Sexist charge against ‘100’ lacks historical research

In the Oct. 21st issue of The Famuan, I admit that I was both excited and disheartened at what I read.

My excitement was rooted from the tribute to Dr. William P. Foster.

However, the disgruntlement stemmed from the editorial written by Derrick McMahon titled “Band marches to sexist rhythm.”

As a member of the Marching “100”, and having been in the ranks for three years, I think it is safe to say that the content of the editorial is wrong.       

The moment this issue hit newsstands around campus, I sent my band director Dr. Julian E. White a text message requesting he pick up a copy to look at the article on Dr. Foster.

I had not known yet of the article displacing the reputation of the world-famous Marching “100.”

Dr. White later responded saying he liked the Dr. Foster profile, but he also expressed concern about the editorial.

He said the article was wrong and that it was not good editorial practice to publish without researching facts first.

Throughout that day I was approached several times with good and bad feedback.

Fellow band members were obviously very upset.

Fact is, there are several female officers and leaders in the band and even on the band staff.

The Marching “100” does not restrict females from being a drum majors, or holding any other positions.  

Sexism is a bridge that the “100” crossed decades ago.   

In order to be a drum major, certain requirements must be met: A 2.5 GPA, being in good standing with members of the band staff, a height preference of 6 feet, an audition to test musical abilities, and the completion of rigorous physical training.

Once those requirements are met, the door is open for members of the band to audition, be it male or female.       

Less than a decade ago, a female went out for the role of drum major.

She passed the academic and musical requirements, but failed to meet the physical aspects.

While she did not become drum major, that is not proof that the Marching “100” is sexist.  
The Marching “100” is an equal opportunity organization, and that is a fact.             

For 63 years, the Marching “100” has been around the world and made many accomplishments.

Those accomplishments include breaking racial and sexual barriers still present in other music programs across the nation.

“The largest room in the world is the room for improvement”- Anonymous.

Keenan Doanes is a junior photography student from Atlanta. He can be reached at