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hofffam
February 6th, 2011, 11:18 AM
After the furor over "the letter" I decided to look for a USMS charter or similar statement. I expected to find something that said something like USMS serves to promote adult swimming open to all (etc.).

Instead I found nothing. The FAQ is mostly about nuts and bolts of USMS and why join. The Administration pages on this site describe how USMS is run.

I could not find anywhere a general statement of USMS's purpose for being other than to give adult swimmers their own group. I couldn't find any language about non-discrimination or to promote adult swimming, etc.

Shouldn't USMS have something like that?

Chris Stevenson
February 6th, 2011, 01:30 PM
I found the following statements, all pretty similar:

-- The "About" page (http://www.usms.org/about.php) of the website

-- the first section of the Policy Manual (http://www.usms.org/admin/lmschb/policymanual.pdf) ("Mission, Objectives and Core Values of United States Masters Swimming") (formatting of this seems a little messed up)

-- First section of the Strategic Plan (http://www.usms.org/admin/strategicplan.pdf) ("USMS Organizing Principles"), which is better. Part of this is also in the front of the USMS Rule Book (http://www.usms.org/rules/front.pdf).

Non-discimination is covered in Part 5 (http://www.usms.org/rules/part5.pdf) of the Rule Book; I know about the following but there may be others:


501.3 Equal Opportunity

Membership in USMS shall not be denied by virtue of race, creed, gender, religion, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation or national origin.

makesense
February 6th, 2011, 02:25 PM
We apparently need a charter or mission statement that precludes prejudice and pandering from being distributed by USMS...you mean we don't have one yet?

That Jan/Feb 2011 now-redacted letter published by USMS was horrible and shakes my respect...after all, last September, the team coach where USMS management swims sent out a caution against comments and jokes analogous to the Jan/Feb 2011 letter.

Contrasting with probably many other contributed letters rejected, why was this letter picked for publication?

A while back, wrongly attacked for a different stereotype, I too was slandered by a USMS member(s), the hurt deepened by a coach admonishment for no basis whatsoever. Although I was comforted by many apologies, it's hard to recover when wrongly accused of sin. I will never forget my discussion about this matter with our magazine's editor. I feel empathy for the target of the letter published by USMS. Will he take legal action against USMS?

The USMS apology (and destruction of remaining copies of the Jan/Feb magazine), while due, suggests that there may be some sort of explanation appended to such letters to the editor in the future....I hope not....demeaning commentary should never be permitted...living a valid and vibrant life is not a sin akin to thievery and adultery (virtually never attached to the group castigated in USMS's magazine) as the finally-discredited letter suggested.

Having just taken a 4 hour clinic for officiating at YMCA meets, augmenting my service as a USAS official, I was reminded of the Y's core values - Honesty, Caring, Respect and Responsibility. Let's all adopt them.

Rob Copeland
February 6th, 2011, 05:38 PM
We apparently need a charter or mission statement that precludes prejudice and pandering from being distributed by USMS...you mean we don't have one yet?The USMS mission, Goals and Objectives can be found in the USMS rulebook under organizing principles. The current version is online on the USMS.org web site. Please check it out and let us know what you think.

makesense
February 7th, 2011, 06:14 AM
Rob,

Checking out all the resources listed here, including the rule book, there is nothing yet precluding USMS from publishing more letters like the now-redacted letter that was published (if there was, it would have meant that a USMS policy/mission had been violated). The USMS promise to add a new phrase in the magazine (that what is published represents neither the policy nor OPINIONS of USMS) is legalistic boilerplate.

The USMS goal to enhance fellowship and camaraderie among Masters swimmers comes close however.

On the other hand, the equal opportunity for membership policy does not apply to what USMS may publish derogatory about race, creed, gender, religion, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation or national origin. Perhaps the board should consider a policy against derogatory comments in USMS publications and speeches.

Redbird Alum
February 7th, 2011, 12:31 PM
... Perhaps the board should consider a policy against derogatory comments in USMS publications and speeches.

From Websters':
de·rog·a·to·ry

[dih-rog-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
–adjective tending to lessen the merit or reputation of a person or thing; disparaging; depreciatory: a derogatory remark.

I think most anything could conceivably be perceived as derogatory to someone predisposed to find it thus. (You might think this post is derogatory.)

Does promoting one person's "difference" lessen the merits of another's difference, or lack thereof? Does our predisposition to focus on elite swimmers' performance lessen the merits of the thousands who are not?

I agree that we must be more accepting of others, but in doing so, we must also be able to realize in ourselves the fact that we will not always appreciate everyone else's perspective.

Forum Moderator
February 8th, 2011, 10:46 AM
There have been a number of “Off-Topic Posts” which have been deleted. Please keep your comments on topic. In this instance “Does USMS have a charter?”
Thanks you!

thewookiee
February 8th, 2011, 11:01 AM
There have been a number of “Off-Topic Posts” which have been deleted. Please keep your comments on topic. In this instance “Does USMS have a charter?”
Thanks you!

Thank You for being our voice of reason. We would hate to think that issues dealing with slander, lies, grievances, board of directors, appeals of decisions, wouldn't be prudent in the running of USMS,which would be part of a charter.

The Fortress
February 8th, 2011, 11:47 AM
I believe that my first post in this thread was removed in error. It was the one that pointed out the Board of Directors new policy concerning the grievance process that must be followed before litigation (relevant to makesense's question about whether the target of the letter will take legal action). I also pointed out my similar situation, as makesense did.

Why was my post deleted, and not his?

Your first post explaining your "similar situation" contained a personal attack against the person involved in the grievance process.

The Fortress
February 8th, 2011, 11:53 AM
From the Forum Rules:

Playing the Role of a Moderator
If you're not a moderator, don't correct posters as if you are a moderator! If you have a problem with a post, use the "Report This Post" button, rather than playing moderator. More often than not, that causes more problems than it fixes. Let us handle any situation you feel needs to be moderated.

Thanks, I'm aware of that rule and was merely answering your question. And I did report your now deleted post as a personal attack.

JimRude
February 8th, 2011, 11:55 AM
Thanks, I'm aware of that rule and was merely answering your question. And I did report your now deleted post as a personal attack.

:applaud:

SCAQ Member
February 8th, 2011, 12:17 PM
From the Forum Rules:

Playing the Role of a Moderator
If you're not a moderator, don't correct posters as if you are a moderator! ...

This thread has nothing to do with swimming as of late. I am very unimpressed by this thread and what appears to be the continuation of some offline politics.

It is my opinion this whole thread should be deleted for nothing constructive has been said nor has anything come from this thread but animosity and finger pointing!

The thread: "Does the USMS have a Charter" has certainly not stayed on topic!

tony

thewookiee
February 8th, 2011, 12:27 PM
This thread has nothing to do with swimming as of late. I am very unimpressed by this thread and what appears to be the continuation of some offline politics.

It is my opinion this whole thread should be deleted for nothing constructive has been said nor has anything come from this thread but animosity and finger pointing!

The thread: "Does the USMS have a Charter" has certainly not stayed on topic!

tony

Why? This thread has been verying telling. Do the people that run their local LMSC not want members to know how greviances work? Are they afraid of being challenged by minions of their area? Is USMS afraid that the members might actually want to understand how greviances work?

This has been very lively, very informative about how decisions are handed down.

Rob Copeland
February 8th, 2011, 01:51 PM
Why? This thread has been verying telling. Do the people that run their local LMSC not want members to know how greviances work? Are they afraid of being challenged by minions of their area? Is USMS afraid that the members might actually want to understand how greviances work?Now I’m starting to see where some of the confusion is coming from.

From corporate governance perspective a “charter” is more of a vision statement used to lead the organization; instead of a document to run the organization. We have rules, policies, procedures and standards to facilitate running USMS. The charter more closely aligned with the mission and goals.

The US Masters Swimming mission is “To promote fitness and health in adults by offering and supporting Masters swimming programs.” And US Masters Swimming goals are: A) To encourage and promote improved physical fitness and health in adults. B) To offer adults the opportunity to participate in a lifelong fitness and/or competitive swimming program. C) To encourage organizations and communities to establish and sponsor Masters swimming programs. D) To enhance fellowship and camaraderie among Masters swimmers. E) To stimulate research in the sociology, psychology and physiology of Masters swimming.

And while I can’t speak for the LMSC’s or USMS, I don’t think fear of understanding has ever been anyone’s objective. As the guy who plagiarized/authored most of the rules and procedures for the USMS grievance process, I’d be happy to explain how grievances work. Just not on a thread dealing with the USMS Charter. Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions about USMS Part 4 or other aspects of the grievance process.

That Guy
February 8th, 2011, 02:37 PM
I think the USMS charter is great! Keep up the good work! But even better, one of my posts finally got deleted! Wheeeeeee! :bliss:

Danielle
February 8th, 2011, 03:23 PM
This thread has nothing to do with swimming as of late. I am very unimpressed by this thread and what appears to be the continuation of some offline politics.

It is my opinion this whole thread should be deleted for nothing constructive has been said nor has anything come from this thread but animosity and finger pointing!

The thread: "Does the USMS have a Charter" has certainly not stayed on topic!

tony

Thanks Tony for saying that. :)

Woofus B. Loofus
February 8th, 2011, 04:45 PM
With trepidation I wade into a topic fraught with emotion. Hopefully with more light than heat.
First, re the charter and related documents, there is well-written USMS anti-discrimination language. In today's society, those policies could be displayed and repeated as prominently as possible without any negative effect. In other words, parade anti-discrimination policy upfront. Shout it from the rooftops.
Second, re the letter, it should not have been published because it can be construed as an incitement. While approximately half the country still believes homosexuality is immoral, these days very few believe it is an unprosecuted crime. The letter compares homosexuality to thievery, an undeniably criminal activity, and states ominously that it "should not be tolerated." Unfortunately statements of this nature can be construed as calls to action. The letter goes on to accuse homosexuality of destroying lives; not just of the participants, but "of the society as a whole."
Third, re free speech, a wise, award-winning editor of a local newspaper and website, when criticized for disallowing or deleting vile opinion, said something like: "The Bill of Rights guaranteed you free speech, but not the right to publish it in my newspaper. I decide what goes in these pages."

jim thornton
February 8th, 2011, 07:28 PM
In regards to forum posters serving as amateur moderators, I can see why too many citizen-prosecutors might be confusing. However, I believe that certain individuals, like myself, with a demonstrated track record of sagacity and tact, should be considered for the role of unpaid Moderator, Jr.s--sort of like Hall Monitors, Safety Patrol Officers, or Prison Trustees.

I will be very happy to serve in this capacity and furthermore commit myself to serve with the kind of tough love vengeance that I think we all would like to see a lot more of in these parts.

Again, let me emphasize: no need to pay!

Just send me my Moderator, Jr. badge and firearm, and I will begin my patrols immediately.

What's that you're wondering, inappropriate poster?

How many warning violations did I fire off at you already? Was it 5...or 6?

Which was it, eh?

Are you feeling lucky?

Well, are ya?

Come on, inappropriate poster!

Make my day!

jim thornton
February 8th, 2011, 07:54 PM
AH, my work here is done!

Jim Thornton, thread killer.

pendaluft
February 8th, 2011, 08:01 PM
Sagacity and Tact indeed!

Chicken of the Sea
February 8th, 2011, 08:03 PM
AH, my work here is done!

Jim Thornton, thread killer.

You know very well I posted 10 times and you deleted all of them with your wand, Forum Fairy!

The Fortress
February 8th, 2011, 08:07 PM
Fairy!

Jim, Jim, I'm not sure that word should be allowed!

Conniekat8
February 8th, 2011, 08:26 PM
Third, re free speech, a wise, award-winning editor of a local newspaper and website, when criticized for disallowing or deleting vile opinion, said something like: "The Bill of Rights guaranteed you free speech, but not the right to publish it in my newspaper. I decide what goes in these pages."

:applaud:
So many people confuse the right to 'free speech' which protects an individual from governmental prosecution for expressing their political views with: "I sould be able to say whatever I want, wherever I want, and suffer no consequences."

As for the article, I don't think additional rules and guidelines are really needed. I have faith that one will get chalked up to 'lessons learned' and is not likely to happen again.