Ohio State University Fires Marching Band Director Over Sexual Harassment Charges

home_osuOhio State University in Columbus has fired Jonathan Waters, the director of its marching band, saying that the band had an ingrained culture of sexual harassment toward women members. Women are about 21 percent of the band’s members.

The university was informed of the problem in May and conducted an investigation. In announcing the firing of Waters, the university issued a 23-page report on misconduct by band members. It concluded that Waters either knew about the misconduct or should have known.

Among the allegations are that band members participated in an annual “Midnight Ramp,” where they entered the football stadium dressed only in their underwear. New band members were given nicknames by older band members, many of which were sexually explicit. Band members often changed their clothes on motor coaches in front of members of the opposite sex, and an unofficial songbook was distributed to band members that contained raunchy lyrics and that these songs were sung on bus trips.

Waters has been the director of the band since 2010. He was the assistant director from 2002 to 2010 and served as a graduate assistant from 2000 to 2002. Waters played the sousaphone in the band from 1995 to 1999. He holds a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from Ohio State.

Filed Under: Sexual Assault/Harassment


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