ohio state university

Nobody’s story matches up in Ohio State University’s investigation into how thoroughly the school pushed to change the marching band’s “sexualized” culture before the band director was fired, The Lantern reports.

As The College Fix previously noted, a two-month investigation found that Director Jonathan Waters “would not address alcohol abuse” by band members and tolerated the band’s degrading sexual “tricks” like making one female member “imitate a sexual act” on her brother’s lap.

The problem is that the school’s former Title IX coordinator, the compliance chief and Waters himself can’t even agree on what happened at a meeting to discuss a sexual harassment complaint, The Lantern says:

“The very purpose of the meeting was to support Ms. [Andrea] Goldblum, as the Title IX coordinator, in ensuring that Title IX requirements were followed,” [compliance chief Gates] Garrity-Rokous said. 

Goldblum, however, said Garrity-Rokous constantly spoke over her during the meeting, preventing any real Title IX progress from happening. That kind of behavior was common for Garrity-Rokous, she said. …

After the meeting, Goldblum said Garrity-Rokous spoke down to her and told her she had been too aggressive.

“Gates said to me in a very condescending tone, ‘Andrea, you’ve never been a federal prosecutor like I was, so you don’t understand how to do these things,’” she said.

But Garrity-Rokous said those weren’t his words. 

“I did not use the quoted language, and my tone was consistent with my intent to help her improve her effectiveness in her new role,” he said.

And Waters said Tuesday he remembered the meeting as more of a meet-and-greet with Garrity-Rokous and Goldblum, rather than a chance to address any major sexual harassment concerns.

What kind of guidance the school gave Waters on appropriate band behavior has become a pivotal issue as he seeks to formally “clear his name,” but the school has refused to help him, which could lead Waters to sue OSU, The Lantern said.

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Ohio State is making a strong case that it’s the university equivalent of the neo-pagan orgy “Christmas Critters” episode of South Park.

First it came out that a psychology class was teaching students that atheists are smarter than Christians, and now the Ohio State marching band’s heavily “sexualized” culture has gotten its director fired.

A two-month investigation revealed a veritable carnival of sexual horrors practiced in the marching band and tolerated by band director Jonathan Waters (not the flamboyant director of Hairspray), The Columbus Dispatch reports:

Rookies were forced to perform “tricks” on command. In one case, a female student was told to imitate a sexual act on the laps of other band members, including her brother.

Several witnesses said that students performed a “flying 69” on tour buses, in which band members hung from the luggage racks and posed in a sexual position. Waters was on the bus when that happened as recently as last fall, according to Pam Bork, a band volunteer who quit last year.

Bork, who volunteered as a health official, reportedly told Waters on the bus, “If I have to hear the word penis or vagina one more time, I’m going to scream.” Bork quit soon after because Waters would not address alcohol abuse on that trip, she told investigators.

The school’s official investigation report catalogued in eye-popping detail band practices that would make Bob Saget blush:

  • The “tricks” section of the report (page 7) lists what sexually depraved actions the nicknamed rookies took “either on command or at their own volition”
  • An incredibly lewd “Rookie Exam” given to new band members (see in particular pages 15-20)
  • An “unofficial” marching band songbook with rewritten lyrics full to the brim with graphic sexual slurs and practices (some of which could be considered homophobic or misogynistic)

osu-marchingband-sex.screenshot

The fired director has his supporters, with some saying the band has been like this for decades, the Dispatch said:

Diana Gilmore was among those who found the punishment unfair. She said similar behavior has been part of the band since at least the 1970s, when her husband was a photographer for the band. She traveled on the tour bus and said she saw lewd behavior. She still has a photo of band members on the field raising middle fingers to the camera as her husband snapped a shot.

“This has been going on. Waters did not start this –– it’s a culture that’s been going on for a long time under everybody,” said Gilmore, whose husband, V. Scott, has since died.

For a quick rundown of the most objectionable parts of the exhibits, see this Deadspin article. The full Dispatch article is here.

UPDATE: The school has released a statement saying that, besides Waters’ firing, it appointed “Betty Montgomery, former Ohio Attorney General, to lead an independent task force, reporting directly to President [Michael] Drake and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, to review this matter in its entirety.”

Drake also speaks on video in the statement, noting he joined the school only three weeks ago.

h/t Daily Caller

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IMAGES: Photographer/Flickr, Investigation report screenshot

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Ohio State University is not only out of step with other public universities in the state regarding its policies on gun possession – it also violates state law, according to a lawsuit filed against OSU last week.

The university can’t prohibit storing guns in a locked car on campus or carrying at off-campus university events, Students for Concealed Carry and Ohioans for Concealed Carry said in the suit.

Four university policies forbid the lawful possession of a firearm, the suit said: the student code of conduct, human resources policy, the recreation department’s standards of conduct and the handbook for residence halls.

Only the Legislature has the authority to regulate gun use, Zach Zalneraitis, public relations director for Students for Concealed Carry, told The College Fix. Ohio law bans concealed handguns in places “owned or leased” by colleges “unless the handgun is in a locked motor vehicle or the licensee is in the immediate process of placing the handgun in a locked motor vehicle.”

Zalneraitis said his group is confident it will prevail in court OSU’s rules are in clear violation of state law.

concealed-carry-complaint

The student group said in a press release that OSU’s campus gun ban “disarms students to and from campus, leaving them vulnerable to violent crime on their commute in what is historically a high crime area, the University District.”

Owing to “certain provisions in the Student Code of Conduct,” even a student lawfully storing a gun in a vehicle “could face administrative sanctions from the university including expulsion,” the release said.

The student code prohibits not only the carrying of guns but the storage of guns on campus, which the suit says violates state law allowing people to keep guns in a locked car.

The code also gives the university jurisdiction over students even at off-campus events, meaning that the prohibition on concealed carry extends beyond the university, the suit claims.

Students breaking the rules can face suspension or expulsion, a sanction the plaintiffs find too harsh.

In response to the lawsuit, OSU spokesman Gary Lewis told The College Fix that the university is committed to a safe environment and that its policies comply with the law. Additionally, he said the university’s policies are similar to other universities in the state.

Gun policy on campus varies slightly at Ohio public universities, but some schools allow guns to be kept in locked cars and others are ambiguous in their off-campus carrying policy.

At Kent State University, guns are allowed to be kept in a locked car, but they are not allowed to be carried at off-campus university events “unless permitted under Ohio Revised Code,” according to an emailed statement from a university spokesperson.

The University of Toledo permits gun owners to keep their guns locked in a vehicle on campus. Cleveland State University follows the same policy.

A spokesperson for Ohio University told The College Fix that the university police enforce state law, which bans guns on campus except in a locked car.

The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence supports the university’s efforts to keep guns off campus, specifically keeping guns out of cars on campus, founder Toby Hoover told The College Fix.

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

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IMAGES: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid, Internet screenshot

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COLUMBUS – When Ohio State University graduating senior Mark Green checked online recently to see who’d been tapped as the guest speaker at his upcoming commencement ceremony, he said he was disappointed to learn it was the notoriously liberal pundit Chris Matthews.

“I saw it was him and I was like, ‘Why are they doing this?’” Green, a 26-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran who is earning his psychology degree, said in an interview with The College Fix. “I wouldn’t mind if it was a sitting politician, even if it was a liberal. But I don’t want to sit through a political commentator’s speech that I don’t agree with.”

Green is not alone. A lot of students have voiced disappointment over the selection of the MSNBC Hardball anchor as this May’s commencement speaker, a man who frequently bashes Republicans, has made comments suggesting people who oppose the Affordable Care Act are bigots and that those who scrutinize President Obama are racists, and who was brought to hysterics when Obama lost a presidential debate to Romney in 2012. matthewsinside.adamfagan

There was so much discontent, in fact, that it came to light there was no student input in the selection process this year – a situation blamed on a current leadership change underway the university. As an olive branch of sorts, administrators promised to ensure there’s student representatives on the commencement speaker committee from now on.

But the damage has been done, at least for the May 4 ceremony, at which an estimated 10,000 students are expected to graduate.

“I personally wish they had gone with someone politically neutral,” Ohio State junior Miranda Onnen said in an email to The College Fix. “Two years ago we had Speaker Boehner, and last year we had President Obama. Though both highly partisan, they are politicians of eminence, and a good choice by the university.”

“Matthews once had a job in politics, but now is a partisan pundit for a living,” adds Onnen, vice-chair of the campus College Republicans. “I’ve heard from many people, and not just conservatives, about their disappointment in this selection. I’m not a graduating senior, but I will be graduating next year. I can only hope that the selection will be less polarizing.”

Indeed, it appears plenty of students of all stripes are not thrilled with the pick.

When the campus newspaper The Lantern broke the news about the selection in mid-March, the article prompted 55 comments, many of which expressed angry sentiments about the choice, such as “a good reason to have diploma mailed” and “what a mistake OSU – tell me it isn’t true!”

Graduating senior Jake Bradley then wrote a letter to the editor stating “I am deeply disappointed in OSU for selecting Chris Matthews as the commencement speaker for my graduation. It is not because he is a hard line liberal, but rather because he is directly against open dialogue.”

In an interview with The College Fix, 21-year-old Cody Rizzuto, a University of Cincinnati student who represents conservative students across the state as vice-chair of the Ohio College Republican Federation, said the Matthews selection is a disservice to all students.

“To have someone who is that partisan … who has made a career out of pitting one part of the country against the other, is not who you want as a graduation speaker,” he said. “He is a talking head who makes points for the left.”

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGES: Main-Steve Bott (Flickr); Inside-Adam Fagan (Flickr)

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Nearly 30 students have fallen ill with the mumps at Ohio State University.

The Columbus Dispatch reports:

City health officials say the number of mumps cases associated with the outbreak among Ohio State University students has increased to 28.

Of those, 23 are students, one is a staff member, one is related to an OSU student and three are outside the university but have strong ties to it. On  Monday, the day classes resumed after spring break, the total was 23. Three people had been hospitalized for one day.

Students and faculty and staff members are  receiving emails updating them on the outbreak and answering anticipated questions about mumps and how to contain it.

Read the full article.

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Ohio State University has budgeted a whopping $100,000 to install no-smoking signs and banners on campus, The Lantern student newspaper reports.

So far, campus officials have used nearly half that money, $43,000, for the signs and banners that have already popped up on campus since Jan. 1, when the campuswide ban on smoking took effect, according to the Lantern.

The Lantern proceeded to interview several students who called it a waste of money, and also criticized the policy as unenforceable and an invasion of personal liberties.

Read more.

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