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Illicit CP - September 1999

Corpun file 4193


Tallahassee Democrat, Florida, 9 September 1999

Chief's drum major barred for hazing

Students are surprised to learn their leader has been removed, but the band will overcome the blemish, they say

By Melanie Yeager
Tallahassee Democrat

Florida State University's Marching Chiefs say morale is high, despite the removal of drum major Chad Temple from the band.

Temple and three other Chiefs, including the two saxophone section leaders, have been barred from the band as punishment for hazing -- including paddling of second-year band students -- at an off-campus party Aug. 30.

Temple, 22, and one saxophone player have been kicked out of the band forever. The section leaders, both juniors, have been dismissed for the season.

The drum major, the top student leadership position, is responsible for leading the band on the field and directing the fight song in the stands. The new band roster lists Jeremy Brewer and Jon Richards as the drum majors.

Last week, university officials announced the disciplinary actions but did not identify any of the students removed from the band. About 10 other veteran members of the saxophone section will be suspended from Saturday's home football game against Georgia Tech, and the entire Marching Chiefs band has been placed on probation until at least January 2003. Another wrong move by any member of the band will result in all members being suspended for one game.

The expulsion of Temple surprised band members, who described him as a gung-ho leader who moved up the band ranks as a saxophone player. Temple could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

A fifth-year senior, Temple reportedly attended FSU another year to lead the band. During the summer, he helped lead FSU's summer music camps, serving as a day counselor and transportation coordinator. He's also a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity.

"Chad was one of the most dedicated people I've ever seen in Chiefs," said Chip Garner, a sophomore trumpet player from Lake City.

Senior Julia Mitchell, a senior trumpet player from Opelika, Ala., called Temple "totally dedicated." "It's sad," Mitchell said of his removal. "It breaks my heart."

Veteran band members came forward to the music education committee, which investigates reports of band hazing, to say second-year students were taken upstairs at a saxophone back-to-school event and paddled. Students reporting the matter said the paddling did not involve hard, forceful swats, said Cliff Madsen, chairman of the faculty committee investigating the hazing.

Many Chiefs didn't want to comment on the hazing or disciplinary action. Of those that did, several said the punishment seems harsh given the circumstances.

"Yes it was, intentionally," Madsen said Wednesday. "We're not as concerned here with retribution as we are with excising this kind of thing from the Chiefs. If we take it lightly, it's taken lightly by students . . . A zero tolerance policy must be that."

What's frustrating, said freshman trumpet player Mary Harrell, is that the actions of a few have affected the entire 450-member band.

The Chiefs last endured probation from 1994 to 1997 after band members were ordered by upperclassmen to do drills blindfolded. A freshman quick-stepped into a brick wall, resulting in a chipped tooth, a bloody face and a trip to the emergency room.

Madsen said FSU police are further investigating the latest hazing incident. Their conclusions will be forwarded to the dean of students office and could result in additional university discipline.

"It's something that we all regret," said Danny Mooney, a freshman baritone player from Arcadia.

Regardless of which section did wrong, Garner said being in the band is a team effort. "Some unfortunate things happen in life, and we just have to move on."

"The mood is fine," said Troy Paolantonio, a sophomore flute player from Coral Springs. "(It) just shows Chiefs can get through anything."

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