I attended the Fiesta Bowl this year which pitted Stanford against my alma mater, Oklahoma State University. Stanford’s band took the field before the game and played the state song of Oklahoma. At most games this gesture is a tribute to the opposing team. Stanford’s band members however, arranged a formation to spell out “Land of the Lame” while the band’s announcer made disparaging remarks about Oklahoma.
I thought we had the last laugh when OSU beat Stanford in overtime. But apparently Stanford’s band thought the Fiesta Bowl was a noise competition and not a football game. Not content with insulting us before the game, they made a point of playing nonstop, and very loudly, while OSU was presented the championship trophy after the game. The Stanford band proved to be equal opportunity offenders, however. Earlier in the day one of their members was caught setting off small explosives at the Phoenix Zoo.
I couldn’t help but think of my Fiesta Bowl experience when I read a story in The Oklahoman entitled: “OU, OSU see increase in students from California.” Imagine that, California kids choosing to go to school in the Land of the Lame. According to the article, enrollment of students from California is up by more than 50% over last year at OSU. Why? I can’t say it any better than what I read in the paper, “California’s higher education system is one marked by instability and skyrocketing costs over the past year. In 2011, California led the country in tuition and fee increases. Since then, student protesters have clashed with police during demonstrations against tuition increases.” Sounds like a job for the Stanford band.
All kidding aside, Stanford is a private institution but The Oklahoman cites the College Board’s annual “Trends in College Pricing” report which reveals that public four-year schools in California had an average tuition increase of 21% last year and public two-year colleges had an average increase of 37%.
I went to school in Oklahoma but I learned enough to know that California is compounding its problem by violating the laws of economics. As you raise tuition, enrollment will continue to decrease. Now, you have raise tuition even more to cover your costs or once again turn to the taxpayers and tell them to ante up. My guess is that California’s taxpayers have had about all of that they can take. They may be joining the students and decide to take up residency somewhere else.
Oh, there seems to be a perfectly logical explanation for the Stanford band’s behavior. It seems the administration placed the band on alcohol suspension after the game. What a bunch of party poopers! What’ll they do next, take away their explosives?
(Jim Whitt is a noted speaker, consultant, author, and unapologetic people provoker. Visit his blog at Purpose Unlimited.)