Hazing News

Update: Last year’s hazers have cleaned up their act after very public band assistant’s resignation: Wisconsin band hazing update

Link to current story and slideshow

Excerpt: MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Marching Band has been staying in line — both literally and figuratively — since it was threatened by officials for rowdy behavior and hazing last year.

SLIDESHOW: Badgers Season Opener Images (same page as link)

Listen to an audio show on NPR discussing the Wisconsin band incident. 

News about the band has been positive since a series of embarrassing incidents came out about lewd behavior by the group led to Chancellor John Wiley’s decree to shape up.

Casey Nagy, an assistant to Wiley, said administrators have been “very pleased with their response” after band members were strongly warned about losing performance and travel privileges.

Last October, Wiley sent a letter to band director Mike Leckrone that called the behavior “boorish to patently dangerous and unlawful.”

Leckrone said the band is moving forward since last year’s problems.

Prior story Link : Excerpt

The assistant director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison band has resigned after being criticized for inappropriate behavior during a rowdy band trip to Michigan last September.

A report released late on Tuesday said that Michael Lorenz engaged in “unwelcome, intimidating, and frightening” behavior after he entered the hotel room of a university employee during the early-morning hours.

The band was in Ann Arbor to play during Wisconsin’s game against the University of Michigan the following day.

The report said that Lorenz went to the woman’s room uninvited after a night of drinking, sat on her bed, took off his shirt, and eventually used her hot tub without permission.

In a resignation letter, Lorenz said that the situation was the result of a misunderstanding. His resignation is effective May 27.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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