Stanford Band at it again

11Aug06

From the first day one sets foot on campus as a freshman (or “profro”), the Stanford Band plays a defining role in the undergraduate culture. Asides from having one of the most notorious scatter bands in the country, the band’s exploits outlive their actual performances and become campus urban legends in their own right.

If my memory serves me right (though it’s probably as inflated as an ivy GPA), over my four years at Stanford, the band averaged about one banning from another university per year, two alchohol suspensions per year, one ban from a transportation company per four years, and about 20 new iterations of stories of how they got into such trouble every year.

Today some of the Stanford undergrads came to visit LBL and I got to hear another story… and this one is corroborated by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. Here’s the story that was told to me (by an anonymous source!):

Longtime Stanford donor John Arrillaga recently donated money to create a new band practicie facility. As the band was moving out of their old, dingy “band shack,” some members decided that since Stanford is razing the old structure, they might as well have some fun with it. There’s some precedent to this, the band did its best to ‘help’ the razing process of its previous band shack several years ago. However, this time, their information was incorrect, and the university was not, in fact, planning to tear down the “formerly-band-shack.” What’s worse, apparently it was none other than John Arrillaga who discovered the ‘vandalization.’ This, I might note, is the same John Arrillaga for whom two Stanford buildings are named and have strict decoration codes in case he might wander in one day. As a result, the band has been suspended and there is an official police investigation.

As an alumni the story is somewhat amusing (and certainly not the kind of news one gets from the Stanford magazine that gets sent to alumni), but it’ll be a real tragedy if the band isn’t allowed to perform during orientation week.

Some links to “official” stories:



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