Stanford Band Strikes a Sour Note for Administrators

The Christian Science Monitor reported that the Stanford Marching Band is on the verge of extinction or, at minimum a lengthy suspension. The irreverent Stanford University band suffers from a ‘systematic cultural problem’ says the University – but students and alums say it’s another example of the University gutting fun traditions. 

Ever since it cast off its traditional band uniforms for cardinal blazers and crazy hats and ties in the 1960s, the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band has been known for its carefree, independent, irreverent performances.

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The Stanford University administration points to 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 banned the group until the end of next school year and plans to hire a professional music director (think ‘hallway monitor’) who “retains final control” of the band.

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The Stanford Tree is the ‘unofficial mascot’ of Stanford and plays a prominent role at University athletic events. Sound familiar?

The board recommended the band be suspended for at least two years. Vice Provost for Student Affairs Greg Boardman agreed with the board’s conclusion, but worried a two-year suspension would “effectively end all aspects of the band” because it would be unable to recover.

The band has been suspended before. In 1986, it was barred for performing in two football games when, among several “lewd” acts, band members urinated on the field after a game.

Stanford University has rolled out a number of general student body guidelines over the last few years. The most talked about new rule limits possession of hard alcohol to bottles smaller than 750 milliliters (25.3 ounces for the metrically challenged) and bans liquor from undergraduate parties.

But many students see Stanford’s band recommendations as an attempt to burnish its image at the expense of good old college fun.

8 thoughts on “Stanford Band Strikes a Sour Note for Administrators”

    1. Political correctness is a relevant topic to DU and all universities these days…Plus, we have a slow couple of weeks until school restarts and hockey and basketball are in full conference swing. So, we will be covering some non-DU stories and sports related stories.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or mention something about DU’s other sports besides hockey and basketball.

        What’s the bridge between Stanford’s political correctness and DU? DU was not mentioned in the post. I’m trying to understand if this blog is a DU blog or a general sports/political blog. Whatever happened to the October letter to the chancellor from the group of teachers “demanding” changes to the university, including Boone?


      2. Between this blog and twitter, we cover nearly every sport at DU – men and women. In fact, I can’t find another college blog that covers more sports than we do.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I find it amusing that someone comes on to the only DU sports blog that exists, and complains about the coverage. The coverage here is excellent, covers a lot of sports, and is much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s a bridge for you:

    Stanford has one of a few schools with an unofficial mascot – the Stanford Tree, which ‘belongs’ to the Stanford band. It was created as a riff on Stanford’s tree logo, and came into being when the school’s mascot, the Indian, was removed and replaced with a color – the Cardinal. If the band is suspended, I wonder if the tree goes with it.

    DU also has an unofficial mascot – Denver Boone. Boone was once official, but was also hounded out of office for being politically incorrect to the powers that be.

    I watch Stanford very carefully, as it has some parallels to DU. Like DU, Stanford is a private school that has both liberal and conservative factions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The neo-Nazi DU administration shitcanned Boone and he didn’t even drop trou (or get drunk or harass anyone) like the Stanford band puportedly did. The heavy-handed tactics of the Stanford admin mirror those of Denver admin ignoring the popular will of both student and alumni stakeholders with self-righteous edicts. Both administrations perceive themselves as self-appointed omnipotent arbiters of decency and political correctness. I thought the Hays Commission went out of business in 1968!

    The article is TOTALLY relevant to DU.

    Liked by 1 person

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