Stanford University Band Rants About Suspension


Stanford University's marching band has spoken up against the suspension that the institution placed over its head through next spring. The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) was suspended for having a "systemic cultural problem."

Mercury News reported that the Stanford University marching band took to Facebook to post their 13-paragraph statement about the suspension. The band believes that putting their performances on hold bordered on being undemocratic.

In the band's statement, it was revealed how, at 4 p.m. last Friday, members of the band received an email notifying them that the LSJUMB is suspended, effective immediately. With the hiatus, the group is expected to face restructuring, which includes the proposed end of its student-based leadership model.

"This suspension jeopardizes the vitality and viability of the organization," the band wrote. "The Administration's decision to suspend independent student management of the Band also threatens the integrity of one of Stanford's few remaining independent student organizations - and with it the values of free expression and irreverence which we believe are vital to a healthy university culture."

The band noted that, over the past two years, they have continued to put effort into satisfying the administration's requests. Moreover, they did this while balancing coursework, research and extra-curricular activities.

However, the administration has responded with "moving targets, incompletely communicated expectations and a persistent resistance towards viewing the issues from students' perspectives." The band also stated their disappointment over how administrators ignore the students' efforts.

Nonetheless, the band vowed that they will continue to fight for students' freedom of expression. They ask for support from the community as they march on.

Meanwhile, in Stanford University's statement last week, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Greg Boardman admitted that the band is a beloved part of the institution's culture. He hopes that the suspension will keep the band's personality, such as its irreverence and exuberance, but address the lack in its leadership that led to "constant and repeated violations of policy."

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