Sullivant’s Travels is a site-specific journey through the mind of a building – namely Ohio State’s newly renovated Sullivant Hall, home to the university’s dance department. World-renowned director and choreographer Stephan Koplowitz developed eleven simultaneous performance elements featuring artists from OSU’s Department of Dance, School of Music and Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and [...]
Alumni Band Members Push Trustees To Rehire Waters
Supporters of fired Ohio State University marching band director, Jon Waters, brought their case to OSU trustees today.
Alumni musicians played, other supporters of Waters held signs and sang. The group wants the university’s board to re-instate Jon Waters as director of the marching band. Waters was fired on July 24th, in part, for failing to take timely action to change what was called the band’s “sexualized culture.’ Group spokesman Gary Leppla addressed friday’s meeting.
“We’ve never conceded that this discussion is over. We still think it’s the early chapters in a book,” says Leppla.
Leppla calls the band the “soundtrack of the university.” He told the trustees, too many questions surround the report that lead to Waters’ firing.
“Among the questions, what perfect storm lead to this event that we could never have seen coming,what forces within the university, what departmental issues. We should explore that,” adds Leppla.
Board chair Jeffrey Wadsworth says the university will not re-consider Waters’ firing. He told the group they are welcome to take part in a university inquiry into what was described as the “sexualized” culture of the band.
“I would like to make everyone aware, and I’m sure you are, the president and I did commission a continuing investigation, lead by Betty Montgomery. And any of you who have comments, ideas are welcome,” says Wadsworth.
Wadsworth then adjourned the meeting and the board left the room. A Waters supporter, Mary Ann Kimbro shouted to the trustees as they
“And the fact that you’re walking away is absolutely pitiful,” says Kimbro.
In a written statement, chair Wadsworth writes the OSU trustees are “mindful of the effect” of the dispute. The statement concludes by saying the board is “moving forward.”
Waters was fired after OSU President Michael Drake announced a two-month investigation showed “a culture conducive to sexual harassment” that included a vulgar song book, sexually-charged hazing rituals, and lewd nicknames for band members.
Waters and many former band members say he inherited the culture and was trying to change things when he was fired.