Stanford band suspended for bad behavior: Are colleges fed up?

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP View Caption Ever since it cast off its traditional band uniforms for cardinal blazers and funky hats and ties in the 1960s, the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band has been known for its fun-loving, irreverent attitude. But Stanford University alleges that in addition to the student group’s notoriety is a “systematic cultural problem” that has “not been taken seriously by the band or leadership” since it was found in violation of university rules on alcohol, controlled substances, hazing, and sexual harassment in the spring of 2015. The university announced in a letter Friday it has temporarily suspended the band until the end of next school year, and plans to hire a professional music director who “retains final control” of the band. The university is one of a number of elite institutions to come down this fall on student groups, with Columbia University also suspending its wrestling team and Harvard suspending its men’s soccer and cross-country teams for so-called locker room talk gone too far. Stanford has also limited how much alcohol students can carry and banned such traditions as Full Moon on the Quad that some worry encourages sexual aggression. Test your knowledge Do you think like a Millennial? Take our quiz!Photos of the weekend But students argue that amid a national debate about binge drinking and sexual assault on college campuses Stanford has prioritized preserving its prestigious image over considering how its actions could hurt the eclectic traditions its students and alumni love. “The university’s decision on the band is impossible to separate from recent negative press,” wrote the student newspaper Stanford Daily in an editorial on Friday. “Though the university has denied any such connection, this perception is widespread, and we find it concerning that the university has chosen to ignore it rather than engage with students and share actual progress made in reforming its procedures and policies regarding sexual assault,” the editorial board continued. “Instead, Stanford has turned its attention to eroding the student-defined, ‘wacky’ culture of the university.” The band was first barred from performing at away athletic events and having alcohol in the spring of 2015, after it was found to have violated a...

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