Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Allison Schaffer

President Drake,
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

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