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Let band support team

By Carrie J. Rituper
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
September 22, 1999

To the editor,

I am so frustrated with the past two home football games, and it has nothing to do with the scores. I am a recent UA graduate, a former "Pride of Arizona" Drum major, and now a paying spectator at home football games. And I have only two questions: 1) Why can't the marching band play more during the football games? 2) Why is the marching band so inadequately uniformed?

Well, I can answer both of those questions. The first is that huge TV screen, called "Cat Vision," forcing commercials down our throats at the games ... if I really wanted to watch commercials, I could stay at home for free. And it's not even the ridiculously stupid commercials, themselves, that bother me so much as it is the fact that their existence doesn't allow the band to play nearly enough in the stands.

Half of the reason for a marching band to attend a football game is to support their team through music - the "Pride of Arizona" can do that, and can do that very well, but only if they are allowed! By the fourth quarter of the miserable Stanford game, the band was playing at almost every break (since the stands had emptied, "Cat Vision" had given up on advertising). Ask any of the 10 or 20 people left in the stands, and they can tell you that the band was the only thing worth staying for - they sounded great! In fact, I'd venture to say that the band was the only collective group left in the stands still cheering and supporting the team in the all-but-lost game. Therefore, I personally pledge (and would encourage others to do the same) to boycott any of the products advertised through "Cat Vision." I think it is a disruptive, unnecessary addition to Arizona Stadium and a waste of money, at that.

Which brings me to question number two: Why is the marching band so inadequately uniformed? It is so completely unacceptable, disrespectful, inappropriate and sad that such a major university with such a high profile can not put 300 of their students in uniforms that fit and match. A school's marching band is one of the most publicly viewed faces and representatives. When uniforms must be borrowed from a local high school in order to outfit the entire band, something is obviously wrong. If the UA can spend millions of dollars on such wastes as the "Cat Vision," surely it can buy a few new marching band uniforms. It makes me wonder what the priorities are at this school, because they certainly aren't focused on giving the students the best educational experience possible.

This fiasco has created multitudes of extra work for the director, equipment managers and staff of the marching band, and at what expense? No one notices their extra effort to simply clothe the band because the quality of their preparation and performance has not dropped at all. This band is of equal caliber to any of the National Championship teams of which this school is so proud, and I believe it's time that we showed them the same kind of respect.

Carrie J. Rituper

UA alumna

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