Texas Southern University suspends marching band amid hazing reports

School cancels scheduled performance against Sam Houston State

HOUSTON - Texas Southern University has suspended its marching band, the Ocean of Soul, as it investigates a report of a hazing incident, the school announced.

"The band has been suspended until further notice, including a cancellation of (Thursday night's) scheduled performance against Sam Houston State," said Eva Pickens, TSU's Associate Vice President for Communications.

"The hazing allegations are 'excessive paddling' and involves the trumpet section of the band," Pickens said.

The hazing report was made Wednesday night by a student not in the band to TSU officials, who immediately convened a meeting of university officials to address claims, the school said.

TSU police said they are investigating the situation by interviewing the band director, band staff and members of the band. TSU student affairs personnel will also take appropriate action.

"In an effort to educate its students about the dangers of hazing, the university presented multiple training and informational sessions to band members and other student organizations," a press release said. "While it is not known at this time how many students were involved in this incident, it is believed to involve one section of the band."

Students were disappointed.

"This is my first game and I was looking forward to experiencing the whole band thing," student Demetria Claybon said.

"Hazing is probably never going to stop but it's embarrassing. You usually see this with the fraternities and sororities, but the band is a reputable organization at our school and this is ridiculous," student DiDi Chiedu said.

Some students think not having a band will have an impact on the number of people who go to the football games.

"It's going to reduce game attendance," cheerleader Clayton Anderson said. "Cheerleaders have nothing to do in halftime shows."

TSU officials involved in the investigation include a vice president for student services, student compliance officers, human resources director, director of bands, general counsel, TSU law enforcement officials, and TSU's communications associate vice president.

The TSU marching band is one of the largest student organizations on campus.

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