The Rice University Marching Band is called "The MOB" or Marching Owl Band. They are a scatter band that most closely resembles that of the Stanford band, just with less trees.
Like the Stanford Band, the MOB has been known to use their platform to address political issues and stir up dialogue about the actions or inactions of the schools they face.
This past weekend the MOB took to the field to address the sexual assault allegations against the Baylor football program that lead to the ousting of the university's President and football coach.
The MOB formed the number nine, for Title IX, the law that addresses sexual assault on campus. Then they went after Baylor president Ken Starr by forming a star while playing "Hit the Road Jack,".
Their announcer read: "Now for our featured quote of the day, by a famous Clinton prosecutor and former Baylor president Ken Starr, who said, quote, 'I did not investigate that coach.'"
Yasna Haghdoost, editor in chief of The Rice Thresher, the Rice University student newspaper said this about the show on Dallasnews.com
:"If the point of the band's nationally publicized halftime show performance was to shine a light on the difficult and oft-silenced subject of sexual assault, they succeeded. Google searches for the Baylor scandal spiked sharply during the weekend after the MOB's performance. By drawing attention to the institutional perpetuation of sexual violence, the MOB prompted another round of discussion about how to treat those culpable for not just committing, but also enabling sexual violence. Without the MOB-style of satire, I doubt the national dialogue would have demonstrated this level of heightened sensitivity.More broadly, each of us has a responsibility to critically analyze and question the institutions and culture that allows such heinous crimes to often go unpunished. If we continue cowering behind a curtain of silence, it is ultimately the victims of sexual violence who will pay the price."
Here's their performance:
The Rice University administration expressed concern that the MOB "may have gone too far." However, Rice's Dean of Students John Hutchinson has tried to clarify the university's statement
by stating that he supports the MOB's performance.
The MOB is no stranger to controversy as they made fans for life at the university of Texas for spelling out $EC in regards to Texas A&M's departure from the Big 12 to the South Eastern Conference. Texas fans gave them a standing ovation for the formation.