Earlier this year, the Leland Stanford Junior Marching Band, or LSJUMB, learned that they would not be allowed to travel 45 minutes to U.C. Berkeley to play in Big Game. Later, they learned that they could not travel to a science museum in San Francisco, just 30 minutes up the road -- even though the band has been trying to plan more social events that aren't centered around alcohol. "Stay on campus and binge drink!" the administration seemed to be saying.
And today, they announced that, although the football team will be playing in the Sun Bowl this year... the Stanford Band will not.
The LSJUMB has been criticised and disciplined several times in the past for their actions, including:
(Also, fun fact: Why was the band on the field? Because several weeks prior, a photographer had loaded his film backwards, triggering a whole unfortunate series of events that culminated in this.)
But this was nothing like those past incidents.
Instead, what happened is that the band was found to be in violation of certain conduct codes. (The details are fuzzy.) Band management scrambled to meet the requirements and expectations imposed by Title IX and Organizational Conduct Board (OCB) representatives, and submitted documentation of these changes in an email early last week. They wanted to discuss lifting the travel ban to attend the Sun Bowl.
They received a reply that acknowledged the considerable time and effort management had put in... but added,
As you know, we must decide no later than December 5 whether to grant such an exception. Even if we were able to find time to meet with you between now and December 5, we will not have had time to carefully analyze any materials you plan to send us later today in order to provide any substantive feedback.
Which sounds like a huge cop-out. "We don't have time to meet you, and even if we did, we still don't have time."
Though I haven't been very active in Band the last few years (I played in the 2013 and 2014 Rose Bowl, and have remained friends with several current band members), it's clear that they've made enormous changes to their culture -- often to the rage and dismay of alumni.
And the administration has yet to acknowledge, appreciate, or even award those efforts. "We won't even talk with you because we don't have time" is a huge slap in the face to their efforts.
Between canceling one of Stanford's most memorable traditions, Full Moon on the Quad, during which students meet on the quad during the first full moon of the school year and make out, introduction of new alcohol rules, and this... it's becoming increasingly clear that Stanford neither cares about nor respects its students.
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