President Drake & OSU Board of Trustees:
We, the undersigned, feel that your swift decision to terminate Jon Waters as Director of Marching & Athletic Bands is a miscalculated overreaction, and urge you to reconsider.
Even without debating whether the recently published report displays bias, or whether it sources information from an incredibly small sample size (given the enormity of both the organization and the alumni base), please also take the following into account:
- College, in general, occasionally promotes a “sexualized culture.” When issues of sexual harassment arise, they’re dealt with on the level of the initiating individual. By aiming at the top of the organization, you’re setting a dangerous precedent that, by the same logic, could have you stepping down from your own roles once lustful students return to campus residence halls in the Fall.
- However, when it comes to the organizational culture, few have been as adamant or worked as hard as Jon Waters to improve the culture in recent years. This was mentioned in a couple of the “official” statements in the report, and surely in numerous personal accounts, letters, and emails that have been shared in recent days.
- Great leaders and change management experts know that issuing a directive does not result in creating a new culture. Large groups/organizations are historically especially resistant to change. Rather, changing minds and attitudes, inspiring individuals to change for the betterment of the group while still recognizing the past, and taking steadfast and graduated steps in the right direction – these are how to effect change and were evident in Jon Waters’ approach.
Undoubtedly, you’re receiving many letters and emails in support of Jon Waters. We, too, feel that dismissing Jon Waters was an improper way to handle the situation, and strongly request that you reinstate him as Director of Marching & Athletic Bands. We believe that he is the best-equipped individual to effect change in the organization, and was given an inadequate chance to do so. #standwithjon