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Editorial: Bookstore bails out band, Athletic department

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 15, 1999
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Oversized, stained uniforms are still a problem for the UA's marching band, the Pride of Arizona.

And the UA Athletic department, the organization that ought to help them earn their new uniforms, has done nothing to assist them.

One football game remains this season, and the UA marching band is only one step closer to having its new uniforms. Thanks to the U of A Bookstore, clothing companies may donate $1 per item sold to help the Pride of Arizona buy its much-needed uniforms. However, the larger issue at hand is why the UA Athletic department has not assisted in the marching band's efforts.

First of all, it makes sense for the Athletic department to invest in the group that plays such an important role in its weekly performance on the field. The department recently donated millions to the new student union construction project. The Pride of Arizona has been trying to raise a mere $75,000.

Clearly, the department has enough money to spare. Helping the marching band look its best on the field ought to be something the Athletic department should contribute to.

The Pride of Arizona has endured the same uniforms for the past 13 years. Band members have been dealing with wearing disgustingly stained, oversized uniforms that they have willingly covered up or safety-pinned.

Also, it ought to be a school priority to give this group presentable uniforms in which they can professionally represent the UA. Besides the obvious discomforts the members have faced, the Pride of Arizona is less presentable without adequate uniforms.

"It's getting to the point where pieces are missing, and we are representing the UA - it's kind of bad," said band member Becky Lewark, a communication sophomore. "We would be a lot happier with new uniforms because we would feel we'd be putting on a better presentation of the university in good taste."

That the marching band has been starved of a mere $75,000 for the past 13 years is ridiculous. The bookstore's meager effort to help the marching band is commendable and, hopefully, will be successful.

But the Athletic department could have helped the team earn new uniforms for this season. The band's performances at athletic events are a critical representations of school pride. Athletic events would be less entertaining without the spirit and charisma the band exudes.

Enduring the unbearable, the band has still given excellent performances this football season.

On the other hand, the football team has no problems with its attire or its funding, but has delivered less than the band has all season.

The bookstore should not have to be the campus organization helping the marching band. It ought to be the Athletic department stepping up to the plate and offering to help out the group that they have been sharing the field with every Saturday.

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