Bandmember Wilson Savoy says he and his roommates, Jon Bertrand and Cedric Watson, along with Drew Simon, have been playing Cajun music on campus since August ' usually with fiddle, guitar, accordion and t'fer. The acoustic quartet has performed on the corner of Rex Street and St. Mary Boulevard.
"We live near campus," says Savoy. "We like playing music, and the people like it. We go out there when there's nice weather to make a few bucks, but we're not begging for money. That's one of the nice things about Lafayette; the music is what it's all about."
While the group performs, there's an open case for passersby to part with their spare change. "People thrown in money," Savoy says. "We don't ask them. We make, on average, $10 a day." On the afternoon of March 23, The Pine Leaf Boys had netted $5 and had been playing for about five minutes when a UL Police car with its lights flashing pulled up to the curb.
An officer approached the group. "He said, 'Stop the noise. There's a complaint from the dean of students that there was noise on campus,'" says Savoy. "And he said, 'That's the same reason that we don't let bums beg for money on the street. So if y'all want to do it, y'all have to get a permit.' And yada, yada, yada. It was pretty offensive, so we packed up and left."
Pat Cottonham, UL associate dean of students, says her office received a complaint about loud music and adds that the band wasn't registered for an activity on campus, which is required by her office. "We didn't know there was supposed to be a band," she says. "People can't just set up and be on campus." Cottonham says The Pine Leaf Boys also didn't have a permit from Lafayette Consolidated Government to perform. She adds, "They were in a quiet zone, 20 feet away from an academic building where science classes were going on." (Montgomery Hall, the school's chemistry building, sits on the same corner.)
Cottonham also claims that university police had paid The Boys a visit about the noise a week earlier, a claim that Savoy flatly denies. Cottonham also says that the officer denies making a reference to "bums." Calls placed to the UL Police department were unreturned as of press time.
It was the first time the dean's office had received a complaint about the music, according to Cottonham. "But if someone calls and complains, then we look into it," she says. "I wouldn't understand how a band would be able to be there since August ' in a high traffic area ' and not be noticed."
Dean of Students Edward Pratt says the UL Police have informed him that The Pine Leaf Boys had been previously warned. "These are probably a bunch of nice kids," he says, "and I wish they would have come up to us, talked to us and said, 'Dean Pratt, we want to play music.'"
"I guess we're just not going to do it anymore," Savoy says. "It was kind of like a slap in the face. We weren't doing it for the money, by any means. In a way, we just wanted to raise the morale of the UL experience. A lot of people take tours [of the campus] and a lot of students are out there. The only thing that differentiates this campus from LSU is live Cajun music, right here in Lafayette. We're supposed to be the Cajun heartland of Louisiana, and UL is supposed to be the Ragin' Cajuns, but they made us stop playing. I thought it was just pitiful, especially when we're on a street where they've got trucks driving by, at 100 decibels, blowing out their rap and crap."
"I'm disappointed that they feel they weren't treated fairly," Cottonham says. "We want to be seen as a friendly campus, but there are rules and procedures to follow. This wasn't the first warning given to them, and I would like to talk to them about what our rules and regulations are for coming on the campus. I'm sure that there's a reasonable way for us to have a dialogue about this."
But along with scraping their afternoon matinees, The Pine Leaf Boys don't intend to speak with university officials over registering their activity or securing a permit from consolidated government.
"No, of course not," Savoy says. "We didn't think we needed a permit, and we still don't."
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.