2015 has gotten off to a terrible start for many people around the world. In France, 12 people died in a shooting at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. And in Nigeria, an even greater atrocity occurred when thousands of civilians died in an Islamic militant attack.
In the marching arts community, the news is not pretty either. On Jan. 1— usually one of the best days for bands— sports radio host Jim Rome essentially called band members “dorks” on his twitter feed. And shortly after The Ohio State University celebrated its victory in the Sugar Bowl, four members of the marching band were expelled and two others suspended due to alcohol-related issues. These incidents brought even more scrutiny to the Ohio State band following prior allegations of its “sexualized culture.”
For these reasons and many others, working on the January/February 2015 issue of Halftime Magazine has been particularly difficult for me. We want to focus on the goodness of band, but we can’t shy away from these bigger social matters.
That’s why this issue features the story “How to Prevent Sexualized Culture.” It’s hard to talk about; it’s hard to write about; but it must not be ignored. We hope directors, students, alumni and boosters at all levels of the activity will read the story and use it as a jumping-off point to have frank discussions and create action plans within their organizations.
Having an open communication can solve many of the world’s problems. What else can we do as ordinary people in the face of some of these tragedies and challenges? In my humble opinion, the best thing we can do is to turn inward and make ourselves better, one small change at a time.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Choose our words carefully. As a journalist, I certainly don’t mean that we should self-censor our opinions; however, I do believe that we need to think about how our words affect others before we utter or write them.
- Help others. Whether it’s doing random acts of kindness, participating in community service, volunteering at school or helping a friend through a difficult time, giving aid and support puts a smile on people’s faces—including our own.
- Find win-win solutions. Whenever you disagree with someone, share your reasoning but also listen to the other person’s point of view. Soon enough, you’ll be able to come to a solution where both people feel validated.
With these three simple “rules,” we can bring more peace into our own lives. And maybe … just maybe … that little bit of peace will permeate out into the world.
Keep on Marching,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief