The 9 Most Controversial Student Groups


The Appalachian (Appalachian State University—Boone, NC)

According to the Appalachian State University student newspaper, everyone needs to calm the eff down about burritos.  After the paper mistakenly reported on Facebook and Twitter that Los Arcoiris, a favorite Mexican restaurant near App, was closing (they issued a correction 20 minutes later), they received a massive response from students who were angry that the paper had misled them.  The Appalachian’s response?  A scathing editorial that shamed the students for caring so much about the restaurant.  “We're disappointed,” the editorial read. “Throughout the morning Wednesday, our Twitter timeline exploded with feedback. We even received a string of phone calls to our office. All of a sudden, people cared - and it was all about a Mexican restaurant. Sorry burrito lovers, in a list of the most important issues covered this year, the potential closing of Los wouldn't even make the top 10.”  Ouch.  The paper received even more angry feedback from readers, and then-editor-in-chief Meghan Frick apologized for the editorial’s condescending tone.

Psalm 100 (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—Chapel Hill, NC)

When Christian a cappella group Psalm 100 voted unanimously in August 2011 to remove Will Thomason from the group, many UNC students were outraged.  But it wasn’t because students liked his singing voice; it was because Thomason, who is gay, was kicked out because he believed that homosexuality doesn’t conflict with the Bible.  Blake Templeton, then-general director of Psalm 100, insisted that Thomason wasn’t removed because he was gay, but because of his beliefs about homosexuality.  “It’s really easy in this situation for the focus to be on this one thing — the homosexuality. It wasn’t about that,” Templeton told The Daily Tar Heel. “It was really about a disagreement with something that was clearly written in Scripture and in the Bible and we just have to base all of our decisions, constitutionally… on the Bible.”  Because the school’s non-discrimination policy allowed student groups to restrict members based on shared ideas as long as students aren’t excluded because of personal characteristics, Psalm 100 didn’t get in trouble with the administration, but they did receive a lot of criticism from UNC students.

The Daily O’Collegian (Oklahoma State University—Stillwater, OK)

Sure, puns are great, but haven’t students from the Oklahoma State newspaper ever heard of the old adage, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”?  Students were outraged when the paper used the headline “Diamond in the Muff” for a front-page article about a new strip club called the Blue Diamond Cabaret opened up in January 2012.  Clever… but awkward.


The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (Stanford University—Stanford, CA)

When it comes to controversial student groups, the Stanford Band pretty much takes the cake.  According to its website, the student-run band “uses a combination of witty political, borderline potty and artful musical humor to entertain its pregame and halftime audiences.” The band takes delight in offending audiences; their antics include but are certainly not limited to a 2004 halftime performance in which the band conducted a mock polygamous marriage (Stanford was playing BYU), and a 1986 incident in which a band member was seen urinating on the field in the middle of a performance.  The band was banned from the University of Notre Dame’s campus for a show in which the drum major, dressed as a nun, conducted the band with a wooden cross.  The governor of Oregon attempted to ban the band from entering the state of Oregon after a 1990 show that implied that the state’s logging industry was destroying the habitat of the Spotted Owl, an endangered species native to Oregon (the band members made a large chainsaw on the field, then the word “OWL,” which changed to “AWOL”). But while the band has caused their own share of controversies, the controversial event that they are most known for was “The Play”—a legendary football moment in which they were the victims, not the instigators. In the last few seconds of the 1982 Big Game against UC Berkeley, band members thought the game was over and ran onto the field, but ended up being run over by Berkeley’s Kevin Moen as he scored the winning touchdown.

What do you think, collegiettes?  Were these groups pretty crazy, or would your school’s latest chess club scandal give them a run for their money?  Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credits:
The Associated Press