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Thread: Accepting Leadership and Moving Forward

  1. #1
    Now with Mega Evolution Staff AlumniURPG Staff swiftgallade46's Avatar
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    Default Accepting Leadership and Moving Forward

    Hooooooooooo boy. This is where we are now. Y'all finally went crazy and made me Head of URPG. Or maybe I'm the crazy one? Guess we'll find out.

    In any event, there's a lot to be said right now. I want to start with positivity. I want to start by commending all of you. Look at all of the members we have in URPG right now, and look at everything we have gone through. Each and every person who is still here playing this game is truly inspiring. You have all impressed me to no end with all that you have endured. The fact that you are still here playing this game to any extent, is absolutely commendable. You will be rewarded. You will see the fruits of your endurance. I will make sure of it. This is the start of URPG's ascent. We're climbing out of this hole. Things will go back to normal. I'm not just spouting hopeful nonsense. You have all truly made me believe that what I am saying is true. Thank you.

    The Transition:

    First and foremost, if you have not read the conversation that took place between HKim and I, it is here. This is the conversation in which he transferred Leadership of URPG from him to myself.

    For context as to why there was suddenly (or gradually for some) an overwhelming feeling of wanting HKim to step down as our leader, you can find that here in a post by Elysia. Allow me to provide some transparency on where these feelings come from and why the decision was ultimately made:

    Harry's Departure:
    To preface this part of the post I would be remiss not to defend Harry (I will refer to HKim as Harry henceforth) from any hate or animosity that is undeserved. He does deserve some, and I harbor some for him myself. However, it would be inappropriate for us to ignore the many examples of how Harry was an impeccable leader. He made huge sacrifices. He dedicated years of his life to this game. He has saved it many times. Much of his actions took place behind the scenes, which is unfortunate, but that does not change the fact that he took them. Please do not let the rest of this post come across as hatred towards Harry, and please do not direct any towards him yourself. He is undeserving of that. I simply need to explain why it was necessary for him step down and why some us now harbor negative emotions towards him as a leader. I have to admit I'm in an awkward position at the moment. Harry is helping me a great deal as I accept this position and is being nothing but kind to me. He is also allowing us to remain on PXR with no ill intent. And yet, I am tasked with explaining how he failed us in our time of need. Unfortunately, it is my duty to do so.

    Harry ultimately approached me about resigning, and I was planning to approach him later on. I know that several other Staff members were as well. Staff has been discussing for weeks on how to move forward from being removed from one of our most active forums and beloved forums. We were given very little information on why we were removed, and therefore we struggled with determining how we should move forward. The Staff implicated by this announcement from BMG is (as I still understand it) not the same Staff that is currently on-board, aside from Harry and Monbrey whom were both banned as a result. Therefore, it fell to us as Staff to decide whether or not Monbrey and Harry should be asked to resign. The majority of us either formulated the opinion ourselves or were convinced that Harry and Monbrey did not need to be asked to resign. With the limited information we had about their transgressions, we did not think it appropriate to punish them for something that had happened so long ago. We made that clear to them. I will get more into our opinions on Monbrey later in this post, but let us focus on Harry for now. As our collective Staff team decided how we should move forward, we needed as much information as we could get. I personally asked Monbrey and Harry if there was anything else they knew that would further complicate the situation. Monbrey summarized everything he had been accused of, and none of it was new. Fine. We could move on. Harry claimed he also had nothing new. He searched for logs of times when he had ignored direct reports to him, or of times when he swept things under the rug or of times when he acted with favoritism. He found nothing new.

    From here, we decided the best next course of action would be to completely and fully denounce sexual harassment of any kind. It was unfortunate, and I don't mean this to be accusatory, but BMG's announcement made many innocent Staff of the URPG seem like perpetrators of or, at the very least, complicit to sexual harassment and revenge porn. This is NOT the case. As I said before, all but Harry and Monbrey on our Staff team were not present during the events that (to our knowledge) were being referenced by BMG. We wanted to make it clear to the URPG community that we WILL NOT STAND FOR ANY FORM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT. This remains fully true despite the failure of our announcement. We collectively worked on this announcement in a Google doc. I typed some of it myself. All of the quotes in Ralin's reply to this announcement were from Harry. Only two of the quotes from Elysia's reply were things I had typed in the Google document. "If there has ever been an instance of past sexual misconduct that we have not been aware of, however, we encourage anyone with information to come forward to help us resolve the matter." and "We vow to keep your confidentiality in these situations and will do everything in our power to see to it that they are resolved." were both sentences I had written. Ironically, if the post had been made by anyone but Harry himself, it would have carried a lot more weight.

    Not long after the post was made, Elysia posted a comment. This comment brought a significant amount of new information to light. It demonstrated that Harry had, indeed, played favorites and swept significant issues under the rug in favor of furthering the Staff tenures of people he thought we be a good fit despite their involvement in horrid conversations. We had asked Harry many times if these actions had taken place. He told us to his knowledge that they did not. They did. And it collectively made us as a Staff look foolish and it made us look like we were trying to cover it up again. I am not scapegoating Harry here. We were genuinely in the dark about these things. I felt betrayed. I put my faith in Harry, and he failed me. I'm sure others felt the same. He told me he had forgotten of these things. He told me he was making these decisions to emulate Jack of Clovers (his predecessor). Neither of these explanations were appropriate. And that is why Harry and I decided it was time to for him to resign. I am glad it was able to be done peacefully. I really do encourage you all to read the pastebin.

    Harry's status as a URPG member will be discussed. I am personally of the opinion that he is not deserving of a permaban, but this will be discussed by Staff in the near future. I appreciate your patience on this. The process, when it begins, will be a transparent one.

    My Stance on Monbrey:

    We were and are also under the impression that Monbrey in particular (out the several members shown in Elysia's post) had already been punished. Whether or not this punishment was severe enough, we did not feel it was right to reopen his case many years later after so much had changed. We were not (and are still not) aware of any bannable misconduct that has taken place since then from Monbrey or otherwise. Full disclosure: The most recent thing he was guilty of was making a tactless joke at the expense of Elysia and their involvement in the past events. We did not feel this was a bannable offense and had already been aware of it for some time. Monbrey apologized and Ely accepted. It was dumb and foolish of him, but it was not intended maliciously and it was not sexual in nature. You are free to contend our stance on this if you wish. But I want to make it clear that we have no favoritism here with Monbrey. I have made it clear SO many times and I will reiterate it again: If I find new information on anything Monbrey did or said, I would fully support banning him. Elysia's post did not yield new information to me, and thus I have not changed my stance that Monbrey should depart. It did make the nature of his transgressions much more specific, I will admit. However, again, I am under the impression he was already punished and I do not believe in double-jeopardy especially when I myself never knew Monbrey as the type of vastly inappropriate person he was when he made those comments. That was simply before my time and I do not feel comfortable acting on it for a second time. Again, this could be a point of contention. If someone still feels uncomfortable with having Monbrey in our community, I encourage them to come forward with their concerns. I personally do not think he is the same person he was back then, and the major distinction between he and Harry is that he did not mislead me at all purposefully or by accident.

    My Status as Leader:
    I know that probably the biggest point of contention with my status as a leader right now would be based on some of my words in the pastebin. More specifically, it would be in regards to how I responded to the notion of being appointed the next leader. I would like to elaborate on this more and hopefully set some people's minds at ease:

    I am going to be up front and honest. Down the line, I will not be able to dedicate the time and effort this position will need. I am in my final year of college, I will have a summer job, I am leaving the country in a month, and I am in a fraternity. I cannot in good conscience continue as a leader if I can't devote myself to the position.

    HOWEVER. I will NOT abandon URPG. Right now in this moment, it needs a leader and I am stepping up to get us out of this mess. I will NOT step down until I am 1000% certain that I can do so safely. I did not come this far to simply give up. I have ideas of how we can change URPG's leadership system in the coming months. I wont go too far into specifics at the moment because they are simply ideas, but I will make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that I can continue with my life as normal with the knowledge that URPG is being run reliably and efficiently. This I promise.

    On the Topic of Sexual Harassment:
    I feel the need to make this point again, as our last post was overshadowed by unfortunate misleadings.


    URPG does not, nor will it ever tolerate sexual harassment of ANY kind. This includes but is not limited to:
    Revenge Porn
    Inappropriate images
    Inappropriate videos
    Asking for or demanding inappropriate material
    Threatening another member
    Sharing inappropriate fantasies about another member
    Writing inappropriate posts or Story material about another member
    Making sexually explicit jokes to or around a member that is not comfortable with them *BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THIS ONE PLEASE
    I could go on for days. Please USE COMMON SENSE. Even a joke could be mistaken for something more sinister. It's the internet. Be smart.

    These rules also apply to BOTH TEXT AND VOICECHAT. If we have reason to believe you are making inappropriate comments on voicechat, we will investigate to the fullest of our ability. I admit it is much more difficult, but if I can reliably ban someone for making such comments over Voice Chat, I will. This also applies to ANY CHAT REGARDLESS OF IT IS CONTAINED IN URPG. If it involves a URPG member, it involves URPG. Be smart. Have common sense. Have common decency.

    If you are aware of an instance of sexual misconduct involving a URPGer, report it. PLEASE report it.We have our anonymous feedback form if you wish to keep your identity a secret. Our Staff are 100% willing to cooperate with your confidentiality. We will be 100% transparent with you on how we intend to investigate your concern. I know it's a lot to ask but please trust us. This includes anything that may have occurred prior to this post. You're all my family. I will not allow a member of my family to be treated like that.

    I realize that I may catch heat on taking this stance while leaving Monbrey on board. I want to make it clear: I truly believe Monbrey was already punished for his actions. It is unfortunate that Monbrey is being repainted in this light, but I dont believe it is his fault that these things are being brought up again. It is not his fault that he may not have been properly punished back then. I dont feel right about making that change 7 years later when he has been nothing but open and honest about what he did. I cant forgive him for everyone. I certainly cant forgive him for the people he hurt the most back then either, but Elysia herself has expressed to me today that she doesn't feel he deserves to be forced to resign or be banned. I can and will defend the person Monbrey is today until I am given any reason otherwise.
    Last edited by swiftgallade46; 12-21-17 at 09:10 PM.
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  2. #2
    -Prototype Babe- Design TeamURPG StaffAce Member TheProtobabe's Avatar
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    I know I'm in and out a lot, and I really haven't been around for a bunch of the drama in person, but I wanted to say a few things.

    I have a lot of mixed feelings towards the incident involving Monbrey. On the one hand, that kind of behavior is unacceptable, but on the other he did already have some (albeit not severe enough, in my opinion) consequences for it, and it was literally seven years ago. He is also being extremely transparent and accepting responsibility for his actions, which I can respect. I am still disappointed. I have always even said to Comm that I thought Monbrey had a good head on his shoulders--a bit of an ass, but only when he really needed to be. I still do think that. I don't want to make it sound like I think that because of those things, his past behavior was okay, because it wasn't. A lot of people are gone from URPG because of similar instances where they felt attacked or unsafe. Having personal experience with sexual harassment and similar things in my real life makes this revelation feel pretty damn terrible. I only hope everyone reads Elysia's final recount of events as an example of why we need to take reports of sexual harassment seriously. I'm very happy that seems to be something that will be aggressively stamped out.

    I am also seriously disappointed in HKim and the way he chose to manage problems in URPG over the years. I've never been high up as a staff member, only really contributing here and there in the creative communities of URPG, but I have felt the results of sweeping things under the rug, of leaving toxic behavior run rampant, and letting people's cries for help go unheard when they feel threatened or harassed or bullied. As much as he's given to URPG, there is no denying his style of governing the place was extremely unhealthy.

    I have left and come back to URPG several times now. I made excuses at first, saying I was too busy, or just didn't want all the responsibility left to me by certain jobs with no real reward. That was only the partial truth. I was tired of the toxicity. I was tired of sexist and inappropriate comments going unchecked, of people viciously attacking others just because of a battle move they made in a game that isn't even real Pokemon. It made all my passion fade for this place. I became too busy because it wasn't a priority; I wanted no responsibility because there was no positive feedback at all. I still had a few friends left from when I started. Swifty, Smiles, Felly, and Akinai, to name a few, and some others who vanished off into the sunset. But I had those wonderful people in PMs, so there was no other reason to hang around URPG. I am hoping this radical change in the game's governing style will ignite that spark of passion again and make me and many others proud and happy to be a part of this community.

    It sounds silly, all this hope and drama over what should just be a game--but it's never just about that. It's about the people, and how we treat each other. It's about respect and kindness and inspiring new people to get passionate about Pokemon, just like us. It's about making friends that last many years, not looking back with resentment at past transgressions, or forming cliques and hurting others.

    Let's start off the new year looking forward to change and progression, and creating a positive atmosphere. It sounds cheesy, but it really, really matters.

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