In a ritual known as "the hot seat," a pillow case was placed over the pledge's nose and mouth while the pledge was forced to answer questions. If a pledge got a right answer, the pillow case was removed briefly; a pledge with a wrong answer was given another question without a chance to take a breath, the lawsuit said.
FAMU has suspended the band and launched a task force to recommend steps it could take to curtail hazing.
In a separate incident at FAMU, three people were charged after alleged hazing ceremonies Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. That's when Bria Shante Hunter said her legs were beaten with fists and a metal ruler to initiate her into the "Red Dawg Order," a band clique for students who hail from Georgia.
Four band members were also arrested earlier this year and charged with hazing in the alleged beatings of five pledges to a marching band club known as the Clones, a group within the band's clarinet section, a police report said.
The hazing took place in "three or four initiation meetings" that began around Sept. 1 in a house about a mile from campus. Five pledges were lined up in order of their height and "forced to exercise, play music, and were either punched, prepped (slapped with both hands on back) and/or paddled," police said.
During the initiations, pledges were forced to give money and were pressured to keep exercising "even after exhaustion."
On Tuesday, a lawyer for two FAMU music professors who allegedly were present during an unrelated hazing of band fraternity pledges in early 2010 said they have been forced out.