You are on page 1of 1

Columbia University Marching Band

September 25​th​, 2019

To the Columbia Community:

At 2:00 PM today, Band leadership met with the Athletics Director, Peter Pilling; Associate Athletics Director, Bob
Steitz; and Executive Director of Student Engagement, William Lucas. As opposed to discussing the upcoming
football season, the Band was told that because we are not recognized by Undergraduate Student Life (USL) or a
governing board, the Athletic Department would be pulling all funding from the organization, as Athletics is unable
and unwilling to provide the necessary oversight and structure. This decision was made over the summer without
any dialogue with the Board.

Last year, the Band was directed to join a governing board by USL. After missing the Spring 2019 deadline, we
have been actively pursuing recognition from the Activities Board at Columbia (ABC) in their Fall 2019 application
cycle. Both Athletics and USL were aware of this fact when the announcement was made, and both Athletics and
our advisor saw or were otherwise aware of our submitted application.

Rather than give us time to rectify our error, the Band has lost all additional funding and is prohibited from
performing at all Athletics events for the foreseeable future. Outside entertainment has been booked for the
remainder of the calendar year; any individuals who attempt to play instruments or disrupt Athletics activities will
be in violation of Ivy League regulations and subject to individual sanctioning under Dean’s Discipline.

Most importantly, should we be recognized by ABC this application cycle, the Band will still be prohibited from
playing at all athletic functions under threat of individual disciplinary sanctions. From their plans for a replacement
group, which were formulated months before our notification of this decision, it is evident that Athletics and USL
are not concerned with whether the Columbia University Marching Band is recognized. Instead, they are doing
everything in their power to ensure the organization no longer exists.

The Athletics Department will be seeking to create a new spirit organization overseen by a faculty director.
According to Athletics, those who wish to join this band will have to audition. The Band’s mission has been to
create an inclusive organization that welcomes everyone regardless of income, identity, or musical ability. We are
currently the only campus musical organization that does not require members to audition or interview to join.

As of the current moment, the Columbia University Marching Band will no longer exist in an official capacity. The
Board is weighing all possible options and would appreciate any support the community can offer. The Band has
been bringing school spirit to this campus for over a century, and we want to continue in that mission.

The show, as always, must go on.

Sincerely and g(tb)​2​,

The Board of the Columbia University Marching Band