Varsity letters. Should band students receive varsity letters?

Con Column

Abby Jenkins, Design Editor

When one walks down the hallways of Utica during the winter, one is bound to see a couple Varsity jackets being worn. When one sees the jackets it can be assumed the wearer is in a sport- until they turn around and you see “Marching Band” or “Symphonic Band.”

For athletes, getting a varsity letter is a goal. Athletes work hard for years to achieve it. Getting on varsity is not something someone automatically achieves after two years, like in marching band. It takes determination, and proving to coaches, teammates, and even oneself that they deserve to be on that team. For marching band one just has to show up for two years. There is no system of who gets it and who doesn’t, and even those who quit after two years get their varsity letter. It turns it into a participation award instead of an award one actually needs to work for.

Now, before someone yells at me for having this opinion, they should know I was on Color Guard, the non-musical part of marching band for four years. There was times where it was difficult, after all we did practice all summer for hours in the burning sun. Hours of my summer and afternoons after school were dedicated to marching band, but that didn’t mean I thought I deserved a varsity letter.

I honestly didn’t even know marching band participants got a varsity letter until I got one my junior year. I didn’t know because I wouldn’t think something that’s not a sport got a varsity letter. Also, I had done nothing special to earn it. Even the people I had seen slack off for the past two years received a varsity letter, which made me question the value of it all.

I think Marching Band should have separate awards system, because after all, marching band is in a separate category as sports. Marchers work hard on their music and memorizing their formations, and they should be rewarded too.