By Charlie Tyson
Dismissal of marching band director at Ohio State reflects an unwillingness to tolerate behavior that once would have been written off as tradition.
Are college marching bands hotbeds of hazing? No more so than any other student group that enjoys prestige on campus, demands copious amounts of time and draws on a set of “traditions” to define itself, anti-hazing advocates and student affairs experts say. Yet in recent years marching bands have been the focus of conversations about college hazing.
Ohio State University fired the director of its acclaimed marching band on Thursday after an internal investigation found that he had turned a blind eye to hazing and sexual harassment among band members. (Read the full report here.) With college sexual misconduct making headlines daily, and the hazing death of a Florida A&M University drum major in 2011 lingering in the minds of band directors, college marching bands have come under heightened scrutiny. And the Ohio State firing may reflect stricter standards for behavior.