I hope you saw this. (also here and here). Apparently the number one problem of the UW Chancellor is sophmoric intra-marching band antics. So much so that he feels the need to gather the entire band and give them some mass dressing-down.
Chancellor Wiley (not sure if he's related to the coyote of Warner Bros. fame) further proved that he's not living up to the name of his paternal forefathers by following this meeting with a public threat to banish the band. The exact message was adhere to my vague standards of behavior or face "virtual extinction for a significant period of time." Yeah, that'd be a popular move. It's not like they're the most popular students on campus, or absolutely beloved by alumni.
And Wiley won't even say what the kids did. (So far, my efforts to pry information out of a random sampling of band members have been for naught, as have Deadspin's). But perhaps we can deduce some information from what's publicly known.
Wiley Wiley's letter demands that there must be no more "gratuitous vulgarity, sexualized banter or joking, hazing, or other forms of demeaning conduct" and objects to behavior that runs the gamut "from boorish and offensive to patently dangerous and unlawful."
Besides obliging these intensely vague demands, the band must also attend "harassment training." So I'm guessing people were cursing, making sex jokes, maybe recreationally drinking and/or using drugs, and potentially teasing other, probably younger band members. Call Amnesty International, immediately. Now, I don't mean to diminish the feelings of those who have been painfully teased. Obviously unwanted non-playful harassment can be a terrible thing. But as long as there's an opt out point in the informal hazing, and band members know that they can pull a Nancy Reagan and just say no, I don't want to play, then what's the problem? I don't see one.
Does this remind anyone of the trial scene in Animal House? Specifically, when they're marching out humming the Star Spangled Banner, and Dean Wormer yells "No more fun of any kind!" No more "boorish" behavior? How else are you supposed to act on a bus? My advice: get a grip you crazy 'yote. The state legislature isn't going to threaten to cut off your funding for this one. And at that, I will potentially violate copyright laws and leave you with the conclusion of Otter's speech, which seems oh so appropriate:
But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!