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Status Maintains its Privileges - Criminal Stanford Band Members Walk

Original post made by Dissapointed Stanford Fan, Evergreen Park, on Nov 17, 2006

God forbid that a Stanford Band member be prosecuted for trashing a modular structure, to the tune of many, many thousands of dollars. The hubris of that group is stunning, and a blight on educated, thinking people everywhere.

There seems an ethical blind spot in Stanford University's administration, which every now and then gives a little slap on the wrist, like a few week suspension, to the Stanford Band.

The Stanford Band is a disgrace, with a history of irreverance that has crossed WAY over the line of irreverence one too many times. The emminent social psychologist and Stanford educator, Phil Zimbardo, has shown in his experiments what happens when small groups of people are permittted to operate without ethical limits. Perhaps Stanford's Atheltic administrators should review Zimbardo's literature, because it appears at this time - in reference to the Stanford Band - the inmates are running the asylum.

There is little respect for "difference", religious and otherwise, on the Stanford Band, which reflects badly on Stanford University's otherwise laudable efforts to create an atmosphere where all beliefs are honored, and respected. (btw, I'm not affiliated with any particular religious belief)

From Stanford University's persepective, it appears a trifling thing that the Stanford Band directly insults the religious beliefs of others, as the Band did some years back with Notre Dame. There was no **real** penalty put forward for that disgrace, just a short suspension. Where's the accountability? What message does teeny slaps on the wrist send to a group that is out of control? There have been other examples, almost too numerous to mention.

The Stanford Band's acute insensitivity to the law (in the case of the modular trashing), and civil decency is not a new thing. Public insults to the religious and social beliefs of others put a lie to the belief that Stanford's student population is on an ethical par with others. In fact, it's quite the opposite. What other university band has done things like this? Name one.

That the Stanford Band in its current incarnation has not been PERMANENTLY disbanded is a blight on Stanford University's otherwise fine record of achievement. The organization should be disbanded, and started up again with new rules, and STRICT laws of behavior, run by someone who knows what s/he's doing.

Can anyone imagine what the NCAA and other official sporting organizations would have done if the Stanford Football Teamm had insulted Notre Dame's religious foundations, or trashed the Stanford practice facility? I rest my case.

Comments (44)

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Posted by Kirk
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2006 at 2:39 pm

The Stanford Band is an old and tired act. It lacks any musical proficiency, and mostly just relies on a stupid scramble routine. It is not there to support the football team, but just to run around and be crazy. Basiclly, it is just a drinking club.

It claims to be no holds barred, but it it actually scared of its own shadow. It will play anti-Catholic disparaging stuff when Notre Dame comes to town, but would it play Dixie if Grambling came to town? Would it form an image of Mohammed on the field, and play 'Onward Christian Soldiers'?

The band members are just a few privileged kids who want to have a good (and drunk) time. If they would just own up to that, I wouldn't be so critical (it is what it is). But when they claim to be social critics...well, they should look in their own beer.


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Posted by stephen
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 17, 2006 at 11:36 pm

Anyone who does not appreciate the Stanford Band taakes themself and life too seriously.


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Posted by A Band Member
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 18, 2006 at 9:59 am

Please don't write an editorial if you don't actually know the facts.

First off, the damage was not "many, many thousands of dollars." That initial "estimate" was completely off the mark. By several tens of thousands.
Yes, the Band members should not have done it. But please understand that they had been told that the shak was going to be demolished the next week. This doesn't excuse their behavior, but it is a fact too often overlooked.

Also, don't believe everything you hear. Almost all of the rumors about us (urinating on the field, chain-sawing a stuffed spotted owl, trying to crash a plane, etc.) are completely false.

And the Band apologized to Notre Dame. People seem to forget that the Athletic Department reads all of our field shows before we perform them, so they had approved that script. And in addition, we were not being Anti-Catholic, we were making fun of the fact that they have a racist mascot (Stanford stopped being the Indians thirty years ago, why is okay to be the Irish).

It is true that about 10-15 years ago, our drum major wore a nun costume to a game at Notre Dame. That same game, he also wore a rabbi costume. He was not trying to insult anyone's religion, he just thought they would be fun costumes. Also, that drum major was Catholic.

To answer your question about what other band has done things like this: Columbia. They are just as controversial as we are. Almost all of the Ivy League schools (plus Rice, and formerly the University of Virginia) have scatter bands like ours, and many of them have gotten in trouble. And hey, at least we don't haze people, like Wisconsin's band.

Also, don't assume that the University is not punishing us. They put us on a two-month suspension immediately following the incident this summer, and since then we have not been able to play off campus, we don't do field shows at football games, and many of our members are not allowed to play with us. There is a Band Reinstatement Committee working to decide a proper punishment and reinstatement terms. We are no longer student-run. There are many many restrictions on us right now (too many to list now), and we have been behaving well and focused on our music, and supporting our athletic teams and the rest of the student body.


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Posted by Dissapointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 18, 2006 at 11:34 am

Stephen,

What do you think about band members trashing (practically gutting) the inside of a band practice facility? You think that's OK? Seems it doesn't trouble you. Looks like you think felony property destruction is an OK thing.

What do you think about band members that insult the religious sensibilities of an entire group of people, in public, and on television? That seems not to bother you, either. Looks like you think insulting people who have

Perhaps Kirk's suggestion, in his last sentence, applies to you.

My hope is that real pressure will be brought to bear to SERIOUSLY discipline an organization that thinks fun is breaking things and offending people based on their belie


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 18, 2006 at 11:44 am

To "A Band member", Well, it looks like there is ata least some modicum of control being put into place. That's a good thing.

However, in all, I hear you rationalizing your behavior - and the band's behavior - by stating that there are a *few* (of probably thousands) of college bands out there that are controversial. So? Does that excuse what has been going on.

When you spout things that try to ameliorate the BAD bahavior of some of your group - whether you were involved ot not - it looks bad.

I, for one, would welcome what you've said about having someone in place that demands that the band support the athletic teams, and concentrate on music. I also welcome the restrictions, because the band in recent years has not shown itself capable of acting responsibly. There's a thick line between "fun" and healthy irreverence. Let's hope that band members start to learn where that line is.

As for those members that are not permitted to play with the band right now, if they're the ones responsible for trashing the Shak, I'm in favor of permanent disbarment from the band for them. Time to grow up, people.

Also, there's nothing wrong with a band making political statements, but for heaven's sake, let's hope that there is no further trashing of facilities, insulting people of other religions, or other activities that walk the fine line of COMMON propriety (defined as the Golden Rule) to a degree that reflects poorly on the institution that you are a part of, including the people that make up that institution.


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Posted by Kate
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 18, 2006 at 2:02 pm

Gosh, the band insults people's chosen religions? Perhaps we should burn them! Terrible things have been done in the names of said religions, including murdering millions of people who just don't happen to believe that some guy in the sky says the exact thing that YOUR guy in the sky says. Get over it.

No, the band shouldn't have trashed things. It's true. But keep your sordid, religion-dripping hysteria out of it, please.


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Posted by Kate
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 18, 2006 at 2:02 pm

Gosh, the band insults people's chosen religions? Perhaps we should burn them! Terrible things have been done in the names of said religions, including murdering millions of people who just don't happen to believe that some guy in the sky says the exact thing that YOUR guy in the sky says. Get over it.

No, the band shouldn't have trashed things. It's true. But keep sordid, religion-dripping hysteria out of it, please.


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Posted by Nice to hear facts
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Nov 18, 2006 at 6:12 pm

Dear A Band Member: Thanks for posting "the rest of the story". I still don't understand/know all the facts, but this is much more in line with what I had thought was ACTUALLY what happened, based on common sense. Given the state of "journalism" nowadays, I am not surprised how much is actual rumor and false.

Not condoning the destruction of property, mind you, even if it is true that it was to be demolished the following week. If it isn't yours, you don't touch it, ....

By the way, I AM Catholic, and lighten up folks. First of all, Catholics are used to being dissed and misunderstood around most of this nation, and trust me, this was NOT one of those moments! Second of all, since when are we all worried about dissing a Christian religion? Third of all, when we start to limit our expressions of opinions about religion, any of them, we lose not only freedom of speech, but the freedom of religious choice.

Don't let the pc vitriol here discourage you from writing what is true for you, or from making fun of anything at all. And don't let the pc types frame everything as "racist" (hasn't it occured to anyone that to be made a mascot is an HONOR?? I thought it absurd when Stanford succombed to this narrow frame of thinking). But, at the same time, it is time to grow up and stop trashing anything at all, for any reason at all. If I were your Mom, I would get the rest of the Moms together and make your band pay back double what you destroyed, either through work or money. You must respect property.


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Posted by NativePaloAltan
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2006 at 8:34 pm

This subject has prompted me to post for the first time in my life. Having been born and raised in this fine city, attended Wilbur and Cubberley and worked in downtown retail in the 80s and 90s, I have seen firsthand how this city has changed.

This used to be a city of understanding and some degree of tolerance for youthful mistakes. This attitude has clearly passed. Young adults need time to make mistakes and develop character and maturity. No one is born perfect, so cut the band members some slack. Sure, a temp building was damaged, so what? Have them take up a collection, hold a bake sale and pay for it. Young adults made a mistake and learned from it. All of us were young(er) once and I'm sure we all made mistakes.

Everyone who grew up in the 50s, 60s and 70s was likely forgiven by society for some youthful transgression. Please offer the same courtesy to todays young adults. As one bearded man once said, "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her".

NPA


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Posted by Howard
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2006 at 10:44 pm

I am very disappointed that, according to one of the comments above, the band did not really chain saw a sppoted owl.


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 18, 2006 at 11:33 pm

Looks like a lot of ex-Stanford Band members are posting here. First, we have Kate from Atherton, justifying the mocking of another's religion. This is ignorance (which is correctible) of the highest order, and a sad misreading of cultural reality from someone who I assume purports to be an educated person. Kate, you may not be sensitive to having religion mocked; might that be because you're not a particualrly religious person. And here you are spouting "an eye for an eye"? To quote you: "Gosh".

It just so happens that the majority of persons on this earth (i'm not one of them, btw) consider their religion one of the most - if not the most - important thing in their lives. Perhaps you might try walking into Irish Catholic Boston some Sunday morning with a sign that mocks Jesus Christ, and see what happens. That might start your real education about "religion-dripping hysteria". Gosh.

And here's "nice to hear facts" equating the right to mock other religions with the right to be able to choses the religion of one's choice. That one really made me laugh, and a little sad. btw, "nice", all Catholics don't think like yuo do. Perhaps you might accompany Kate on that walk through Irish Catholic Boston one Sunday morning. You might learn a thing or two about religious tolerance, freedom of speech, and restraint of juvenile ego expression in the name of not offending others.

And then we have NPA, with a "nurturing" stance that rationalizes this recent act of pure vandalism - including his own generation's acts of pure vandalism - by equating them with "youthful mistakes".

If ANYONE is is PC on this thread, it's these last four posters, who find cute ways to rationalize vandalism and insults to the more fastly held religious beliecfs of others. Yet, I'll wage real money that if it was THEIR property that was danaged, they'd be calling for blood. If it was a belief that THEY held dear that was mocked, they'd be shaking their perfectly rationalized fists.

What we see from the above four posters is the result of a slow slide into the failure to insist that ALL persons accept responsibility for their actions, instead of finding neat little PC and faux-excuses for forgiving vandals that have been given privilege and opportunity in life that is exceedingly rare - compared to the rest of their fellow earthlings; they should have been brought up to know better.


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Posted by Nice to hear facts
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Nov 19, 2006 at 7:24 am

Dear DSF:

Funny...I thought asking someone to pay back double the damage they have done isn't rationalizing and excusing vandalism.

Funny..for someone who DOESN'T think his/her religion is the most important thing on earth to dare to tell someone who DOES to try to learn how real Catholics believe and behave is truly ironic.

And to decide that because YOU see an act as mocking another religion makes it obviously so is horribly arrogant. Trust me, mocking is when our tax dollars pay "artists" to put elephant dung on Madonnas, and Crossesd in urine. Are you old enough to remember that? As long as it isn't tax dollars, I support the right of anyone to express any opinion about anyone else's religion, or else we come to the point of burning churches and issuing death threats over silly cartoons.

I stand by my anti-vitriol comment


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 19, 2006 at 12:16 pm

Dear "Nice", Let me quote yuo directly..."Young adults need time to make mistakes and develop character and maturity. No one is born perfect, so cut the band members some slack. Sure, a temp building was damaged, so what?"

Sure seems like rationalization to me. How about sayin gwhat those young people did id just plain WRONG! Did that ever cross yuor mind? How about saying that it's a CRIME to do such things? btw, IU'm old enough to remember when something like that happened way back when, someone got in REAL trouble for it.

And, whether you take your religion seriously or not, clearly does NOT make your opinion the last word on what others - who like you, take their religion seriously - would think of what the band did at Notre Dame. So, it appears that you condone the Stanford Band's prior insult to religious belief?
Perhaps you might read this link
Web Link

The bottom line is that you're expressing an opinion that may understand what the outer limits of freedom of speech are all about, but you have mistaken notion about what the limits of decency are.

You talk about the so-called, weak-minded, "art" that insults closely held beliefs, yet condone a public display by a prominent university band that mocks another's closely held beliefs as OK? It's opinions like the ones that you hold, and the lack of accountability that you appear to condone, that lead our culture over the slippery slope of insulting the most deeply held beliefs that others hold.

Sure, you're "free" to walk through Irish Catholic Boston any Sunday you wish with a poster that makes fun of Jesus Christ. Please, try that out, and see how many of your fellow Catholics - those who take their religion as seriously as you do, but with a slightly different twist on what the limits to propriety are, and see what happens. You might learn a thing or two, and the Stanford Band obviously hasn't.


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Posted by NativePaloAltan
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2006 at 3:37 pm

Dear DSF,

You must be awful mad, because you're not paying close attention to who said what when you quote people. Also, your spelling/typing is deteriorating. Take a deep breath and simmer down.

NPA


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Posted by Bears Rule
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 19, 2006 at 4:29 pm

You really need to cut the poor, misunderstood band members some slack. After all, they go to a highly rated, bucks up school where they're told they're the cream of the crop. Although, from some of their exploits, it appears that they're a bunch of punks who got out from under Mom and Dad's thumb and are tasting freedom for the first time. So what if they trash a temporary building or, appear on TV in the old "Shak" with a bunch of stolen signs. Kids will be kids. Right? The funny part about all the signs was when the owners showed up demanding their signs back. The poor band members got a little dose of reality from that. Too bad it didn't stick.


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 19, 2006 at 10:01 pm

Hey, NPA, a smart reader can determine meaning from context. If you're absolutely dependent on currekt (sic) spelling to ascertain meaning, you might look into getting examined for a cognitive disorder. :)

And if I mis-attributed anything, yuo (sic0 get the meaning - or, do you? :)

"Bears Rule", I hate to admit it, because I'm a Stanford fan, but in this case, you're right.
btw, here's a prediction - Stanford beats Cal on 12/2, 19-10
And Stanford will probably have an easier time of it w/o the band there!


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Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 19, 2006 at 11:42 pm

One minor question about the original question - are the actual individuals responsible for the vandalism known or identified? If not, that might explain why there's no criminal prosecution in the works, undermining the assumption that the DA is letting this slide because of lack of moral/legal clarity.


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Posted by A Band Member
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 20, 2006 at 12:01 am

I'd like to respond to a few comments.

I won't deny that the people who did the vandalism are my close friends, and that therefore I am biased on this issue. I know these people, and I know that most of them are usually well-behaved, caring, intelligent and kind people. This does NOT excuse what they did, and believe me when I say that they know they made a mistake, and they are paying their dues. Just because the DA isn't taking action, it doesn't mean Stanford isn't.

Also, I think you may have misunderstood something I said. I didn't say that our interim director is demanding that the Band support the athletic teams and concentrate on music. Those have ALWAYS been our goals-- along with supporting all the students, and the greater Stanford community. We don't play at athletic events because we have to, but because we want to support our student athletes. (What other college band plays at every women's volleyball game?) There are many weeks where I will spend over twenty hours playing at sporting events, charities (like the Special Olympics, AIDS Walk, elementary school fundraisers, etc.) and on-campus events. I do this not because I want to cause controversy, but because I want to support the Stanford community.

Also, to answer your question about what would have happened if the football team trashed a practice facility-- probably nothing. Every year the student athletes cause thousands of dollars of damage at their Athlete Formal, and are never reprimanded. This year, the football team caused $13,000 of damage at their formal. No reprimands at all.

Also, when I mentioned that many of our members are no longer allowed to play with us, I was not talking about the people who did the vandalism (though they too are suspended from the Band). The Athletic Department has banned all alumni and community members from playing with us, which has cut our numbers down by about 30. Some of our alumni had been playing with the Band for over thirty years. All other musicial groups on campus are allowed to have alumni and community members join.

I'm truly sorry if you were offended by the Band's field show at Notre Dame. I was not a member of the Band then, so I don't know the whole story. I do know that Band members are not malicious, and were trying to make a political statement rather than insult people's beliefs. I personally don't think that anything we've done is anywhere near as "offensive" as, say, the humor of Jon Stewart, Sacha Cohen or Saturday Night Live. It is all done for the laugh, and to make people think, not to insult anyone.


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 20, 2006 at 12:30 am

Band Member, You had me until your last sentence. the Stanford Band can't have it both ways. The band can be university band, or a political comedy routine, or an independent agent that does what you feel like doing. That said, when the band is representing the rest of of the University, as it does at nationally televised sporting events, it must take care to realize that that role is different from the band getting a gig on SNL to do a cute, politically provocative routine.

As for the football team, if they have done what you say - and it's the norm - it makes me wonder where the Stanford Athletic Group's moral compass is pointed.

Stanford is a wonderful institution; people at the top need to take leadership to keep it that way.

Thanks for your heartfelt note, and good luck.


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 20, 2006 at 12:33 am

Al, please don't tell me that there is no way to find out whoh the perpetrators were. Either they fessed up, were caught, or someone saw them do it. We know that the vandalism was committed by members of the band, so it's entirely appropriate to suspend the entire group if the perpetrators were not identified by others, or refused to come forward on their own.

Punishing the entire group in the latter cases is entirely appropriate, because it will compel the well-behaved members of the group to better police their irresponsible, insensitive, and law-breaking peers.


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Posted by Go Bears
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2006 at 6:31 am

Disappointed,

Big Game Week is always tough at my house. I'm in a mixed marriage.

"btw, here's a prediction - Stanford beats Cal on 12/2, 19-10

And Stanford will probably have an easier time of it w/o the band there!"

We'll do great if we can find the trombone player.


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Posted by Cal Band Alum
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2006 at 8:06 am

I was recently contacted by a member of the Stanford Alumni Band steering committee, who asked me about the Cal Band's position on alumni performing with the band. The question perplexed me because alumni never perform with the Cal band, unless there are very special circumstances.

Alums are invited to help with basketball Straw Hat Band performances during Cal's winter break, since so many students are unavailable. I've played at several Cal vs. Stanford basketball games over the years, thanks to winter break.

There is one football game during the season that is "Alumni Band Day," and the alums get together to form a band of their own that puts on a short halftime show. The finale of the halftime show is when the alums and the current Cal Band join to spell out a script "California," which typically stretches across the entire field. It's a thrill to be back on the field (though it was grass in "my day" and is now Millenium turf) and hear the crowd cheering again.

As I told my pal on the Stanford alumni steering committee, it would be near impossible to throw an alum into a Cal Band halftime or pregame performance though. The Cal Band does precision marching, not scrambling, and putting together those shows takes many hours of rehearsal. This year, the band is marching something like 220 during pre-game, and they still have 15 people who aren't in the wedge, so they have plenty of subs. Alums are not allowed to hang with the band in the stands and play, except as mentioned above during winter break for basketball games.

I was surprised to hear that the Stanford band has allowed alums to perform with them for so long. I can't tell if they were part of the problem though.


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Posted by rly- a proud cal alum
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2006 at 9:51 am

the stanford band is an extremely overdone painfully lame act that makes everyone in the stands wish for 10 minutes of their lives to be returned to them after a terrible field show.

once again, daddy's money has paid off-- stanford students don't get prosecuted for a clear act of vandalism. what a surprise!


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Posted by sizie
a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2006 at 10:18 am

All the comments about the Stanford Band are really funny....I wish folks would get this "worked up" about something serious.
BTW I have always loved the Standord Band and perhaps the football team would do better WITH the band than without.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 20, 2006 at 11:52 am

Several years ago I had East coast relatives visiting and I took them to Stanford and as we walked around, the band came running out "pell mell" and jumped in a fountain. They proceeded to do a bunch of antics. My thought is, it IS funny, but only up to a point. Not sure what the relatives thought -- weak smiles. They seem to be a bit juvenile.


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 20, 2006 at 12:48 pm

sizie, so it's not serious when someone commits felony vandalism, or insults the religion of millions of people on national television? Do you have kids? I hope not.


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Posted by Jake
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2006 at 6:17 pm


Dear Disappointed-
My hope is, at the next half time show, the Band scatters into
one big set of Panties in a Wad, dedicated to you... Jake


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Posted by Voice of Reason
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2006 at 7:42 pm

DSF,

Time to take a chill pill, and wash it down with some MellowYellow.

You are obviously very angry at something...do you not have any friends to talk to?

Your posts are hilarious though, keep them up! They should base an SNL character on you or something...you just can't make this stuff up!


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Posted by Go Bears
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2006 at 7:57 pm

Hmmmmm, looks like DSF has hit a nerve.


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Posted by Nate
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 20, 2006 at 11:30 pm

Dear DSF and Kirk,

Before you immediately assume that every member of the Stanford Band is exactly alike and that we're just a bunch of rich kids who want to drink and act crazy for our own spotlight because we think we are above it all, I personally invite you to come spend some time with us. You may find, like I have, that the LSJUMB is made up of admirable and intelligent Stanford students who are currently (and tirelessly) working with the Stanford administration to work out a positive direction for the band. You will also find, if you'd like to follow us to the hours of athletic events (often several hours almost every day of the week), that we are some of the Stanford teams' most dedicated fans.

So if you're ever in the area, or find yourself at a game, give me a call, because I'd be happy to talk and show you around. That's anytime, because I guarantee we'll be at many times more games than you two likely will be. I think we can show you a positive side different from the snap judgments you've formed after pointing to a small fraction of our true membership when they screw up.

Sincerely,
Nate (719) 660-6969


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Posted by George S
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 20, 2006 at 11:31 pm

The Stanford Band eats dead babies and sacrifices giant pandas. I urge you to boycott their sinful activities. Ban alcohol from the stanford campus!


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 21, 2006 at 1:55 am

"Jake", From now on, I doubt that the Stanford Band will have an opportunity to do such things, so living vicarious juvenile fantasies through the Band are behind you. Perhaps a trip through Toys R' Us will lift your spirits?

"Voice of Reason" (NOT! LOL!) , yes, I'm a sad loner who was at one time rejected by the Stanford Band because I spoke in whole sentences. I've always resented them for that, and this is my chance to get even.

"George S." Do they do that too? Yuo mean you saw all that and didn't report them? Are you sure you weren't drinking at the time - or partying with Voice and Jake instead of doing your remedial writing project?


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 21, 2006 at 1:55 am

"Jake", From now on, I doubt that the Stanford Band will have an opportunity to do such things, so living vicarious juvenile fantasies through the Band are behind you. Perhaps a trip through Toys R' Us will lift your spirits?

"Voice of Reason" (NOT! LOL!) , yes, I'm a sad loner who was at one time rejected by the Stanford Band because I spoke in whole sentences. I've always resented them for that, and this is my chance to get even.

"George S." Do they do that too? Yuo mean you saw all that and didn't report them? Are you sure you weren't drinking at the time - or partying with Voice and Jake instead of doing your remedial writing project?


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 21, 2006 at 1:59 am

Nate,

Finally! A real voice of reason. I may take you up on that. The Stanford Band needs more of yuor kind. I'm confident that Stanford's fine administration will filter out the troublemakers, and make sure that teh Stanford Band points to the future with pride, and makes its recent past record something that Jake and his buddies pine for, as they cry in their beer.


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Posted by Ben
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 21, 2006 at 2:08 am

"Can anyone imagine what the NCAA and other official sporting organizations would have done if the Stanford Football Teamm had insulted Notre Dame's religious foundations, or trashed the Stanford practice facility? I rest my case."

If you think the Stanford Football team would be disbanded, suspended for multiple seasons and restarted from scratch in response to 5 players vandalizing their practice facility, as you suggest should happen to the band, you are OUT OF YOUR MIND.


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Posted by Another Band Member
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 21, 2006 at 3:01 am

DSF,

I'm glad that you're pleased with Nate's response, but I don't want you to think that he's in the minority. Also, it may be true that people in the band have consumed alcohol in the past, but please don't forget that this is a college organization. However distasteful you may find it, most college organizations involve alcohol at some level. I would like to point out, though, that LSJUMB is no longer among those. There have been no band events since I joined including alcohol, so it would be very hard for us to cry into our beer.

The misconceptions of people like you are creating many difficulties for us right now, but we're far too busy being musicians, cheering on our athletes, and supporting the community (including you) for any of that.

Also, I would like to bring up your view of the terrible vandals. I can see how you'd be upset believing that any organization fosters the belief that it's ok to vandalize. But as other have pointed out, the people who did the vandalizing honestly believed the building was about to be torn down. Thus, they did not view it as vandalism. Fun? A release? Certainly nothing that would harm anyone else. But I'm repeating something you've already heard. Yet it still seems to be that you believe we're a group of awful vandals that needs to be put in our place. Are you not believing what people are telling you?

I'm sorry that you don't like us. I hope there are other things in life that make you happy.


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Posted by A band rookie
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 21, 2006 at 7:29 am

This only my first year in the band, so I may not have been exposed to the darkside of the band. But from my experiences the band is a great organization. We are about creating a group of friendship and good spirit through our love for the music. Yes, we often do crazy thing run around campus playing in fountains, wear outlandish outfits during rallies, and criticize, some would say mock, certain aspects of society that do not seem right to us(the band in general) through our field shows, which are intended to present our points in a humorous fashion. But our supposed antics are done to lighten the atmosphere. We(Stanford Students) all attend a great institution that challenges us to our limits academically. Sometimes after spending 5 hours working non-stop on a problem set or studying for a mid-term, we need a break, perhaps go fountain hopping or drown yourself in music or go to a sporting event. The band is just culmination of these outlets and seeks alleviate tensions not only for our own members but for everyone in Stanford and the Stanford community. An example that I directly experience is the band run. Almost all of the fellow freshmen I have talked to loved the band run, it was a perfect way of making us forget our anxieties about attend this big University, STANFORD, away from home, and away from our friends. It also welcomed us and made us truly feel like a part of the Stanford Community. The crazy atmosphere that band exuded was a key factor in the success of the band run. On every rally I have been a part of there are smiles and happy faces every in the audience whether they be students, faculty, or tailgaters, I see this as a sign that the band is doing a good job.

Now, I'm not condoning the destruction of property, but niether is the band. The apparent vandalism of the Shak was due to a misunderstanding amongst a small group of individuals, yes there should be punishments for the guilty parties, but realize that misunderstandings a part of being human.

BTW, 1)I am religious. 2)I do not drink alcohol, and am proud to say that never has any band member pressured me into drink whether while attending a band event or meeting them outside social events. In fact, many people from the band accept me as a non-drinker and are considerate of my choices.


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Posted by Another Band Member
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 21, 2006 at 8:56 am

Now I know Stanford is very powerful, but I don't think they have the County of Santa Clara District Attorney in their pocket. It's important to remember that this was the result of the criminal investigation, while Stanford has its own apparatus for punishing students.

rly - I'm insulted by the allegation that "Daddy's money" was somehow involved. According to my friends involved in the investigation, all that happened was a few students were interviewed, the police wrote their report, and the DA decided independently not to prosecute. Nobody had a lawyer present at their interview, and unless some bribes were passed around that I don't know about then there was no way to influence the DA. But I guess you care more about taking a cheap shot at Stanford students than actually making a substantive comment.


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 21, 2006 at 10:04 am

Another Band Member,

Perhaps you should read what I said. I've encouraged the university and the majority of band members to police their own. Clearly, the minority group of troublemakers was left to run rampant, and disgrace an otherwise fine institution.

You can see for yourself what a cavalier attitude some Stanford students and fans had about these things.

As for yuor comments about a "release". All I can say is that anyone who thinks it's OK to start taking down ceilings in a building without a permit, or condones making fun of someone's closely held religious belief, is sorely in need of education. Perhaps the more enlightened of you can straighten out yuor misguided band members, or at least keep them from ruining the excellence that responsible students, intellectuals, and administrators have taken generations to build.

Good luck.


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Posted by (Yet) Another Band Member
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 21, 2006 at 10:26 am

DSF, I was confused by your response until I noticed one two above mine also signed off with "Another Band Member." Just want to make it clear that there are two of us.


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Posted by Another Band Member
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 21, 2006 at 12:38 pm

Oh tear. The man who can't spell "your" is telling me I need an education, and failing to respond to direct points... it's almost like, talking to a brick wall.

You really need to lay off the religious beliefs line, man. You can't have your cake, and eat it, too.

Just because hitting things with a sledge hammer and ripping things apart isn't your idea of a good time doesn't mean it's not fun. While I had NOTHING to do with this event, I have in fact used a sledge hammer to remove a wall while remodeling my own house. It's fun. If we decide to remodel again, I'll be sure to do that part myself. So, if one of the most powerful men at the school tells you, we're going to tear that building down, and you're foolish enough to believe him, there's your folly. Not the enjoyment of hitting things with a sledge hammer.

You seem very concerned with "the excellence that responsible students, intellectuals, and administrators have taken generations to build." Are you an administrator? An alum? Part of the Stanford experience that fosters all this excellence is freedom, personal choice, and expression. Or, at least, that's what the students I've talked to seem to believe. But what does our opinion matter? It's not like this our school, or anything.


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 21, 2006 at 4:00 pm

Another Band Member, It's to your credit that you know how to use a hammer; would that you could understand words that are msssspelled (sic) in context. Isn't the latter an essential part of what gets from exposure to the written word?

Looks like yet another rationalization from you. Let's quote you again " Part of the Stanford experience that fosters all this excellence is freedom, personal choice, and expression"

What you just said doesn't justify trashing a building w/o a permit, no matter how much "fun" it is, or mocking someone else's religion, no matter how much "fun" it is.

Just cop to some of your band members having screwed up - you know, things like "responsibility", and "accountability"?


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Posted by Aaaand Another Band Member
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 22, 2006 at 3:56 pm

This point may have already been exhausted, but let me reiterate the fact that the perpetrators involved in the trashing have already been identified and reprimanded, and they continue to face the University's scrutiny. Believe me, if they didn't know what they were getting into at the time, they know now. I don't see the point in returning to something that's already happened and is already being dealt with, and dealt with quite harshly in comparison to the actual damage.

As for the Band's freedom of expression-- I wasn't involved in any of the Band's infamous field show incidents, but I, however grudgingly, support them all. I liken these controversial field shows to the cartoons about the prophet Muhammad that were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten-- they did lead to a lot of conflict and put the creators in an incredible amount of danger, but these have always been some of the many risks one assumes when they exercise their freedom of speech. The real danger is if these risks come from the government itself.

Also, the Band's self-government is usually pretty effective. We're trying our best to be good so the University doesn't keep putting us in the time-out corner. We usually know the rules, we usually abide by them, and we usually stop other members from doing anything stupid. But it's hard now that we're being punished for the smallest infractions. DSF, the University seems to be on your side in wanting to get rid of the Band. But from the joy I see in people's faces when we play, I think a lot of the Stanford community feels otherwise.

I join Nate in inviting you to come with us while we do the things that we really love to do, which are:
1. Supporting the Stanford community
2. Bringing happiness to someone's day
3. Enjoying ourselves while doing the above two

(Notice how I didn't include anything about being destructive or being offensive.)

The bureaucracy part sucks right now, but hopefully that'll work out.


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Posted by Disappointed Stanford Fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 22, 2006 at 5:33 pm

Aaaand Another Band Member, Like you said, there are risks when one exercises freedom of speech that bump up against mores and norms. There's also a fine line between funny irreverence, and outright insensitivity. Your few insensitive peers are paying a healthy price for their ignorance.

Keep up the good work, and kudos to those fine members of the band that have been and continue to show that fun doesn't have to hurt someone's feelings, or destroy property, in order to be fun.


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