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Ohio State Cans Band Director Over Sexual Hazing

When most people think of hazing, they think of sororities, fraternities, and collegiate sports teams. This is not the case for Ohio State University.
I tend to search the New York Times for a variety of hazing articles; the majority of the hazing lies within the above-mentioned groups. The title of the article listed most recent in the New York Times hazing category caught my attention, “Ohio State Fires Marching Band Director after Finding Tradition of Sexual Hazing”. The report describes “a culture of harassment and alcohol abuse.”
The director of the Ohio State marching band, Jon Waters, did have a strong sense of what was occurring and did little to stop it. A clear description of the hazing acts was in the article; new members of the band would walk down the aisle of the bus, reenacting sexual performances, as their peers would take off their clothes. After taking a march to gain a sort of appreciation from other band members, the victims would march on the football field in their underwear. One of the sexual imitations involved a sister and brother.
Nicknames were also given to members after they had completed their “walk of shame.” As Michael V. Drake, Ohio State University president, stated, “Even one instance of harassment or hazing or assault is one too many.”
Personally, I could not agree more with Drake. Waters explained he had tried to reform this culture of hazing. He claimed he had little time to do so because he was director for less than two years, according to the article.
My input on this incident is that if Mr. Waters knew hazing was occurring, he should have taken extreme measures to stop it, such as suspensions or permanent expulsion from the marching band. Ohio State, along with many other colleges, gains much attention from their athletic department. They also provide entertainment, from the bands leading various teams on the court or field. In other words, the band is just as important as the sports team. The marching band contributes to making “game day experience” fun and entertaining. If universities aren’t taking hazing lightly, Waters should have taken extreme measures to prevent it on his team of band members. Hazing is not something that should be taken lightly. Two years is too long to have these actions still continuing. I agree with Ohio State University for firing Jon Waters.

Jenna Tuttolomondo
Student President

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