Stanford's marching band faces reforms due to concerns of hazing and sexual harassment
STANFORD, Calif. (KTVU) - Stanford's marching band, long known for its antics, is now facing what the university calls reforms.
University officials say the band has crossed the line. The school and the Title IX Office started a joint investigation over concerns about several events including off-campus trips.
The investigation found that the band violated school policies on alcohol, controlled substance, hazing and sexual harassment.
On Friday night, the sound of music came from the school's Mariachi Cardinal band as it performed its spring show.
"We all really love this music. We practice a lot. We present as well as we can," says Karen Oropeza, a sophomore who plays the violin.
But Stanford officials say its popular marching band, which performs at major school events such as football games, has not been presenting itself well.
The investigation found that from 2012 up until this year, the band violated university policies on alcohol, drugs, hazing, and sexual harassment.
"If they're on the wrong side of the law, the law applies first. If they're on the right side of the law, they're kind of like pushing the envelope, then they need to be given a second warning," said Rohit Relan, a Stanford alumni.
On Friday, Stanford announced it is banning the band from traveling and performing at all away games during the 2015-2016 school year.
In addition, the band will not be allowed to host events with alcohol.
Some students say the punishment is too harsh. They believe the band's passion for performing should be allowed
"I think there should be other consequences. It shouldn't be that they take the entire band away," said Karina Luna a freshman who says she has friends who are members of the Stanford marching band.
The school says violations included the use of illegal substance.
In a statement, Stanford said," The university's objective is to ensure a safe and harassment-free environment while honoring the band's traditions and its unique, irreverent identity."
"I would think it's for the betterment of the band. I trust that the people putting out these sanctions or reforms on the band know what they're doing," said Jomar Sevilla, alumni.
In response to KTVU'S request for an interview, the band sent a written response which said in part, "Many of the punitive measures that have been placed on the band are a result of allegations rooted in the 2011-2012 school year, a time when most current band members were still in high school."
"A little bit of reform could be good, but too much could be bad mostly because I think our school takes a lot of pride in our band being kind of this wild and free spirit," said Adriana Diakite, an alumni.
A spokeswoman for Stanford says the next time the marching band will be performing is commencement day scheduled for June 14th.