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A Transcript of President Aminta H. Breaux's Remarks at the Media Briefing on the Band Investigation

November 30, 2018
Here is the transcript of President Breaux's remarks at the Nov. 30 press briefing on the band investigation:


Introduction

  • Good afternoon everyone. Thank you so much for coming today. I want to welcome you to Bowie State University … home of the Bulldogs. You know, we have a vibrant campus community here … home to 6,320 students and many student organizations. You should also know that we stand on our core values here: Excellence, inclusivity, integrity, accountability and innovation, which support our vision and shape our culture.
  • Today, we are here to announce the results of an investigation into complaints of hazing involving the Symphony of Soul band.
  • The university’s policy on hazing establishes prohibitions against “any action taken or situation created intentionally to produce physical or mental discomfort, harassment or ridicule.”
  • Investigators collected and reviewed evidence based on the interviews conducted with members of the band and band leadership, along with other relevant documents, video evidence, and written communication.
  • In our Summary of Findings Report you will find further details outlining the methods of research and specific findings of our investigations that substantiated violations of the university’s policy on hazing and the Student Code of Conduct.

Announcement of Probation and Leadership Change

  • As a result of that investigation, we are announcing a one-year probation for the band, allowing for participation in limited performance activities during the probation period.
  • We are also making a change in the band’s leadership and initiating a new program to enhance the band’s academic program.
  • The university is also enhancing hazing training and educational programs for all students.
  • This follows a month-long suspension of band activities during the investigation.
  • While the incidents of hazing among Bowie State band members were serious, I want to emphasize that they do not rise to the level of harm and tragic outcomes of other recent, high-profile acts of hazing that have been reported by the media.
  • If the band's inappropriate practices had continued unchecked, they may have resulted in very different outcomes.
  • That is why as a university we are fortunate to have learned about these incidents of hazing, so the university could design, and put into place, a plan to correct the behavior.
  • We are now moving forward to put a new program in place to create a positive learning environment for our band students.
  • Staff in Academic Affairs and Student Affairs worked together to develop a holistic program that will not only improve students' understanding of hazing behaviors but also strengthen their overall academic and personal development.

Revitalization & Realignment Plan

  • Our students have bright futures ahead of them. What we do not want is for a student to be pressured by peers to engage in behavior that violates the rights or well-being of others. That is not what we define as Bulldog pride.
  • There may be challenges as the band members and student at-large adjust to accepting the parameters of the comprehensive revitalization and realignment plan, but we are confident that the benefits will become evident to all over the coming year.
  • We are constantly working to ensure that this learning community provides students with an environment that allows them to reach their full potential.
  • Our goal is to support a successful experience at Bowie State University.
  • Safety and the well-being of our students is my priority, above anything else.

Closing Remarks

  • As I conclude, I’d like to highlight the lasting legacy of Bowie State University as the first Historically Black Institution in the State of Maryland.
  • For more than 150 years we have provided opportunities for students to have access to quality higher education where academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities prepare them for a successful life.
  • Thank you all again for coming. The Provost will follow with her remarks.

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About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, criminal justice, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit www.bowiestate.edu.