The Big Red Marching Band at one of its performances in 2017.

Courtesy of the Big Red Marching Band

The Big Red Marching Band at one of its performances in 2017.

August 30, 2018

Big Red Marching Band Given Written Reprimand for Violating University Hazing Policy

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Correction and Clarification: An earlier version of this article incorrectly included a photo that depicted the Big Red Pep Band, not the Big Red Marching Band. Furthermore, the article has been updated to clarify the organization disciplined: it is the Big Red Marching Band, not the Big Red Band. A statement from the organization has also been included in the article. 

Following a hazing report that was sent to the Office of the Judicial Administrator in Dec. 2017, the Big Red Marching Band received a “written reprimand” and was required to create a Leadership Transition Guide.

After investigating the University-Registered Organization, the OJA found that “as part of a leadership transition practice,” an incoming section leader “consumed a shot of bar-b-que sauce” to “demonstrate devotion to the section.”

The investigation found that this event also occurred in past years and featured “other condiments.”

The Big Red Marching Band and University reached a Summary Decision Agreement, instead of proceeding with hearing.

After the organization was found in violation of the University’s hazing policy, it was ordered to develop a Leadership Transition Guide in collaboration with the marching band’s advisor Megan Ramey, a OJA member, and Joe Scaffido, the director of campus activities.

The guide was distributed to members of the marching band’s leadership board to inform them on the proper conduct expected by Cornell’s conduct standards, and members transitioning into the leadership positions this school year were also required to review the guide.

The Big Red Marching Band affirmed its commitment to making the organization welcoming and inclusive in a statement issued on Thursday morning.

“The band is committed to creating an inclusive and open environment where all individuals feel welcome and comfortable; therefore, the concern this complaint raised about the BRMB’s approaches to our traditions have caused us to reconsider and modify them to be as welcoming and inclusive as possible,” said Rebecca Rodell ’18, the head manager of the Big Red Marching Band.

Rodell additionally confirmed in an email to The Sun that currently “no members of the band are being investigated for this hazing incident or any other.”