October 12, 2006
The Wisconsin Band
Posted by Gordon Smith

Steve Bainbridge invited me to comment on recent reports about the Wisconsin band. The University issued a press release today, detailing some of the behavior:

Reports of one band member having his head shaved in a hazing incident and lewd dancing by semi-nude band members during the band's road trip to the University of Michigan on the weekend of Sept. 23 were a tipping point, Wiley says.


Reports of inappropriate conduct by some band members include:

  — A female band member told to suck on a sex toy in an apparent hazing incident.

  — Women being forced to kiss other women in order to gain access to bus bathrooms.

— Women being forced to draw pornographic pictures for older male band members, recite obscene limericks or stories, and read aloud explicit accounts of their sexual preferences composed for them by others for older male band members.

  — The practice of women swapping shirts with males.

  — Demeaning and abusive demands for younger band members to run errands and refill beer cups for older members.

— Upperclassmen have been reported to have "taken over" the dorm rooms of freshman women, supplied alcohol and demanded they join in the drinking.

  — In 2004, band behavior in a bus led to the driver pulling over and calling for police.

— The Athletic Department has allocated funds to allow cheerleaders and the dance squad to travel in separate buses whenever possible, so they will not be subjected to harassment by the band.

And here I thought it was just our football players.

As for comparisons with Stanford's band, I don't think they are apt. After all, none of the events described above happened on the field.

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