Wednesday, September 24, 2008

THE VIEW FROM NEW JERSEY

UNIVERSITY BAND HARASSED BY CADETS AT CITADEL
By Jack Ackerman Staff Writer - September 22nd, 2008
The University band (PUB) (pictured here marching through the library at rival Harvard) faced physical abuse, harassment and taunting on Saturday while accompanying the football team to its away game against The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C.

Following the game, Citadel commanding officers and the president of the Citadel student body apologized to the band for the cadets’ behavior, several band members said.
The altercation began when the band marched, with prior approval from The Citadel’s administration, through a guarded entrance onto the campus. The band’s traditional march through the home team’s campus brought the performers into contact with The Citadel’s cadets, who were outside for field activities.

“Some of [the cadets] started running towards us and ran back … but it didn’t seem threatening at all,” Simon Fox Krauss ’11 said.

Yet when the band tried to continue its march, Krauss said, the cadets surrounded the Princeton students and began booing loudly, linking arms to form a line blocking their path.
In response to the blocked path, Lucas Giron ’09, the band’s drum major, gave the order to “scramble” — break formation and leave.

Band conductor R.W. Enoch ’09 said that at this point, “a number of cadets broke ranks and got into physical altercations with some of our members.”

In the skirmish that followed, several band members were physically attacked and spit on, band members said, adding that at least one member had his instrument broken.
The Citadel’s Commandant’s Office and student body president could not be reached on Sunday, and the college’s Office of Public Safety declined to comment for this article.
Jordan Bubin ’09 said he was tackled by “three or four cadets” and pushed up against a tree.

“The booing was so loud, [and] the cadets who were on the field were yelling at us, ‘Cut your hair, long-haired faggots’ and ‘You go have fun in college, I’ll go fight the war,’ ” he said.

The cadets also stole band members’ hats and spit on female members of the band, some members said.

Bubin added that he overheard older cadets ordering the younger students to go after the band.
PUB president Alex Barnard ’09 said that he found the cadets’ behavior “offensive and demeaning.”
Barnard said his immediate response was to direct the band to leave campus.

Several of The Citadel’s commanding officers, however, brought the situation under control and asked the band to continue its pre-approved march.

The band was escorted on the rest of its march around campus by commanding officers without further altercations, Barnard said. Bubin said, however, that the band was “pursued and taunted” in spite of the escort.

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