Columbia Daily Spectator       Sept. 25 2002


by Katherine Isokawa, Katie Goldstein, and Jessica Gresko

Marching Band Says It Will Not
Apologize

Though the presidents of Columbia University and Fordham University appear
to have made their peace after allegations of Catholic-bashing by the
Columbia University Marching Band during Saturday's Liberty Cup, the band
remains unapologetic.

Columbia public affairs officer Lauren Marshall said President Lee C.
Bollinger held a "friendly conversation" with Fordham President Rev.
Joseph A. O'Hare yesterday, and today's edition of The New York Times is
reporting that Bollinger has formally apologized to O'Hare.

But similar sentiments were not forthcoming from the Marching Band.

"No one's getting an apology from me or the band," Marching Band Poet
Laureate Andy Hao, CC '05, said.

Hao's halftime reference over the Lawrence A. Wien Stadium loudspeakers to
"Fordham tuition going down like an altar boy," angered many members of
the New York City Jesuit school's community.

The New York Times reported yesterday that Fordham senior Elizabeth
Kennedy had collected 120 signatures on a petition demanding an apology
from Bollinger.

In a statement released Monday, William Donohue, president of the Catholic
League, which claims to be the nation's largest Catholic civil rights
organization, called for Columbia to apologize to Fordham and local
Catholics.

Donohue wrote that the Columbia crowd's reaction was even more disturbing
than the actual comment.

"What this shows is that all the campus talk about multiculturalism,
diversity, inclusion, and tolerance means very little when applied to
Catholics: indeed, it is politically correct to bash Catholics. And not
just at Bob Jones University," he wrote.

Marshall stressed that the comment was not made by a University announcer
but by a member of the band. "The remark made was insensitive and
inappropriate, and the University is sorry for any pain it caused," she
said.

Marching Band manager Tom Berman, CC '04, said that the band regrets that
people were offended but would stand by its script. The comment "got blown
out of proportion," he said.

"I feel sorry people were offended," Berman said. "The show was meant to
entertain."