Billboard causes controversy on OU campus

Billboard causes controversy on OU campus

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A billboard causes controversy at the University of Oklahoma.

"I think it's good the students feel they are allowed to speak out," said graduate student, Erin Andrews.

"I think it could be a little negative attention," added junior, Robert Andersen. 

Members of "Restore The Pride of Oklahoma". put up a billboard on I-35 near the 19th Street exit. They hope it leads to changes in the leadership of the school's marching band.

"It's a beacon of hope for everyone that is fan or an alumni of the Pride of Oklahoma," said  Nick Nicholson, an alumni of the band. 

Nicholson said for months students have been unhappy with the school's new band director Justin Stolarik. They claim he is unqualified for the position, not teaching students what they need to learn and taking away from the tradition of OU. 

"The students were very concerned about it they voiced their opinion and they were told to either get in line or quit," said Nicholson.  

Nicholson said when they didn't get answers from OU President, David Boren they took their message to the streets. 

"We are about to have messages in Tulsa and all the way down the i-35 corridor into Dallas." 

Many students on campus are on board for the signs.

"I feel like such publicity with that will get the community involved which is probably what they're going for," said sophomore, Madison Lasiter. 

While others say airing the university's dirty laundry is not the best way to go about it.

"I think maybe he should go to the band or the band director not necessarily put it on a billboard and broadcast it to everybody who drives by," added Andersen. 

Still Nicholson said he has a very clear message for President Boren.

"This situation is not going to stop."

President Boren's office issued this statement...

"I am very disappointed that this group decided to put up a billboard instead of giving to the scholarship fund for our band students.  Our band is doing an outstanding job and the new director deserves to receive our support.  Hospitality to new members of our university family is a long-standing Sooner tradition."  -OU President David L. Boren

The band director did not return our phone calls for comment.

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