Widgets Magazine

Hundreds turn out to show support, appreciation for LSJUMB

(MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily)

(MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily)

Hundreds of students gathered in White Plaza despite the rain on Saturday in an emotional show of support and appreciation for the Leland Stanford Junior Marching Band (LSJUMB), which was recently notified of its total suspension and subsequent institutional restructuring.

Organizers of the event both former members of the Band and students who have never participated in LSJUMB said that they aimed to provide students a space to talk about what the Band meant to them.

“This isn’t just former Band members organizing a sympathy movement,” said one organizer, themself a former Band member. “It’s students who feel the University more seriously needs to respect the notion that students are adults and that there are serious issues, but the University can’t distinguish these or are just choosing to prioritize image over substance.”

According to the organizer, between 300 and 400 students attended the rally and over 20 spoke. Some speakers had prepared words, and others spoke off the cuff. From Stanford Trees to Dollies to Band recruiters, all highlighted how being in Band or watching the Band had encouraged them to be themselves.

(MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily)

(MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily)

“I have so much to be thankful for,” said current Tree Sam Weyen ’18, who also writes a humor column for The Daily from the perspective of the informal mascot. “I love this organization and I don’t know what I’m going to do without it, but what I do know is that the individual people I have met have become more themselves, I have become more myself, and I’m not going to change.”

While most of the speeches focused on the community aspect, there were nevertheless allusions to the reasoning behind the band’s suspension.

One such speech came from Maddie Simons ’19. She discussed her reaction to the Band’s use of sex-related puns and spellings, a practice that multiple Band members say the University has expressed disapproval of.

(MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily)

(MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily)

“Sex is not a bad word,” Simons said. “In a time when misogyny and the objectification of people’s bodies permeates our society, when victim blaming and cover ups replace meaningful discourse and systematic change, the last thing we should be worried about is the admitting that sex is in fact a thing that happens.”

According to the event co-organizer and former band member that agreed to speak to The Daily, there has been significant discussion about the University’s multi-part investigation of the Band in comparison to the “mishandling and mischaracterization” of sexual assault cases, a well as suspicion surrounding the timing of the news.

The organizer added that there was nevertheless a sense of happiness and nostalgia in addition to the determination and sadness at the rally, a sentiment that was also expressed by several of the speakers.

“I may be the last Tree in its current form, but we made a hell of a run,” Weyen concluded.


Contact Ada Statler-Throckmorton at adastat ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Ada Statler

Ada Statler '18 is an earth systems major hailing from Kansas City (on the Kansas side, not Missouri). She's most passionate about environmental journalism, but cares about all things campus-related.
  • anonymous

    Even though I haven’t kept up with the recent antics of the LSJUMB, as an ex band member I am crushed by this news. The Band always has been a volatile mix of hedonism, entertainment, inclusiveness, and speaking Truth to Power. Like the counterculture movement of the sixties, hedonism has always been its Achilles heel. I would urge my colleagues, now unfettered of their responsibilities supporting athletics and the Stanford community at large, to find ways to bring their resources to focus on the last of these attributes; we need you now more than ever.

  • review

    Well said. Does the Administration care at all? Are they listening? Or just sure that students and money will keep coming if they keep up their brand? Smart prospective students should realize there are other universities that do value students and go elsewhere.

  • Bob

    Stanford used to be called “The Harvard of the West.” Now it is on its way to becoming “The Faber College of the West.”

  • Marcus2

    well considering Stanford is the most selective university in the US with the highest yield and lowest admit rate.. that’s an interesting history lesson:)

  • Marcus2

    considering the new Stanford president sent out an email after the Trump victory (who defeated an incompetent crook and liar in Hillary Clinton) offering counseling services to shattered snowflakes it’s obvious where this is all going. censorship and intolerance. but then again I’m sure the band members practiced the same censorship and intolerance by participating in safe places and trigger free zones so it’s more than a little ironic.

  • Bob

    We Bobs are legion! Mock a Bob at your peril Marcus2, if that is your real name, for we Bobs are also merciless! Legion and merciless…yes…that sums up we Bobs. Most Bobs also like pudding but not all of us!

  • Joe Citizen

    Can the school really force the students not to associate with each other off campus as this seems to imply? I wonder if they could make that stick if it went to court.
    Perhaps the band members should still get together, off campus, (a local park) and make videos for the big games – (Cal of course, any others that are getting a lot of attention ) and upload them to YouTube – if they were done very well, and promoted properly, a lot of people would still see them, but more importantly, the group would still get together, and one hopes, if the administration has threatened people with discipline for off campus meetings, , that it will look the other way rather than trying to carry any threats out.

  • Marcus2

    well I can tell you this new Stanford president is not working out already… big mistake Marc