NSU’s Cheerleading Squad Barred from Performing at Football Games amid Hazing AllegationsBy Staff Reporter
Norfolk State University (NSU) has suspended all the activities relating to its cheerleading team amid investigations into hazing allegations.
According to Wavy, parents of at least two new cheerleaders at the school complained to the authorities that their students are being bullied and hazed by the veteran cheerleaders on the squad.
"We certainly take these allegations seriously, it's a serious matter," Ed Willis, vice president of student affairs, told News Leader. "If it is found that some activity that took place is criminal in nature, potentially, we'll turn that over to the authorities."
Due to pending investigation by the Dean of Students Office into the hazing allegations against members of the team, the university's alumni squad performed during Saturday's homecoming football game instead of the undergraduate team.
Alexander Nicholson, a parent of one of the members of the undergraduate squad said that his daughter and other new members of the cheerleading team were placed in a dark room and ordered not to leave while the campus celebrated homecoming week with a bonfire. They also were forced to hold weights.
"They had to hold five-pound weights for maybe 30 or 40 minutes and then my daughter, she had to hold a weight of seven pounds," Nicholson told News Leader. "It's mental abuse. The suicide rate is high now for people committing suicide for the way they are treated mentally, and the harassment they are receiving from their peers," Nicholson said.
Another parent who did not want to reveal her identity told Wavy, "It makes you worry. Is my daughter ok now that they know the parents have spoken out?"
It is unsure when the undergraduate squad will be back on the field.
"It's not acceptable behavior. It's not what the school represents," Antionette Towner, NSU graduate told Wavy.
Certain students are hopeful that the allegations will turn out to be false.
"I can say from the history of Norfolk State that we have had nothing of that type to take place. I would hope that the research on that will show differently in terms of what the accusations may be," Roscoe Brown, former NSU basketball player told Wavy.