UW Marching Band suspended as a result of misconduct allegations

October 3, 2008

The UW Marching Band has been suspended as a result of serious hazing allegations, Band Director Mike Leckrone announced today (Oct. 3, 2008).

The suspension, which applies to band performances, is effective immediately. The band will not perform at Saturday’s game versus Ohio State University, scheduled for 7 p.m.

The alleged conduct is consistent with behavior that resulted in the band being placed on probation in 2006. In particular, the new reports of alleged conduct include inappropriate alcohol-use, hazing and sexualized behavior.

The complaints have sparked an official investigation by the Offices of the Dean of Students, to be led by Associate Dean of Students Kevin Helmkamp. The investigation will explore possible violations of university code of conduct and the band code of conduct. If criminal violations are found, they will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities.

“I’m truly disappointed to have received these serious allegations, and I will assist this investigation in any way that I can,” Leckrone says. “It is my expectation that the members of the band will cooperate and come forward with any and all relevant information.”

Personal conduct of marching band members has been a matter of concern for some years.

In 2000, the university established a written code of conduct for the band, and Leckrone has taken action to discipline violators in the past.

Over the years, university leaders and Leckrone have had numerous discussions regarding band conduct. Leckrone has enforced his code of conduct and had numerous discussions about conduct with the band.

In fall 2006, the band was put on probation by then-Chancellor John Wiley for sexual hazing and harassment, also after the Michigan trip. After Wiley’s decision, there was improvement for the remainder of the 2006 football season.

“Strides have been made to improve the conduct and behavior of the band, we need to improve,” he says. “This is another opportunity to come together and improve our organization.”