Hazing allegations shut down Bowie State marching band activities, school officials say

Bowie State University says it has suspended band activities after school officials say they became aware of hazing allegations made against the Symphony of Soul marching band.

In an email issued to the campus community Friday, school officials said the suspension of activity is "effective immediately to ensure the continued safety of our students, pending further internal investigation."

Symphony of Soul says on their website that the marching band is the largest student organization on campus. Bowie State is Maryland's oldest historically black university.

All members of the band, including musicians, dancers and the color guard have been suspended as the university investigates what they are calling "serious allegations of hazing."

The announcement was made just a day before Bowie State football was due to play a home game against Elizabeth City State University from North Carolina.

This weekend, the team is traveling to Virginia to play in a conference championship game. The band traditionally marches around campus in the days prior to a big game to get students pumped, but that too has been put on hold.

"So we are in the dark, so we are like whats going on? But I feel like we don't deserve this. We spent too much time, too much money especially for it to just go and get taken away. We had a game less than 12 hours away so for them to take it away from us its not fair at all," said color guard team member Mya Jones.

"I think everybody is just fed up because the band is a big part of the game," said another member of the color guard.

"Everybody loves the band, we are used to waking up at 4 a.m. to them practicing so to hear nothing it was just surprising and we see all the band members on campus looking sad. So we are just trying to get through this allegation cause it just sounds crazy," she said.

Bowie State Bulldogs, an NCAA D-II team, will be playing a conference championship game on Saturday against Fayetteville State in Salem, Virginia.

The university says Symphony of Soul won't be able to participate until the investigation is completed.

There has been no word on the nature of the alleged hazing activities or disciplinary action against any members.