Widgets Magazine
Band suspended through spring, to face drastic institutional changes
The band, along with the tree, perform in front of the bookstore (KRISTEN STIPANOV/The Stanford Daily).

Band suspended through spring, to face drastic institutional changes

On Friday, members of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) received a notice that the locks to the Band Shak had been changed. The Shak, home to decades’ worth of the Band’s Tree costumes, instruments and memorabilia, was opened for one hour for students to retrieve their personal items.

In a letter to the Band published on Friday, the University announced that the Band has been suspended through spring 2017 and ordered to cease all on- and off-campus activity. The University also explained its intention to restructure the group, which is currently student-run, under a professional music director who will provide direct University oversight.

The Band will not perform, or even exist as an institution, during Admit Weekend or at any sporting events in winter quarter and spring quarter.

Since May 2015, the Band has been under a travel ban and alcohol probation after a joint Title IX and Organization Conduct Board (OCB) investigation found that the Band had violated University policies on alcohol, controlled substances, sexual harassment and hazing.

Members of the Band who found a community in the eccentric student group that may not return in the same form have been left figuring out how to proceed.

“Band is devastated,” said Stanford Tree Sam Weyen ’18. “I’ve cried with maybe 20 separate people tonight. Understand that we didn’t lose a social activity, we lost our home. We lost our hope. Let’s not even talk about the egregious timing with finals knocking at the door. I for one have never felt so empty inside, as the Stanford band was my safe space, my smultronstalle, my everything. I’m left hapless wondering if Stanford actually gives a shit about me.”

Vice Provost of Student Affairs Greg Boardman wrote that the suspension was the result of OCB investigations that found that the Band had violated its travel and alcohol bans, as well as the University alcohol policy. In particular, the OCB panel cited the Band’s behavior during Tree Rollout, a gathering at Treehouse and an unsanctioned trip to Lake Tahoe.

“Each of these violations is concerning,” Boardman wrote in his letter to the Band. “In the aggregate, they show what we feel is a pattern of disregard for university policy and administrative directives.”

The OCB panel recommended a ban through the 2017-2018 academic year, but Boardman said he thought such a punishment would leave the Band “unable to recover and reconstitute itself following such a long hiatus.”

Boardman said he would form a committee to convene during winter quarter. The committee will seek to hire a “music and operations director” and end the Band’s student-run managerial structure.

Boardman wrote, “Our goal will be to recreate a model in which there is collaborative leadership between the Music Director and Band membership, but importantly, in which the Music Director retains final control.”

The committee, jointly convened between the Office of Student Affairs and Stanford Athletics, will also examine the selection process for the Tree and the Dollies and crack down on usage of the Band Shak which Boardman said was “intended for music rehearsal and performance, not to be a student clubhouse.”

Readers on the Stanford Alumni Facebook page were highly critical of the University’s decision to suspend the Band, and many alumni threatened to withhold donations.

“I never felt more safe and welcome at Stanford than when I was in LSJUMB,” wrote Linnea Tracy ’15 in the comments. “If the university is hoping to crucify a student organization in order to distract from their blindingly misogynistic and evasive responses to the sexual assault epidemic on campus, they are grossly deluded. We have not been distracted, and we will survive. The winds of freedom will blow again.”


Contact Victor Xu at vxu ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Victor Xu

Victor Xu '17 is an editor and graphics designer. An economics major, he hails from Carmel, IN. He is interested in international development and Kanye West. To contact Victor, email him at vxu ‘at’ stanford.edu.
  • skullbreathe

    The Stanford band has just learned an invaluable lesson; they have no political capital to throw around. Therefore you get crushed. Did Stanford Admin. over-react? Absolutely, but what’s their exposure to doing this? Nada..

  • Joe Citizen

    I know nothing about the issues with the band to be honest, but it seems to me Stanford overall is some kind of feminist appeaser madhouse – all the Leah Francis nonsense – a woman gets into bed naked with a guy she already knew from high school, while they are both home for winter break – in other words, something Stanford has zero control over – ZERO – she’s likely have been in his bed naked even if she had never gone to Stanford – then several days later, she goes to the Palo Alto police alleging her raped her – I would note here – she is a Stanford student – did she actually think the Palo Alto cops would be involved in something that happened in Juneau? Of course not – but she knew the Palo Alto cops were nearby where they could arrest him, thus gaining her some instant vengeance – she can’t get any law enforcement agency to take any action – BUT, the DA in Juneau says he’s sorry he cant’ take action, it’s just not a winnable case – APPEASEMENT – if not in deed, in word, and that still encourages the bully.
    Then Stanford, which had nothing whatever to do with this but knows they can be accused of allowing a “hostile environment” if they do not take action =- which is total BS in itself – people have to work with people they claim have done them wrong – and as long as there is no ongoing abuse AT WORK, the employer is not liable, but Obama’s administration has claimed violations of law when none exist, so Stanford is scared by that, puts him on suspension SO HE WILL NEVER ENCOUNTER HER AGAIN – removes him from her presence permanently – BUT THAT IS NOT ENOUGH – she insists he be expelled – her word against his, but they have to accept her word an expel him, nothing less will do.
    Why did she insist on expulsion? And why did they NOT expel, automatically, someone they found guilty of misconduct, when the misconduct was rape?

    Because they did not believe he was guilty of anything, and they know their discipline process is so biased and flawed it can not stand up to the standards the courts will demand = they appeased her by doing anything to him at all – they should have done nothing – and by appeasing her, they encouraged this woman obsessed with hatred and vengeance to insist on more.
    Without the continuing appeasement by these incredibly weak administrators, the nutjobs like Francis and her enabler Michele Dauber, Stanford Law professor who is not even a lawyer, would not feel empowered to demand so much. Stanford should draw the line on them – instead, they are doing their evil work for them.

    The good news is, Trump will likely end the pressure form the Title IX zealots Obama has had in power, and thus schools around the country will be rescued from the position their incredible cowardice has put them in by someone they generally loathe. No thanks necessary however, he’s doing it for the kids.

  • Stanford, the University that won’t do jack shit about you getting raped on campus (except to buy your silence after the fact), but will go nuclear to shut down bawdy songs sung on long bus trips.
    -Class of 1990, LSJUMB Bonz

  • Dan Waterhouse

    It is time to end the madness on campuses around the country. Overblown “sexual assault” statistics, trigger warnings and safe places. My God, it’s time to clean house. Stanford administration has knuckled under to extremists. Stanford alumni may be the first to lead the revolt against this nonsense.

  • Tahoe Mike

    A university with no sense of humor, no band, and an unquenchable need to appear politically correct, is like CAL.
    Free the LSJUMB! #YellowRiverForever

  • Marcus2

    ironic the snowflakes that are part of the Stanford Band are now victims of PC liberal intolerance and fascism. Free speech is only tolerated when it’s manicured in the land of Safe Places and trigger free zones.

    snowflake meet intolerance.. intolerance meet snowflake

    you’re welcome

  • ABeagleKnots

    …boldly protecting young adults from beer and dirty jokes.

  • Warden52

    Well Sam, maybe Stanford would give a **** about you if you gave a **** about yourself. The band knew the status and the rules set forth and still decided to not abide by same. Welcome to the adult world of reality. I, for one, have no sorrow for those who decided to do it their way.

  • Candid One

    Inane, sloshy crock. Since when have conservatives sanctioned LSJUMB’s antics?

  • Warden52, you don’t seem to have the full story. The band didn’t know the rules, because these so-called rules have never been clear or consistent. Check out the documents and commentary over at Fountain Hopper — http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=c9d7a555374df02a66219b578&id=60fcf72b21&e=1a895955f0 — and you’ll see that the University has a track record for conveniently discounting Band compliance with University dictates (for example, Student Affairs attended Dollie Day to keep an eye on things but there wasn’t follow-up documentation, so it doesn’t count).

    In the latest round of Title IX pearl-clutching, the University objects to the name of the “smutline” mailing list, even though this listserv has been running *on Stanford computers* since the 1990s, and is named for the Band’s show-writing group (“Stanford Marching Unit Thinkers”), a name that dates back to at least the 1970s. The only thing that’s clear is that the administration is consistently redefining the rules — “moving the goalposts” as Fountain Hopper calls it — to ensure the Band cannot possibly meet them.

  • Marcus2

    reading comprehension.. you should try it sometime.

    liberals eating their own… never mentioned anything about conservatives.

  • Joe Citizen

    Alumnae need to boycott if they feel it was not justified. And, it seems to me, someone in the band should sue the school – banning all band activities off campus seems like excessive infringement on free speech and free association rights. Like banning fraternities at Harvard -how can that be allowed?

  • Susan Romig

    Absolutely! They were given vague and ever-changing instructions and, imo, were set up to fail. One of the “violations” was 10 band members having dinner together at the Treehouse and some having a beer with their dinner. Hypothetically, if any band member was given a, say, birthday party with more than seven other band members in attendance, and alcohol was involved in any amount – bam – VIOLATION!

  • Warden52

    Perhaps I don’t know the whole story, but I was advised, by another poster, to jump over to the Fountain and read some more data. I did so and was greeted with the “F” word in the first 4 headlines.
    Now, I am by far, not a prude–I graduated from college in the 70’s , so I know a little about the “F” word. But to be considered in a positive mindset, I would not think the “F” word is the best way to start a rebuttal of discussion. Now, do I think the admin. “over reacted” just a bit– perhaps they did, but I would think the Stanford grads/current students would develop a more positive way to engage in discussion of the situation than start off with the big “F”. It tends to “put off” a lot of people and admin. may be some of them.

  • Warden52

    This has nothing to do with “Free Speech” but it does have a lot to do with consequences of your speech.

  • Marcus2

    has everything to do with intolerance… get it snowflake?

  • antislice

    The Treehouse thing is a section having dinner pre-rehearsal, which is much closer to a “band event” than a private birthday party with band friends. Having been under various LSJUMB alcohol probations, I can tell you having that beer with dinner was an extremely stupid choice given the atmosphere they were in.

  • antislice

    “I know nothing about the issues with the band to be honest”

    So glad you’re commenting here.

  • Steve S

    You might be a prude and just not realize it.

  • Joe Citizen

    No problem

  • Anon

    The Stanford band were the internet trolls of college sporting events. Their attitudes and behaviors were very inappropriate. I, personally, don’t feel bad for them and find the “woe is me” quotes from the former members to be mildly ironic, because all of their public performances were rife with insults and offensive symbolism. Stanford has gotten a lot of bad attention these last few years, so they are making it a priority to clean up their public image.

  • Warden52

    Not a snowflake ye ole ball of aluminum foil–Intolerance on behalf of the band or the admin.?

  • Marcus2

    it’s a circle jerk of censorship and intolerance.. the same censorship and intolerance that the snowflakes of the Stanford undergrad practice with trigger warnings and safe places are now being used to censor them. ironic:)

  • Durple

    You partisan retard

  • Durple


  • Warden52

    Ironic indeed.

  • P2L1

    Dean Wormer: Greg, what is the worst fraternity on this campus?

    Greg: That would be hard to say, sir. They’re each outstanding in their own way.

    Dean Wormer: Cut the horseshit, son. I’ve got their disciplinary files right here. Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.

    Greg: You’re talking about Delta, sir.

    Dean Wormer: Of course I’m talking about Delta, you TWERP!!! This year is going to be different. This year we are going to grab the bull by the balls and kick those punks off campus.

    Greg: What do you intend to do sir? Delta’s already on probation.

    Dean Wormer: They are?

    Greg: Yes, sir.

    Dean Wormer: Oh. Then as of this moment, they’re on double SECRET probation !

    Greg: Double secret probation, sir?

    Dean Wormer: There is a little-known codicil in the Faber College constitution which gives the dean unlimited power to preserve order in time of campus emergency. Find me a way to revoke Delta’s charter. You live next door. Put Neidermeyer on it. He’s a sneaky little shit, just like you, right? [Greg nods] The time has come for someone to put their foot down. And that foot is me.

    GO BAND !!!

  • Larry Linn

    The Stanford Marching Band ticks off second rate colleges who build their lives around mock warfare by proxy, known as college football. Kudos to the Band!

  • baycommuter

    Just because it wasn’t a winnable case doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. But yeah, the fact he wasn’t expelled doesn’t give her carte blanche to try to ruin his life, which appears to be the goal with the movement for compulsory expulsion and placement of notes on transcripts.

  • Joe Citizen

    Of course I don’t know it didn’t happen, I am just expressing a strong opinion, but I think it’s more likely than not she consented at the time.
    To me, any sane person thinks a lover getting into your bed, and taking off her clothes, is more than consent, it’s a very clear invitation.

  • Warden52

    Been called a lot of things in my 64 yrs. on Earth–but “prude” is not one of ’em. :)s

  • Bob

    I guess the Stanford Banned was on Double-Secret Probation. Bring back Dean Wormer!

  • anon2

    The band’s public events which you found inappropriate is about 2% what band does and was pre-approved by the University. The band’s woe is me quotes have nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own community. It’s not about you, it’s about the students.

  • Cotton Mather

    Back in 1995, before current Stanford freshmen were born, alumni Peter Theil and David Sacks wrote about Stanford PC trends that have only progressed well beyond anything that South Park can satirize. The book, The Diversity Myth, ought to be standard reading material for all incoming freshman. This latest attempt to infantilize Stanford students is the sad outcome of over 2 decades of cowardly, unprincipled college administrators and the more recent Title IX Puritan sexual hysteria perpetuated by the Obama administration; a blot in an otherwise competent presidency.