Statement from Emily Galindo, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs: Moving forward with a new Marching Band

Updated 1:15 p.m. September 18:

Since the reinstatement on September 3, Campus Recreation and the Student Leadership Team have been utilizing the Action Plan for Reinstatement of the Marching Band to begin to implement the necessary changes to reconstruct the program. Some of this critical work has included writing the new mission, vision and values statement, developing procedures to fulfill the new bylaws and designing new uniforms. In addition, the new name of "UC Davis Marching Band" has been confirmed.  

The university is also amid the search process for a new Assistant Director of the band. This newly redesigned role will provide administrative oversight, support and musical direction expertise for band performances. While the search continues, the band will be permitted to have a coordinated presence in the stands during home football games under the supervision of Campus Recreation leadership. All official performances have been placed on hold until the search has concluded.

We share in the hopes of the students and community for the band to have the opportunity to share their spirit and pride for UC Davis. This is an important moment in the history of the band and we will continue to move forward with the collaborative process of building a new foundation for the program and relaunching the band in a positive direction. We will be thoughtful in our approach as we work toward the best possible outcome for our students.

Original post, September 3:

Earlier this spring, the university received allegations of misconduct by members of the Cal Aggie Marching Band (CAMB) and the Cal Aggie Alumni Band. In response, all band operations for both organizations were provisionally suspended, and the university hired an external law firm to conduct a comprehensive independent review to evaluate the climate of the band. As part of the review, a climate survey was distributed to current and former members of the band and individual interviews were conducted. In addition to this review, leadership within the Division of Student Affairs met throughout the summer to assess and reconstruct all functional areas of the band including bylaws, organizational structure, policies, reporting procedures, traditions and training.

These critical efforts have recently concluded, and we would like to share the feedback, outcomes and decisions of this process. According to the Climate Survey Report, participants of the survey overwhelmingly felt positive about CAMB with 85 percent of respondents stating they were either “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” about their overall experience. With that said, the survey and interviews did reveal areas of concern regarding traditions, activities and behavior, with survey and interview respondents citing examples of misconduct. Regarding band administrators, there was no evidence that they failed to appropriately respond to the reports of misconduct. In consideration of the report findings as well as the longstanding history of CAMB and its positive contributions to the campus community, university leadership has made the following decisions:

Key Decisions/Outcomes:

  • Band Restructure: The university has discontinued the Cal Aggie Marching Band and has decided to establish a band with a new name, bylaws, governing structure, guidelines, and practices. The group referred to as the “Band-uh” will no longer exist. The band will shift from being a “student-run” organization to a “university-supervised” organization. In support of this oversight, the open Assistant Director and Coordinator positions have been redesigned with revised duties and expectations. A student leadership team will be established and selected by Campus Recreation.
  • Alumni Band (formally known as the Cal Aggie Marching Band Alumni Association): Effective immediately, the university will discontinue its relationship with the alumni band. The alumni band will no longer be recognized by the campus and will be prohibited from participating in any campus events. While we recognize that the concerns regarding the alumni band are not reflective of the entire membership, we feel this step is necessary to provide the greatest opportunity for the student band to rebuild as a new and independent program. Further, under our new restructuring, social interactions with alumni band members will be strongly discouraged.
  • Action Plan: Campus Recreation and band staff leadership will utilize the Action Plan for Reinstatement of the Marching Band to implement the necessary changes to reconstruct the program. Some key highlights of the plan include:
    • Collaboration with student members to develop a new name and uniform design for the band in addition to new mission, vision and value statements.
    • Addition of extensive required trainings, including procedures for reporting concerns within the band.
  • Probationary Period: There will be a two-year probationary period. During that time, the band must follow the new structure, guidelines and practices and will be permitted to participate only in events and activities approved by Campus Recreation.

The Division of Students Affairs is committed to offering programs, services and experiences that promote student success, well-being and engagement while building an inclusive campus community. Among those goals, the safety of our students is the highest priority. With the seriousness of the allegations, our goal throughout this process was to act swiftly, thoughtfully, and appropriately in both our assessment and decision making. The plan put forth was developed with great reflection, intention and care and is rooted in the desire to rebuild the band program into a safe and welcoming organization for our students and to move forward in a positive and student-focused direction that the entire UC Davis community can be proud of.

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