Band inquiry to lead to reforms

The following is a statement from Stanford University regarding the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band:

Following a joint investigation by Stanford's Organization Conduct Board and Title IX Office regarding several internal events held by the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band in recent years, the band will be prohibited from performing at away athletic events for one year and will be required to adopt a number of reforms.

Stanford initiated the joint inquiry after learning of concerns regarding several band events, including off-campus trips, that the band held for its members between 2012 and 2015. The investigation found that, on several occasions, the band violated university policies regarding alcohol, controlled substances, hazing and/or sexual harassment. Violations included a tradition in which a band member was given an alcoholic concoction intended to make that individual vomit publicly; an annual trip in which some band members used illegal substances; and a band selection process in which individuals were asked a number of inappropriate questions on sexual matters.

As an outcome of the investigation, the band will be unable to travel with any Stanford athletic team to perform at away athletic events during the 2015-16 academic year, including post-season games. The band will be permitted to play at home events and at certain non-athletic events.

In addition, the band will be prohibited from hosting events with alcohol during the 2015-16 academic year; will be required to adjust some of its internal events to ensure they comply with university policies prohibiting hazing and sexual harassment; and will participate in additional training to ensure compliance with university policies on alcohol, hazing and sexual harassment.

Deborah Golder, associate vice provost and dean of Residential Education, said the investigation noted that band leadership has worked in recent years to make many improvements in the band's culture and accountability. The reforms seek to continue that progress, she 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," Golder said. "We hope the band will use this outcome as a positive platform for further strengthening its culture and ensuring the band's vibrancy and good stewardship in the years ahead."

The outcome of the investigation may be appealed by the band if it chooses, with a final decision to be issued by Vice Provost for Student Affairs Greg Boardman.