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Letter to the editor: Ohio State won’t move forward without Jonathan Waters

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Letter to the editor:

An open letter to President Michael Drake

President Drake,

I wrote you a letter back in July, after Jonathan Waters was wrongfully terminated from his position as director of marching and athletic bands. In response, I received a canned statement thanking me for my concern and effectively writing me off, like everyone else who wrote in to express their outrage over this situation.

Despite the best efforts of major benefactors of Ohio State, concerned students, alumni and members of the media, you have continued to ignore anyone who disagrees with your firing of Mr. Waters. I can understand your reluctance to face people who might disagree with you, given your track record; after all, you didn’t even give Mr. Waters the decency of looking him in the eye when you fired him.

I understand how major universities work. Money talks. So if the record attendance at the TBDBITL reunion this past weekend didn’t send a message to you, and the alumni wearing paraphernalia in support of Jon didn’t get through to you, and the standing ovation he received from much of the stadium after conducting didn’t make it clear, then perhaps the amount of money that is being withheld from OSU now because of the mess you created will speak to you.

I have noticed that your response, and the university’s response, to any inquiries regarding this matter can be summarized by the following words: “We (the university) are moving forward.” President Drake, I am writing to you to set the record straight. YOU are not OSU. WE, the students and alumni, are OSU. WE are not going anywhere. You are not a Buckeye, and so you fail to understand the true culture of this university, including the band and extended band family. We do not abandon each other; we do not betray each other; we do not move forward without one another.

Allison Zarem Skaggs 

Class of 2011, B.A. in political science

Allison.p.skaggs@gmail.com

14 comments

  1. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  2. Beautifully written letter. I would like to add that the TAXPAYERS are also the OSU while you are addressing who are OSU. Stay the course Allison and thank you

  3. Amazing! Couldn’t have said it better!!

  4. Beatrice A. Coyne, OSU alumni '78

    This buckeye stops here!

  5. Awesome letter.
    We will go quiet into this night.

  6. Thank you Allison for your excellent letter. We received the same canned response from Mr. Drake and the Secretary to the Board of Trustees, but could not match your eloquent message.

  7. This opinion does speak for some. It does not speak for all. Others of us who are also Buckeyes believe the university did what it needed to do. Let’s not fool ourselves it wasn’t a Drake decision it was a Bricker and Board of Trustees decision. A new President doesn’t make decisions like this without knowing where senior administration stands. The report sat on Alutto’s desk for two months and he didn’t touch it because he knew what it meant and he wasn’t willing to deal with it.

  8. You not We, it’s perfectly fine that you have a differing opinion. The problem is that until this issue has been resolved in some way, it’s not going to go away, and those against the decision will only grow in their dislike of the university. If the administration would actually have a dialogue about this situation instead of mindlessly repeating “We’re moving on,” maybe some of us would be able to move on. By choosing instead to dig in their heels and refuse to acknowledge they did something wrong, it is simply making the problem worse.

  9. First,hats off to The Lantern for their fine coverage of the worst administrative decision at my alma mater in recent memory.I can’t imagine the pressure you’re under daily.Keep it up! You give everyone an avenue of recourse to address the situation.Second,thanks Allison for your excellent letter.Finally,might does not make right…it’s a poor substitute for reason.The disrespect for Mr Waters and the band members was wrong..No one should ever be treated that way.Administrative leadership has damaged many people and the university.This situation is not going to go away.

  10. Don't Let Up Lantern

    Lantern please do you your best to keep it churning. Like all bloated mega-organizations with transient administrators from parts unknown, truth and honesty…not to mention integrity…are desperately needed.

  11. ANOTHER Black Eye for Ohio State and This Administration is ‘showing ‘ it’s TRUE Colors. I graduated 34 years ago and I am sick and tired of the Nonsense that takes place on Campus and the continual need to be Politically Correct. Over It!

  12. Kelly GriffIth Shirer

    So true, so well said. Your words represent thousands of true Buckeyes who will persevere until this wrong is made right. We will protect and defend this man of true integrity and honor. Good will win out. Drake is the one who must go!

  13. Don't let them beat you down Lantern

    Lantern staff keep after the truth in this whole mess and Allison your letter was great. Waters needs to return and Drake and the Board of Trustees need to shape up or go. I wonder what Wexner thinks about this scandalous behavior on the part of the OSU Administration.

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