Rice MOB

Rice's Band Tackles Baylor's Homophobia

Inside Higher Ed | Elin Johnson | September 23, 2019

Rice University's marching band has taken a stance against Baylor University's anti-LGBTQ statements and stood in solidarity with its students.

The two Texas universities' football teams played each other Saturday; at halftime, the Marching Owl Band formed the word "pride" on the field while waving rainbow pride flags and playing "YMCA" by the Village People, reports the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Baylor, a Christian university, released a statement earlier alluding that they supported "biblical notions" of sexuality and did not support the charter of an LGBTQ organization.

Baylor went on to beat Rice 21 to 13.

This has not been the first time Rice's band has been a bit tongue-in-cheek. The weekend before they formed "2.89" in reference to the University of Texas football team's "record high" grade point average.

Rice band spells ‘pride’ at halftime to mock Baylor’s anti-LGBTQ policies

Rice’s Marching Owl Band shows its support for Baylor’s LGBTQ students, who are marginalized because of school policy.

Outsports | Jim Buzinski | September 23, 2019

Rice University’s Marching Owl Band spelled out “pride” as people ran on the field waving rainbow flags at halftime of Saturday’s Baylor at Rice football game in Houston to make a statement of support for LGBTQ students at Baylor.

The band came up with the idea after Baylor administrators refused last month to recognize an LGBTQ student group, citing the Christian school’s “human sexuality” policy that prohibits students from engaging in “heterosexual sex outside of marriage and homosexual behavior.”

The Baylor LGBTQ group, which wanted to adopt the name whose acronym Gamma Alpha Upsilon spells “GAY” in Greek letters, has been denied school recognition since 2011.

When the band put out the word of its idea to address the issue, people on and off campus donated 70 rainbows flags, the organizers told the Houston Chronicle.

Chad Fisher, a spokesman for the Marching Owl Band, also known as “The MOB,” said he and his bandmates decided on a “Star Wars”-themed show months ago, but after learning about Baylor LGBTQ students’ ongoing fight to get recognition for their student group, they decided to incorporate that into their performance.

“Some of us did some more digging and found how deep it went,” Fisher said.

“We just think that’s kind of ridiculous,” Fisher said. “And so we all got to our show writing meeting ... and we were like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is like exactly what our show needs to be about. We absolutely need to call Baylor out for this.’ From there, it just kind of happened.”

As the Texas Tribune noted, not recognizing the LGBTQ student group at Baylor marginalizes these students by barring them “from accessing student activity funds or reserving campus space for meetings.”

During the halftime show, the Marching Owl Band urged Baylor “to reconsider your policy and support all your amazing students.”

It also tweeted out its thanks to everyone after the game for their support and ended a tweet with the hashtag #SpreadLoveNotHate.”

Rice band takes aim at Baylor LGBTQ stance in halftime show

Waco Tribune | Staff Reporters | September 21, 2019

The Rice Marching Owl Band (MOB), which describes itself as the university’s “infamously irreverent non-marching marching band,” took a shot at Baylor’s LGBTQ stance Saturday with its esoteric halftime show.

The band formed the outline of a Bear, performed a Star Wars-like lightsaber battle, then ended its routine by spelling out the word “Pride” while students holding rainbow flags joined in and the band played "YMCA" by the Village People. Baylor has been in the news this year for its denial of a charter for LGBTQ student groups, as it “affirms the biblical understanding of sexuality,” according to an official university statement.

It’s hardly the first time the band has poked fun at its in-state rivals. Last weekend when Rice played Texas, the MOB spelled out “2.89,” a reference to UT’s team grade point average. In Baylor’s last trip to Houston in 2016, the band formed the words “Title IX” following the fallout from the school’s sexual assault scandal.

Watch the video below and read the band's script below and read more here about the halftime performance from Brittany Britto and Glynn A. Hill of the Houston Chronicle.

Read the band’s half-time show script here!

Read the band’s half-time show script here!