First and foremost, welcome to The Ohio State University, the best university in the country as far as myself and many others are concerned. In fact, I loved it so much, I took a full 5 years to graduate. My name is Allison Schaffer, a.k.a. Princess, to those who affectionately called me that. I was Hall Council President of Baker Hall, played in the University Band, sang in Women’s Glee and was heavily involved in the Theatre Department. I was a manager for The Ohio State University Marching Band and the Athletic Bands from 1992-1994 and Head Manager for the 1993 Athletic Band season and 1994 football season.
Being a manager was an amazing experience for me from the get go. I was a 19 year old woman trying to figure out where I belonged in a campus full of very different people. I came from New Jersey and really didn’t know the history of Ohio State or the marching band; I just knew that, as soon as I found that organization and the amazing people that were part of it, I found the place I wanted to be. I took responsibility for my actions as an adult. I was never forced to drink, forced to take place in Midnight Ramp and NEVER hazed as implied in your report. I CHOSE to do these things, after all I was living the college experience, right? Yes, my nickname, Princess, was because I am an East Coast Jewish woman and the nickname is short for Jewish American Princess, but this was an affectionate term and not hateful by any means. As a matter of fact, I found that being a Jewish woman was great, I was able to educate those people who never met a Jew, or never had Jewish friends before, making them more diverse. I would have never had these experiences had I joined a social sorority, instead I would be paying to have friends which I got for free the minute I became a part of the band. Better yet, I call these people family … because we all get it! We have all been there and shared these experiences with each other … to me, that’s invaluable. I would never have gone to bowl games, loaded airplanes, met celebrities, participated in traditions and most of all met some of the closest friends that I have TO THIS DAY!
I was shocked to learn about the investigation into the band and the firing of Jon Waters. Jon is a stand up man who has nothing but the best intentions and actions. He has been trying to change that culture but, unfairly, you only gave him a year! One season! Thanks to your decision, the media has made all of the organization past, present and future sound like a bunch of animals. I assure you that this is not the truth and I feel you and all of those involved in this decision, didn’t take the time to speak to those of us who were there. I am saddened by the actions of the university that I proudly (usually) represent as an alumnus. Thanks to your actions, I have had to spend the last few days defending myself, my humility, my friend Jon Waters and most of all MY University!
Allison “Princess” Schaffer
OSU Marching Band
Manager/Head Manger 1992-1994