VSU marching band returns; social organization suspended following hazing allegations

VSU marching band returns; social organization suspended following hazing allegations

ETTRICK, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia State University Trojan Explosion Marching Band has returned following a hazing investigation.

“The Virginia State University (VSU) Anti-Hazing policy strictly prohibits physical and emotional abuse. Allegations of hazing led VSU Police to conduct an investigation,” the University said in a statement.

The investigation determined that Drum Phi, a campus-based organization made up of a few members of the Trojan Explosion Marching Band, conducted activities in violation of the Anti-Hazing policy.

As a result, Drum Phi has been placed on suspension for a minimum of three years. Individual members of Drum Phi who participated in the activities have been disciplined under the VSU Student Code of Conduct.

The findings of the investigation led to the reinstatement of performances for the Trojan Explosion Marching Band.

VSU’s homecoming game against Bowie State is Saturday, Oct. 19. With performances reinstated, the Trojan Explosion Marching Band will be able to perform at halftime.

“The band playing on Saturday--that’s exciting,” said VSU senior Camron Elmore. “Having them on the field at half time, the tunnel afterwards it’s camaraderie, it’s family.”

Students and alumni took to social media to express their relief knowing the suspension for the entire band has been lifted.

“Our band has a great reputation--people know our band,” said VSU senior Jalynn. “Everyone expects greatness from the band.”

Students say the homecoming game day wouldn’t feel the same without the band.

University officials say they will continue to monitor all student organizations and social groups for adherence to the University’s Anti-Hazing policy.

“I pray that everyone is okay and everyone can move past this and we don’t have an incident like this again,” said Elmore. “It shines a dim light on everything this school brings to this area and to this community.”

According to the organization’s social media accounts, Drum Phi says as of April 2019, they were one of the newest university sanctioned organizations, but had been in existence since 1986.

NBC12 reached out to Drum Phi for comment, they replied with “We are not at liberty to talk.”

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