, battery and university violations. No exact date has been set yet for the hearing.

These aren’t the first allegations of hazing involving band members. In 2007, JSU conducted a hazing investigation, but no one was sanctioned, Chanay said.

“The band was put on a year’s probation. From that point, we started doing our hazing workshops,” he said.