Former Florida A&M University band member Jessie Baskin was sentenced jail time for his role in the hazing death of Robert Champion. Champion died in November 2011 on a bus outside of an Orlando hotel after a hazing ritual where prosecutors say he was beaten with fists and instruments by band members. Fifteen former band members were charged with manslaughter and hazing, seven of them have been sentenced to probation and community service. Baskin is the first to receive jail time. He was sentenced to 51 weeks in county jail, five years probation and 300 hours of community service. He pleaded “no contest to manslaughter” in November. (via ESPN)

In other FAMU news, the University’s first female president, Elmira Magnum, begins her new job this week. On Friday, April 4th, FAMU faculty and students will honor Magnum by hosting a welcome rally.


Howard University has closed its bookstore and turned over the management and operations to Barnes & Noble Inc. The bookstore will open on April 6th under new management, and undergo renovations this summer. Howard’s partnership with Barnes & Noble will bring lower textbook rates to students and a new ecommerce website. “This partnership will improve our offerings and provide students, staff and faculty with more options to support teaching and learning,” said Howard University Interim President Wayne A.I. Frederick. "Additionally, the renovated space will further enhance our service to the campus and the community at large. (via Howard University)

Hampton University’s School of Science received a $1 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation’s HBCU-Research Infrastructure in Science and Engineering program. The grant will be used to create and build a high-performance computer cluster for Numerical Modeling and Simulation. “Our goals in building the computer cluster are to enhance the number of Ph.D.’s granted in physical science from Hampton University,” said associate professor and leader of the project William Moore. “It will also increase the productivity of our researchers in Atmospheric and Planetary Science and Computer Science, and will make high-performance computing available to other researchers on campus.”

Alabama A&M University chief operating officer Kevin Rolle’s 2012 six-count lawsuit against two trustees, a former university administrator, a former vice president, and an alum has been dismissed. The lawsuit claimed the five defendants spread false and malicious information in regards to Rolle’s 2008 guilty plea on a U.S. Military Base to have him fired from the University. U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith ruled that Rolle didn’t adequately make a case for his lawsuit. (via AL)



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