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Thread: Monbrey's Position in URPG

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    Default Monbrey's Position in URPG

    The URPG Staff Team in tandem with a representative from PXR have been discussing Monbrey's status in URPG for the past few days. About one week ago, PXR made the decision to ban Monbrey from their forums. As a collective part of their community and family, we respect this decision on their part. Pokemon Trainer Sarah was forthcoming and helpful in aiding URPG to move forward with their decision in mind. We will be nothing but cooperative with them in this matter.




    PXR's decision along with some other feedback we have received in regards to Monbrey's status as Second in Command of URPG and Head Referee have prompted us in Staff to rethink our initial position on his situation. It has also prompted Monbrey to do some introspective thinking himself. In the end, Monbrey, myself, and the majority of Staff have come to the mutual decision that Monbrey should step down from a Staff position. He will also be demoted from Head Referee to Senior Referee. Ash K. and I will co-head the Battles section from here. The position of Second in Command will be dissolved until such time arises that it becomes necessary to reinstate it. I fully trust the Staff team to be able to make decisions on a democratic basis during my absences. Do note, however, that our decision to re-open discussion was not based on any new information regarding Monbrey's offense. Nothing new has occurred in regards to that situation.


    I recognize that this decision may come as a shock to many of you. I am going to try and preemptively address some concerns as best as I can, but I won't be able to cover everything. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please come to me, or any Staff member(s) you are comfortable with. We are always here to talk and listen.




    Transparency


    I know that at the forefront of many people's minds is the question of why the fact that this was discussed was not public knowledge. There are a number of reasons I decided to keep these discussions private.


    1) To reduce anxiety. This decision took days of steady discussion between members of Staff. It has large implications for URPG as a whole for many reasons. I knew that we would be discussing this for a long time and I didn't want people to worry or stress over any potential final decision. We have endured enough anxiety as a community as it is.


    2) To reduce speculation. With a decision this serious, there are bound to be rumors and speculation. I trust our community, but I did not want to leave room for others on the outside to make guesses as to why we are suddenly reopening discussion on Monbrey's situation or where he would end up as a result of it. Again, I want to reiterate that the discussions were not based on any new offense or information.


    3) To reduce personal biases. The reason discussion was reopened was to address the fact that my initial decision may have been influenced by bias. I needed to take a closer look at the factors that caused me to take my initial stance, and ask for outside perspectives. In fact, coming to this conclusion was a very introspective experience for Staff as a whole. I did not want any additional pressure on us to make a decision either way. I knew there were people who felt strongly about Monbrey's situation, and I know that as a community many of us have a great deal of respect and reverence for him (which I will assert he has worked to deserve). I also acknowledge the huge amount of support Monbrey has provided to the URPG in both his leadership and technical improvements. Despite all of this, I thought Staff should consider his position in URPG with the least amount of bias possible. There were certainly reasons for his demotion that are present that we cannot and should not overlook.


    In the end, I apologize that we could not be more transparent with our decision-making, but I felt it was necessary to allow us to make the best decision. I am also sorry that this probably comes off as such a shock to many of you that we are suddenly taking a different position, but I think I have outlined enough why we thought it was necessary to do so and will explain further and reiterate more later in this post.


    Technical Implications


    We understand that Monbrey has had a very large technical impact on the URPG as well. Over the years, he has supported us with many features that we continue to use today. He has also dedicated time and money to supporting URPG. With his demotion, he has decided to phase out most of these services. We support his decision, and are grateful for the support he gave us this far. In the absence of Monbrey's server support, Elrond has graciously offered to host URPG's many services on a server he owns and pays for. URPG is immensely thankful to him and our Staff and members will aid him in transitioning and supporting us wherever he may need it. This is a very large endeavor, and I have full faith in Elrond, but I encourage our community to reach out to him and offer help so that everything does not fall on his shoulders. Here is a summary of how services that were previously hosted/supported by Monbrey will transition:


    Discord Server: Monbrey has already transferred ownership of our Discord server to myself. His admin role will be dropped, however URPG is looking into creating a new role for not only Monbrey but all retired Staff that will allow them to contribute where they would like to. This will, of course, be separate from current Staff.


    Dicebot: Monbrey will continue to host and develop URPG's Dicebot services. We thank him for his decision to do so.


    Infohub: Infohub will be transferred over to Elrond's server by February 22nd. This will result in Staff needing to update a great many links on PWN, PXR, and other areas of Infohub itself. We appreciate your patience as we do this, and help is always appreciated. Individual members will need to update their own links on personal areas such as stats and other posts. Do note: Infohub will not be updated any further until this transition occurs as any recent updates would be lost. If you see anything that needs to be updated, please make note of it in the Housekeeping Thread and we will change it as soon as possible.


    BMG Archives: These will also be transferred to Elrond's server by February 22nd. Again, once we transition to the new server, we will have a great many links to update. Individual members are still in charge of updating their own stats and posts.


    Ultradex: In tandem with Ataro, Elrond will work to transition the Ultradex's host server to his own. Once again, links will need to be updated on a case-by-case basis. Please continue to report and Ultradex errors in the relevant thread, but do note that these will also not applied until the transition is complete.


    Referee Calculators: The online calculator has public source code. Elrond will host the online calc and use the source code to keep it up-to-date. The offline calc will be more complicated, but I have been assured that it is possible to continue its development along with automatic updates as well.




    I encourage anyone with technical experience (coding, file transfer, etc.) to reach out to Elrond or myself as soon as possible if they are able to help. There is a lot of tedious work to be done, but other than links, things will remain pretty much the same.




    Basis of the Decision


    To say that we had a tough decision to make here is an understatement. There were a very large amount of factors that played into our stance. I'm certain that Monbrey himself also took a lot of things into account as well, but I can't speak for him entirely. In the end we had to reach a decision that we thought was ethically right, fair, free from bias, and what was ultimately best for URPG and its members. The Staff decisions to ask Monbrey to step down as Second and to not ban him were unanimous, however from there Staff diverged quite a bit on where we wanted to ask Monbrey to step down to. However, a rough majority including myself agreed he should no longer be a Staff member. Despite the fact that the incident in question occurred so long ago, the fact remains that Monbrey never faced consequences for it in URPG. It is extremely unfortunate that he is facing them after having changed so much, but I believe it is necessary.


    I acknowledge that there will be those on either side that do not find this decision favorable. Some may feel it is still too lax, while others may feel it is too harsh. I welcome feedback on our decision, however at this point it will take a lot to change. I already took a hard stance on my feelings of Monbrey before. I stand by what I said about defending his character as a person today. He has many great qualities, and the worst of his bad qualities has not been seen for years. However, while I apologize that I am backtracking a bit with this decision, I still fully believe it is necessary for Monbrey to release his current Staff position. After PXR's decision, I simply could no longer deny that the outside perspective of his actions was very different from my own thoughts. It made me question my own biases, and seek to reach a decision that transcended them more. Keep in mind that this was a mutual decision as well. Monbrey had his own reasons for no longer feeling comfortable in a Staff position. I reiterate that it was not an easy decision for any of us to make.




    I have to thank our Staff for their insight and introspective thought throughout the past week. They have dedicated a lot of time and energy and anxiety to making this decision and I am very grateful to have such a dedicated team. I also have to thank Elrond for stepping up. He carries a lot of weight now, and we are here to help him however we can.


    Finally, I need to thank Monbrey. It's unfortunate that he is leaving his position under such circumstances, but I can't deny the vast amount of good he has done for this community for many years. He will always have a future here in some form, even if it is not in Staff.


    Once again, if there are any questions or concerns regarding this decision or the future of URPG, Staff and I are here to help with them. As always, we will keep moving forward.
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    You did well by not making it public. It would create a lot of headaches and anxiety.

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    I don't know if Monbrey knows me that well, Or I to him, but I just wanted to express something. Obviously actions taken like this can't be changed so I guess I'd just like to say that Today, URPG lost an incredible Staff Member. And until I see results, I question if his shoes can be filled. Monbrey was always the voice of reason in chaotic trainer courts, a voice of reason in many discussions had. He was also a really easy person to communicate with. In my year here, I got to witness firsthand Monbrey doing his job. I cannot express enough how grateful I am for all of the work he did. Best of luck to your future journeys on the world wide web.
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    I'm missing the part where it's actually explained why-- just seeing you repeat again and again "I'm sure you'll understand now that I've explained everything."

    This is silly. You guys should consider a statute of limitations.

    GL Monbrey-- and I suppose everybody else, too!

    /inb4 this gets deleted like my last post regarding staff stuff
    "Because it's always been this way" should never be an excuse to maintain a broken system.

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    I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said.

    It's a huge weight off my shoulders. I'm not sorry for that. I'm only sorry that it will fall on someone else's.
    Hopefully URPG can become a burden actually worth carrying again.

    I'll be around if anyone wants to chat or ask me about this/anything else

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    I'm glad this decision was taken. Monbrey's a good dude and I consider him my friend, but reform is only one part of punishment, and sexual harassment is something deserving of punishment for punishment's sake. Inaction in the past doesn't change this. It casts a significant shadow over Monbrey's contributions as Staff, and I don't think that I believe he deserves to be thanked, but I do think this sets things right, and puts us all in a position to move forward.

    I wish, as Truly said, that we spent less time explaining ourselves, and more time explaining the actual matter at hand -- there is no mention of sexual harassment, or whatever else the issue may be if not that, in Swift's post. There probably should've been. Of course it's mentioned in other places, and realistically most of us know what this is about, but it does us a disservice to continue pussyfooting around it. Plenty of gross things have happened in URPG's history. Better to talk about them, in whatever words best illustrate the truth, because that's one of the things that us move us forward when we're in a position to do so. We're getting better at this but could do better still.

    Those are my thoughts. I'm back on the URPG server now. I feel like the community needed to be blown up, and I threw a bitchfit, and now it has been blown up, and so now I feel like I should help put the pieces back together however yall might want me to. Also I did miss u guys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro View Post
    I'm glad this decision was taken. Monbrey's a good dude and I consider him my friend, but reform is only one part of punishment, and sexual harassment is something deserving of punishment for punishment's sake.
    What is the other part of punishment?
    When the offender has already reformed and the crime is long past irrelevant, I don't see the point in a bunch of punishment across BMG, PXR, and URPG. What needed to happen was all of those places needed to give a punishment while it was still relevant, while Monbrey was still a shitty kid, while Elysia hadn't forgiven him. Idk if any of you read Adamantine, but I'm pretty sure the point of bringing up Monbrey's transgression wasn't to throw shade on Monbrey, it was to emphasize that URPG NEEDS TO CHANGE.

    So I see this and it all looks like the organizations involved trying to save face. I trust Monbrey to do more than Swift the next time a group of URPG players decide they want to be bullies-- because the last time I was affected, Monbrey offered sympathy, mere sympathy, which is more than Swift did.

    I think URPG needed to be blown up, too. I just think it sucks that we're steadily ostracizing the best people from it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Monbrey View Post
    It's a huge weight off my shoulders.
    Godspeed. You don't owe these people anything.
    "Because it's always been this way" should never be an excuse to maintain a broken system.

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    Monbrey seems like a cool guy in the modern age (as a kid, he prolly was a ratbag *shrug*), and it kinda looks like he was responsible for a whole lot of resources. After the forums bulbagarden shutdown n shakeup and now a server move of everything, I kinda feel like this community will slowly come apart at the seams...
    That said, it probably is good to not have any one person under that kinda leadership pressure.

    This feels like a punishment handed down from the past to try to prove something - but I'm still not sure what it is. Like an adult being retroactively punished for their behavior as a child, most of this seems a little strange in its lateness. This isn't punishment to TEACH anyone anything, coz monbrey already knows what is and isn't appropriate. This punishment also isn't teaching anyone ELSE anything (due to its lateness and it's vagueness) except that "people get banned eventually, over something to do with the past and misconduct".
    I dont feel like this is progressive- nothing outwardly appears to be in place to stop shitty stuff happening again as it did before, now there are even less people within management to enforce those rules, and this only serves to highlight how slowly and awkwardly discipline decisions are made. Who is in charge now? Does swift make the descisions on harassment cases alone? Is it a committee? Do you have a framework for identifying bullying and a routine procedure to stop it, other than banning? These are impersonal things that might need answering and clarifying for the future.

    It seems kinda like anyone in management could be targeted as a scapegoat, in this survivor style elimination tournament.
    Okay, I'm sure it's not quite like that XD
    But I'm certainly wondering who will be off next >o>

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    To add to what Lychee said, another thing the stripping of Monbrey's title is not doing is protecting Elysia. You're trying to write a wrong by punishing Monbrey, but you've failed to realize that the "wrong" was that staff didn't do their job of protecting a member who was being harassed.

    You're not fixing that by banning him now, because Elysia left, after even more abuse that staff failed to take action on.

    It just really really feels like everybody has missed the damn point.
    "Because it's always been this way" should never be an excuse to maintain a broken system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truly View Post
    I'm missing the part where it's actually explained why-- just seeing you repeat again and again "I'm sure you'll understand now that I've explained everything."

    This is silly. You guys should consider a statute of limitations.

    GL Monbrey-- and I suppose everybody else, too!

    /inb4 this gets deleted like my last post regarding staff stuff
    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro View Post
    I'm glad this decision was taken. Monbrey's a good dude and I consider him my friend, but reform is only one part of punishment, and sexual harassment is something deserving of punishment for punishment's sake. Inaction in the past doesn't change this. It casts a significant shadow over Monbrey's contributions as Staff, and I don't think that I believe he deserves to be thanked, but I do think this sets things right, and puts us all in a position to move forward.

    I wish, as Truly said, that we spent less time explaining ourselves, and more time explaining the actual matter at hand -- there is no mention of sexual harassment, or whatever else the issue may be if not that, in Swift's post. There probably should've been. Of course it's mentioned in other places, and realistically most of us know what this is about, but it does us a disservice to continue pussyfooting around it. Plenty of gross things have happened in URPG's history. Better to talk about them, in whatever words best illustrate the truth, because that's one of the things that us move us forward when we're in a position to do so. We're getting better at this but could do better still.

    Those are my thoughts. I'm back on the URPG server now. I feel like the community needed to be blown up, and I threw a bitchfit, and now it has been blown up, and so now I feel like I should help put the pieces back together however yall might want me to. Also I did miss u guys.
    You're both correct, and I apologize for that. Yes, the decision is partly based on the fact that Monbrey never faced a consequence in URPG for sexually harassing another member. I'm not afraid to use that terminology, and I'm sorry if the fact that I haven't until now detracts from the severity of it. It wasn't really a conscious decision not to do so, I guess. Like you said, Nitro, I guess I just firgured most of us knew what I was referring to anyway.


    As an aside, Truly, your bitterness over the deletion of one of your posts in another thread is unwelcome here. You were sent a PM regarding why it was deleted and that's that. If your posts do not bait and flame other members for their opinions without any substantial contribution to the discussion as that one did, then no they will not be deleted. Please do not discuss this further on this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Truly View Post
    What is the other part of punishment?
    When the offender has already reformed and the crime is long past irrelevant, I don't see the point in a bunch of punishment across BMG, PXR, and URPG. What needed to happen was all of those places needed to give a punishment while it was still relevant, while Monbrey was still a shitty kid, while Elysia hadn't forgiven him. Idk if any of you read Adamantine, but I'm pretty sure the point of bringing up Monbrey's transgression wasn't to throw shade on Monbrey, it was to emphasize that URPG NEEDS TO CHANGE.
    Either way, Monbrey wasn't asked to step down because of any perceived shade that Ely threw at him. I have said many times that delivering this decision was extremely difficult given the fact that Monbrey has almost completely reformed. The offense, as unfortunate as this may be, is not "irrelevant". Sexual harassment never becomes "irrelevant" even if the perpetrator has changed vastly. I agree that things would have been very different if Monbrey had been punished back then by the Staff that were around back then, but that isn't the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Truly View Post
    So I see this and it all looks like the organizations involved trying to save face. I trust Monbrey to do more than Swift the next time a group of URPG players decide they want to be bullies-- because the last time I was affected, Monbrey offered sympathy, mere sympathy, which is more than Swift did.
    I'm sorry you feel this way. I'm also sorry you suddenly feel it's relevant to juxtapose me to Monbrey and paint me in a the light that I don't care about victims of bullying when I do. Monbrey is a great guy and a great leader. He was better than me in a lot of ways, and there are also areas where I excel that he doesn't. We both care about bullying. I don't think this is an appropriate place to discuss your situation back then, so I won't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lychee View Post
    Monbrey seems like a cool guy in the modern age (as a kid, he prolly was a ratbag *shrug*), and it kinda looks like he was responsible for a whole lot of resources. After the forums bulbagarden shutdown n shakeup and now a server move of everything, I kinda feel like this community will slowly come apart at the seams...
    That said, it probably is good to not have any one person under that kinda leadership pressure.

    This feels like a punishment handed down from the past to try to prove something - but I'm still not sure what it is. Like an adult being retroactively punished for their behavior as a child, most of this seems a little strange in its lateness. This isn't punishment to TEACH anyone anything, coz monbrey already knows what is and isn't appropriate. This punishment also isn't teaching anyone ELSE anything (due to its lateness and it's vagueness) except that "people get banned eventually, over something to do with the past and misconduct".
    These facts made it very difficult to make any kind of decision on asking Monbrey to step down. It is extremely regrettable that the Staff members back then were complacent to such actions, but even years later that does not mean they should not have any consequence whatsoever. I apologize again for my vagueness. The actions in question were sexual harassment. Also to clear up a misconception, he is not being banned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lychee View Post
    I dont feel like this is progressive- nothing outwardly appears to be in place to stop shitty stuff happening again as it did before, now there are even less people within management to enforce those rules, and this only serves to highlight how slowly and awkwardly discipline decisions are made. Who is in charge now? Does swift make the descisions on harassment cases alone? Is it a committee? Do you have a framework for identifying bullying and a routine procedure to stop it, other than banning? These are impersonal things that might need answering and clarifying for the future.
    I agree that these consequences were awkward and slow. Again, I can't do anything to change the inaction of the Staff team back then. None of the current Staff Team even knew about the sexual harassment in detail or the full scope of it and the ensuing situation (or lack thereof).

    To answer some of your valid and important questions:
    While I could have easily made this decision on my own, I involved all of Staff and put it to a vote. The only role I played was in sharing my own thoughts and making a final decision. We do have warning systems and we do keep track of them in Staff. It is a valid critique that we could do this better. It is difficult if not impossible to preemptively stop bullying and harassment, but we do our best to assess risk and mitigate it where possible with DMs, warnings, and consequences. Staff back then dropped the ball on this completely. I have dropped the ball on this myself in other situations. We can only move forward from here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lychee View Post
    It seems kinda like anyone in management could be targeted as a scapegoat, in this survivor style elimination tournament.
    Okay, I'm sure it's not quite like that XD
    But I'm certainly wondering who will be off next >o>
    I can't fully tell if this is a joke, but I dont appreciate it. 2 Staff have been asked to leave. Harry and Monbrey. Neither were scapegoats. It is easily to interpret them as such given their actions (or lack thereof) occurred so long ago, and all the good they have done in the meantime, but the fact remains that they transgressed and never faced consequences. To write off consequences as "scapegoating" is unfair. Staff loves Monbrey and he deserves better than that. If I had wanted to scapegoat him, I could have done it a month and a half ago. If I wanted to scapegoat him and Harry, I would have banned them altogether. No Staff are at risk of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Truly View Post
    To add to what Lychee said, another thing the stripping of Monbrey's title is not doing is protecting Elysia. You're trying to write a wrong by punishing Monbrey, but you've failed to realize that the "wrong" was that staff didn't do their job of protecting a member who was being harassed.
    No one has failed to realize that. Harry was demoted for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Truly View Post
    You're not fixing that by banning him now, because Elysia left, after even more abuse that staff failed to take action on.

    It just really really feels like everybody has missed the damn point.
    Nothing we do will fix what Monbrey did back then. That simply is not possible. That doesn't excuse the fat that he was never punished for it. I'm not sure specifically what abuse you're referring to (I'm not saying she was never abused in any way again, I just don't know specifically what you're referring to), but I ask that you don't speak on her behalf. Also, again, we are not banning him. If you are under this impression, please reread the initial post.


    I realize that many people are classifying this action as "saving face." Being honest, there is literally not a single thing URPG can do that isn't partly for the sake of "saving face." URPG has been thrown into a very dark light and we need to send the message that it is improving and becoming a positive community for people to have fun. In doing this, we also need to send the message that we hold strong values as the basis for our decisions. As PXR and BMG have shown us, the perspective of an outsider looking into URPG is that leaving Monbrey in a position of governance over people who could potentially come to him about an issue (sexual harassment) he was once guilty of himself (no matter how long ago) is wrong, and based on our own biases. Whether or not we agree, we can't deny the important fact that if someone shares this opinion with them, they will not join URPG. That is not to say that we are making these decisions solely to look good. We obviously care about the underlying moral implications of every decision we make. We held a week long discussion in order to establish this. My point is that doing things that "make URPG look good" is inescapable. That doesn't mean they should overshadow the other, moral-based reasons we do things.
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