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Arsenal Drum Corps Offers Tuition Discount To Pioneer/Oregon Crusaders Vets

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Just now, ShamrockTuba said:

A corps director in 2018 told his corps not to snitch, referring to DCI's whistleblower page. They were allowed to continue the season. Why was his corps allowed to continue competing and continue being "world class"? 

Said corps just had their DCI membership revoked correct? I'm sure if DCI would have shut them down mid-tour people would have been screaming about how they left the kids in a lurch etc. They allowed them to finish the season and as I understand it monitored them closely. Seemed like a reasonable solution.

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4 minutes ago, Cadevilina Crown said:

Would you (or anyone) mind posting the full article here? I got the article limit message and I'm cheap.

I’ll try.

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6 minutes ago, Cadevilina Crown said:

Would you (or anyone) mind posting the full article here? I got the article limit message and I'm cheap.

Try a different browser. 

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Just now, Spatzzz said:

 Said corps just had their DCI membership revoked correct? I'm sure if DCI would have shut them down mid-tour people would have been screaming about how they left the kids in a lurch etc. They allowed them to finish the season and as I understand it monitored them closely. Seemed like a reasonable solution.

If it were truly about not impacting the summer for the members they would have kicked them out of world class the day after they were eliminated. Instead it took a week to announce the suspension and months to kick them out. Why did Arsenal get punished within 24 hours and Pioneer took months?

 

"Monitored closely" also doesn't match my understanding of it. From what I've been told, they continued to tour for weeks without any medical staff.

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15 minutes ago, Jeff Ream said:

They didn’t have that rule then.

the defense is as the rules now state. That’s like if mods come back and suspend you for a post you made in 2010 based on the guidelines as they stand now. You can’t make rules retroactive 

Rules are interpreted though. They are often not an exact science. As is the case here, where many believe the Arsenal director said absolutely nothing wrong. He wasn't "publicly disparaging" OC and Pioneer. He was simply stating facts. Facts that no decent person can disagree with, if we're being honest.

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As their activity was rocked last year by a series of scandals, leaders at Drum Corps International at times seemed sluggish in response.

They delicately avoided in public statements naming a former Pennsylvania corps director accused of sexual misconduct. When the young members of a Wisconsin ensemble complained of poor conditions, they took weeks to suspend the corps, and even longer to announce the move. They chose to not discipline directors who knowingly hired people with sexual misconduct in their pasts.

But on Monday, Drum Corps International (DCI) showed it is capable of swift, decisive action.

Less than 24 hours after the executive director of small New Mexico affiliate criticized leaders of two corps, his bid for membership in DCI’s more elite Open Class was put on ice. His infraction? Speaking “in a derogatory manner about another participating organization or about DCI," in violation of DCI policy.

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J. Spenser Lotz, who in 2016 founded the affiliate, Arsenal, resigned out of frustration, as the drum corps community on Wednesday voiced outrage over DCI’s decision.

“DCI is a brand, and they want to protect that brand identity. And I understand that,” Lotz, 23, said in an interview. “But at the same time, this censorship — which is what it is — is not good for the activity. If the leaders of the activity cannot speak out against actions by the other leaders, and everyone is supposed to toe the party line and let DCI control the message, change becomes difficult, if not impossible.”

The controversy surrounding DCI’s punishment of Arsenal is only the latest in what is nearing a year of ongoing turmoil for drum corps, an activity that draws in thousands of young musicians and dancers each year.

In April, the Inquirer and Daily News brought to light sexual misconduct allegationsagainst George Hopkins, then director of Allentown’s Cadets drum corps. The story sparked widespread calls for changes to better protect participants. Most recently, the newspapers showed how flaws in the activity’s hiring practices resulted in nearly half of the activity’s World Class corps having employed teachers previously disciplined for misconduct with their students.

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The fallout continued last week with the announcement that two corps highlighted in the story would not participate in this year’s summer tour. One, Pioneer, had its membership revoked amid allegations that its corps director knowingly hired a registered sex offender. The other, Portland’s Oregon Crusaders, is taking a voluntary hiatus after participation dropped in the wake of revelations that an instructor had sexually harassed female members over the course of nearly a decade.

Those announcements came during the activity’s recent annual meeting in Indianapolis, attended by more than 350 members of the drum corps community.

Lotz was among them.

He said that on his flight home Sunday, his mind turned to the members of Pioneer and the Oregon Crusaders, many who would be without a place to march this summer. He wrote a short message, inviting them to join Arsenal and even offering discounted membership fees based on experience. “You are welcome in the Arsenal family,” he said.

 

“As students,” he added, in the portion of the note that riled drum corps leaders, “you placed your trust in adults and leaders who you believed worked in your best interest. These adults violated that trust and placed you in harm’s way, which is inexcusable. We, as directors and educators, demand that you give your all and work your hardest, and it is shameful that there are so many among us who do not likewise give their all to keep you healthy, happy and safe.”

Lotz posted the message on Reddit — a popular forum for drum corps fan’s — late Sunday.

Monday afternoon, he received an email from David Eddleman, coordinator of DCI’s Open Class. In the email, which Lotz provided to a reporter, Eddleman said DCI’s CEO brought the post to his attention and decided “the violation requires that your application for Open Class be suspended.”

That CEO, Dan Acheson, declined to speak with a reporter for this story. In a statement Wednesday, the organization confirmed that Lotz’s post violated DCI’s media policy and said Lotz was given a chance to “correct the issue.” When he did not, DCI said, the corps’ bid for Open Class was suspended.

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Lotz said he was offered no such chance. He said he first heard from DCI officials when Eddleman emailed, informing him of the suspension. He later offered to take down the post but decided against it, given that it had been reprinted widely on social media.

Lotz said he had been unaware of DCI’s social media policy but acknowledged that his statement was in violation. Nonetheless, he stood by his critique.

“I didn't say anything about the Bluecoats or the Blue Devils or the Cadets or any actively fielding organization,” he said, referring to some of the more prominent corps. “I spoke out against corps that were not fielding because of their own disruptions in their own houses.”

Given Lotz’s resignation, Aresnal’s board of directors plans to meet soon to discuss a path forward. The corps can still compete in the lower level of DCI but will not be allowed to reapply for Open Class admission until next year.

Lotz’s end at Arsenal is especially poignant considering his reason for starting the group.

Lotz marched two summers with another DCI corps, where he said he was verbally berated by an instructor and given inadequate medical care for an injury, leaving him with back pain today. His experience left him disillusioned. He started Arsenal, a job for which he wasn’t paid, hoping to foster a more positive experience for other members.

In 2016, the group had 33 members. Last year, it had grown to 49. This year, Lotz expected closer to 70.

Xander Gosney joined last year, taking a Greyhound bus 48 hours from Ohio. The 16-year-old mellophone player called Lotz a “straight up, honest” director. He said he has hoped to one day march with a World Class corps and was honing his skills with Arsenal.

“I was going to stay there for another one or two years,” he said.

Now, he is not sure if he will return.

Lotz has decided he is finished drum corps.

“I’m done with the activity,” he said. “After this, I wash my hands of it.”

 
 
 

 

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2 minutes ago, ShamrockTuba said:

If it were truly about not impacting the summer for the members they would have kicked them out of world class the day after they were eliminated. Instead it took a week to announce the suspension and months to kick them out. Why did Arsenal get punished within 24 hours and Pioneer took months?

 

"Monitored closely" also doesn't match my understanding of it. From what I've been told, they continued to tour for weeks without any medical staff.

Because this is now 2019 and DCI is trying to take swift action. You can argue that it was the wrong action but you can't argue that they drug their feet. My guess is that future issues will be met with much faster responses from them moving forward as well. Things are changing.

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1 hour ago, Gizmit26 said:

Don't conflate the issue with hyperbole.

Where would you categorize the lost plane tickets and other wasted money? This is not a hypothetical thread there are survivors, kids that can't march, parents that lost money. Staff and Administration lost their livelihoods. Real people were involved in this symbolic point that dci is trying to make. Rules are not in place to be abused when all of us missed the disparagement in the first place. How bad or obvious was the offense if the argent fans of dci didn't spot it?.

There is no higher ground for dci to achieve here. This is a spiteful initiative they met their match with this young man and they lost in the court of public opinion. It's time for dci to throw in the towel and come to terms with this situation so the survivors can be held whole, kids can march and people get their jobs back. Way more important than a few hurt feelings at dci.

Edited by Bluzes
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30 minutes ago, Jeff Ream said:

They didn’t have that rule then.

 

 

 It was illegal however under DCI rules of Procedures and Policy in 2010 for any group of DCI  Corps to convene among themselves a secret, clandestine meeting, without the prior notification of the group meeting by the Corps with notifications to both DCI HQ, and to other Corps. That was far more egregious of DCI rules and Procedeures than the innocuous and rather harmless remarks this Arsenal Corps Director made on Social Media the other day. His  posted remarks were meant to be helpful, not harmful to fellow marchers, parents. In my view he was FAR more transparent in what he was attempting to do, than has DCI HQ of late, or the 2 Corps Directors were in 2010. This Corps Director did not set out to do harm to his fellow Corps, imo. Not sure we can say that with any degree of confidence by those 2 Corps Directors in 2010.. and it WAS a violation of DCI protocol at the time, as well as DCI Policy and Procedures then. DCI HQ however took no action on the 2 Corps Directors at all.

Edited by BRASSO
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1 minute ago, BRASSO said:

 It was illegal however under DCI rules of Procedures and Policy in 2010 for any group of DCI  Corps to convene among themselves a secret, clandestine meeting, without the prior notification of the meeting by the Corps with both DCI HQ, and other Corps. That was far more egregious of DCI rules and Procedeures than the innocuous and rather harmless remarks this Corps Director made on Social Media the other day. His  posted remarks were meant to be helpful, not harmful to fellow marchers, parents. In my view he was FAR more transparent in what he was attempting to do, than has DCI HQ of late, or the 2 Corps Directors were in 2010. This Corps Director did not set out to do harm to his fellow Corps, imo. Not sure we can say that with any degree of confidence by those 2 in 2010.. and it WAS a violation of DCI protocol, as well as DCI Policy and Procedures then.

Ok...it was still 2010 and it is now 2019. Things have changed. Perceptions have changed. Nothing can be viewed in a vacuum disregarding the context of what is going in the activity and society in general NOW vs then.

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