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Dear Friends:

April 24 marks the second anniversary of the Pep Band's banishment from varsity athletics at U.Va., and we need your voice. The Administration assumes that, after two years, the "Pep Band issue" has faded away. We are asking all Pep Band supporters to join together to show the U.Va.
Administration that we remember what they did to the Pep Band on April 24, 2003, and that we are still waiting for justice. The Administration needs to realize that the exclusion of the Pep Band remains an unhealed wound that is costing the University the respect and support of its alumni today and in the future.

We ask all of our members to mark the second anniversary of the Pep Band's expulsion by writing to U.Va. President John Casteen and copying Athletic Director Craig Littlepage to express your continued support for the Pep Band, your outrage at the continued exclusion of the Pep Band from Olympic sports, and anything else you'd like to add.

We ask you to consider adding a statement that you will provide no financial support to the University until the Pep Band is allowed to perform at Olympic sports. Sadly, money carries more weight with the University than doing the right thing. Mr. Casteen needs to realize that the "Pep Band issue" is not going away and that failing to resolve it will have adverse financial consequences for the University in terms of diminished alumni support. With your help, we can send this message loud and clear.

Here's the current situation: Despite repeated efforts, the Athletic Department continues to resist the idea of the Pep Band performing at Olympic sports. To add insult to injury, starting this semester, the University is *paying* members of the marching band $25 per game to play
at men's lacrosse games. (This is shocking considering that the Pep Band *always* performed at home games for free and continues to offer to play without compensation.) While the Pep Band waits patiently on the outside looking in, the Marching Band ignores other Olympic sports such
as men's and women's soccer, field hockey, baseball, and volleyball.

To our knowledge, the Pep Band's performances at Olympic sports over 30-plus years have *never* been the subject of complaint. (The Pep Band's performances at Olympic sports were limited to music from the stands and energetic cheering.) It defies logic (and betrays a streak
of maliciousness) for the Athletic Department to exclude the Pep Band from a venue where it has always performed admirably. Meanwhile, the Athletic Department's forsaking of the Pep Band has the absurd effect of depriving U.Va.'s Olympic sports athletes of energetic music and support.

For a school that prides itself on providing opportunities for student leadership and growth, the continued poor treatment of the Pep Band is disappointing. FVPB is not asking U.Va. to reverse the decision to start a marching band (we are realistic). However, the Pep Band's 35-years of dedicated service to University athletics should have earned it enough good will to continue participating in at least a supporting role. Olympic sports are the perfect niche for the Pep Band to fill and would create a "win-win" for everybody. Denying this modest request from such a long standing member of the University community is unacceptable.

All of us, in some way, have been hurt by the unfair treatment of the Pep Band. It is time to speak out. Please express your feelings in your own words and from your own heart. Regular written correspondence is preferred because snail mail is harder to ignore than e-mail. Mr. Casteen's address is:

John T. Casteen
Office of the President
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400224
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4224

Mr. Littlepage's address is

Craig Littlepage
Director of Athletics
University of Virginia
McCue Center - PO Box 400846
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4846

Although written correspondence is preferred, e-mail is an option. For those who need it, Mr. Casteen's e-mail address is: jtc@virginia.edu. Mr. Littlepage's e-mail address is ckl9e@virginia.edu.

After you send in your note of support, feel free to drop us a line at friends@orangevest.org.

Thanks for your support. Viva la Pep Band!

--Dave Black
President, FVPB

 

 

 

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