Commitment to reforms paves way for Stanford Band resumption

Stanford Provost John Etchemendy is replacing a previously announced Stanford Band suspension with a pathway for the Band to resume activities as a student-run organization.

The Stanford marching band poses for a photo at the Rose Bowl Game.

Stanford Band at the 2016 Rose Bowl Game (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Stanford Provost John Etchemendy has accepted proposals from the Stanford Band to address concerns about its organizational conduct. Convinced by the strength of those proposals, the provost is replacing a previously announced Band suspension with a pathway for the Band to resume activities as a student-run organization.

In a Thursday letter to Band leadership, the provost said he was impressed by the quality of the Band’s appeal of the suspension and the Band’s acknowledgment of past failures to achieve its own ideal of inclusiveness.

Moreover, he said, the Band’s new management team had taken “an impressive set of actions” since the announcement of the suspension and had outlined “thoughtful and realistic” steps for improvement. They include a new Band management structure, mechanisms for monitoring the Band’s success in making organizational reforms and steps to codify and communicate internally the Band’s behavioral aspirations.

“If carried out with the determination you have demonstrated in the past six weeks, the process you propose will ensure continued student leadership of the Band while putting in place sufficient structure to head off a recurrence of serious behavioral lapses,” Etchemendy wrote.

Under the outcome approved by the provost:

  • Instead of being suspended through the spring quarter of 2017, the Band will be placed on provisional status through the end of the 2016-17 academic year. The Band will remain a recognized student organization and will be able to rehearse, hold membership meetings, proceed with Dollie and Tree selection for next year, continue the search for a music director, and proceed with other related activities.
  • Though the Band will not resume performances immediately, a four-member oversight committee will be put in place to monitor the Band’s progress in implementing reforms. The Band will be able to resume public performances when approved by the oversight committee – hopefully beginning with home athletic events before the end of the current winter quarter.
  • A pre-existing travel ban will continue through the provisional status period, with exceptions subject to the approval of the oversight committee. Similarly, a pre-existing alcohol ban will remain in place for formal Band gatherings until the oversight committee is convinced it can be safely lifted.