VSU Trojan Explosion Marching Band suspended amid hazing allegations
George Copeland Jr. | 10/11/2019, 6 a.m.
All perfomances of the Virginia State University’s marching band have been suspended following allegations of hazing by band members, university officials said Monday.
The choice to suspend the VSU Trojan Explosion Marching Band came from James Holden Jr., VSU director of university bands, as the VSU Police Department investigates the allegations, “some of which have been substantiated,” VSU spokesperson Pamela Tolson said in a statement.
“The University administration takes ALL allegations of hazing very seriously and has a ZERO tolerance against hazing,” Ms. Tolson said. “The safety of students, faculty and staff is the Virginia State University administration’s top priority.”
In a letter issued about the suspension, Mr. Holden said, “Certainly the band leadership shares the administration’s philosophy that VSU does not condone any form of hazing and maintains a zero tolerance policy,” he stated. “Members of the band who do not uphold the values of the Trojan Explosion Marching Band and violate VSU policies and/or the Code of Virginia will be disciplined accordingly.”
In April, the university suspended the campus Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity chapter over hazing allegations.
The marching band at another CIAA school was suspended last November over hazing.
Bowie State University’s Symphony of Soul was suspended from all off-campus performances for an entire year, and its music director resigned, after an investigation launched in the wake of student complaints found evidence of hazing and that the university’s music director likely knew of the abusive tradition of band members paddling and putting other students in physical and mental distress.