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August 30, 2007

Group rebuked for freshman joke

Rocky Mountain News (CO):

A University of Colorado a cappella group has revised its audition form after acknowledging that a question ridiculing the victim of Monday's campus stabbing was inappropriate and a "big mistake."

Singers auditioning for the all-men's student group the Buffoons on Tuesday were asked a multiple-choice question about how they felt after the previous day's random attack, which sent a 17-year-old freshman to the hospital with a slashed neck.

Applicants were given these answers to choose from:

A. Confused

B. Dazed and confused

C. Mad someone got that guy before you did

The Buffoons, a CU student group and a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1962, making it one of the oldest and most established a cappella groups in the country. Last week, the group performed at a ceremony welcoming freshmen to the campus. During the convocation — which was mandatory for CU's 5,600 freshmen — members of the Buffoons led the new students in singing the school's alma mater.

The group's questionnaire irked at least one student who auditioned, prompting the musicians by Wednesday to clean up the form. Upon learning about the questionnaire's contents, campus officials called it "insensitive."

All of the "offensive" questions have been removed, said Colin Birkhead, business manager for the Buffoons. Auditions for the group are going on this week.

"We are a group with maybe a little more extreme sense of humor," said Birkhead, a senior at CU. "We weren't meaning to offend anyone. It was a big mistake." Birkhead said he did not author the questions on the form but didn't want to place blame on any group member.

CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said the Buffoons have had an upstanding reputation on the campus over the years. He said the audition form was "insensitive" and "unnecessary." "Why would they want to sully that with something so stupid at a time when the campus is trying to recover from trauma?" Hilliard said.

Posted by acapnews at August 30, 2007 10:29 PM

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