The Task Force hired to look into the Ohio State Marching band culture has finished its report.
The group, led by former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery, released its findings on Tuesday afternoon.
Ohio State requested Montgomery’s review after the July 24 firing of band director Jonathan Waters in the wake of a university investigation.
The task force concluded that “The Band is a remarkable asset to the University. The Band’s rows are made up of bright, hardworking and dedicated students, students whose humor and behavior reflect the college culture in which they live. Embedded in that behavior are some lingering traditions that in today’s world are no longer acceptable and are inconsistent with standards of rule and law.”
The Task Force came up with a list of 37 different recommendations for the school, band, band members and alumni. Here’s that list:
1. Band should remain in the School of Music
2. Create a Provost-led Band Coordinating Committee
3. Hire a compliance officer
4. Clarify Band policies and procedures
5. Create mandatory training for Band Directors and staff
6. Require "refresher" trainings for Band Directors and staff
7. Require Band staff to attend Squad Leader training
8. Create a master training calendar and an internal tracking system
9. Band staff should learn row traditions
10. Train Band members on both performance and conduct
11. Allow Band members to self-nominate for Squad Leader positions
12. Update Squad Leader application materials and interview process
13. Conduct summer training sessions for Squad Leaders
14. Provide training in one or two hour sessions rather than all at once
15. Provide initial training to all Band members the first week of classes
16. Require training for Athletic Band members
17. Notify Band Director of incidents involving band members
18. Require training for bus chaperones
19. Provide an orientation for Band parents
20. Provide improved training resources to Band Candidates
21. Create clear guidelines for Fesler Night videos
22. Reinstitute the “Rookie Name” tradition with clear guidelines and policies
23. Ban Rookie Tricks, Rookie Midterms, Songbook
24. Immediately fill the position of Band Secretary
25. When hiring staff, consider both internal and external candidates
26. Strive for diversity in Band staff
27. Revise student staff position
28. Conduct an annual workload review
29 Revise Graduate Assistant program to include more graduate students
30. Create Internships for students from other academic discipline
31. Work with the University travel agency to manage travel logistics
32. Develop a Communications and Media Relations Policy for the Band
33. Provide adequate nutrition and hydration for Band performances
34. Establish a uniform policy for extreme weather condition
35. Update contract for external performances
36. Create policy to guide changing into Band uniforms on the bus
37. Create an Alumni Liaison
READ THE REPORT: OSU Marching Band Task Force
The report cited multiple reports of widespread alcohol abuse. It included the fact that the band dance has had to change venues due to conduct by intoxicated members. The report talks about drinking during the Midnight Ramp tradition.
"Band members would usually depart the stadium and, according to alumni Band members, go to an off-campus house and drink alcohol prior to reconvening."
In 2009, the report says a first-year Band member consumed so much alcohol prior to returning for Midnight Ramp that he or she passed out in the stadium and was unresponsive.
"According to interviews with current Band members and Squad Leaders, Mr. Waters proposed the idea of ceasing Midnight Ramp in 2014 to the Squad Leaders in the spring of 2014. Midnight Ramp was not scheduled for 2014.”
The school paid nearly $900 an hour for the work on the investigation, according to a recent Columbus Dispatch report.
PREVIOUS STORIES: Ohio State Band Investigation
The two-month probe concluded Waters failed to stop a “sexualized culture” in the band.
A number of students and alumni band members have rallied to support Waters following his dismissal.
Montgomery recently told school administrators that at least 185 people were interviewed, and a survey was conducted with hundreds of other current and former band members.
10TV will have updates and reaction throughout the day online and on-air.