PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — Stanford University’s quirky, irreverant marching band has been suspended after repeated violations of the school’s alcohol policies and failure to abide by previous penalties imposed on it.
University officials announced Friday the band would be suspended though next spring following a review of incidents by the school’s Organization Conduct Board.READ MORE: UPDATE: 15 Injured, 20 Rescued After Fire Erupts Inside San Francisco Tenderloin Apartment Building
In the spring of 2015, the university put the band on probation for violating policies on sexual harassment, alcohol, controlled substances and hazing.
However, in a letter to the band, the university said the band had failed to complete required reforms, continued to violate the school’s alcohol policies, and violated an imposed travel ban by using band funds for a Lake Tahoe cabin retreat.
The letter also indicated the conduct panel had found a “a systemic cultural problem” within the band.
The Stanford Band had been barred from performing at away games during the 2015-16 season. Earlier this year it was booed off the field during the Rose Bowl halftime show earlier this year after offending some fans with its performance.
Band members vowed to appeal the decision. “The alcohol violation is just one of many bottom-of-the-barrel justifications for suspending the band that overlooks what positive change we’ve made over the past year and half,” Stanford Band Mascot Sam Weyen said.READ MORE: Santa Rosa Police Search For Hit-And-Run Driver Who Critically Injured Bicyclist
The ruling means for now, Weyen—isn’t allowed to put his Stanford tree costume on.
“When we see that our culture is at odd with the university, the general sentiment is that it is, in fact, at odds with an idea that the university would like to put forward,” Weyen said.
Aside from the suspension, the university will require the Stanford band to develop a new structure that includes direct university oversight by a professional music director, instead of being student-run.
Incoming drum major Julia Howell said the band was already taking steps to hire a professional. “We don’t really know what they want. They continue to be vague,” Howell said.
The band members said that while the band may not be marching on, they will fight to keep the band’s offbeat culture going.
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