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:
- 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.
- Climate Survey Report published by Van Dermyden Maddux Law.
- Executive Summary of Climate Assessment Interviews published by Van Dermyden Maddux Law (partially redacted to protect the identity of respondents.)
- Campus Recreation Action Plan for the Reinstatement of the Marching Band.
- Campus resources for students: We provide a list of confidential and non-confidential resources for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Any student who has experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault can report it by contacting the Harassment and Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Program at 530-747-3864. Hazing can be reported to the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs at 530-752-1128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.