Monday, August 3, 2015

USQ Transfer Policy a Grave Error

The following statement was approved by a majority vote of the Quidditch Post's Leadership.

Editor's Note: USQ's original policy required "multiple violations." The word "multiple" was removed subsequently to the publishing of this editorial and we have chosen to remove it from our editorial accordingly.

We at the Quidditch Post avowedly reject USQ’s new transfer policy. The policy at its core does not allow transfers after Nov. 1, presumably including B team to A team unless a player a) moves, b) transfers, or c) proves their current team environment is unsafe for them based upon violations of the Unlawful Harassment Clause of the USQ Member Code of Conduct. The clause elaborates that “[the] requesting player will be asked to provide documentation of the violations, which may include names and contact information of multiple individuals willing to attest to the violations.” Further, no player from a team that has not qualified for USQ Nationals may transfer to a team that has qualified.

While we support a change in the transfer policy, we have a big problem with the language surrounding the harassment stipulation. Proof of harassment has long been a controversial issue, and while we do not mean to conflate harassment and rape, the controversy surrounding Emma Sulkowicz and the “Carry that Weight” Movement has shown that proving malfeasance is exceptionally difficult.

USQ has long prided itself on being a liberal organization that isn’t afraid to defy convention in its liberal activism. We as an organization and as people have always appreciated that. It is thus exceptionally disturbing to see USQ require proof of violations of the Unlawful Harassment clause. 

To preface, we are fully aware harassment can extend well beyond sexually aggressive actions; we simply wish to use an example. This being said, to illustrate how problematic USQ’s decision might be, let’s consider a hypothetical set of teammates, one of whom makes sexually aggressive actions toward another in a private setting. These actions make the first teammate uncomfortable. This player has some friends on the team, but does not feel comfortable discussing the situation with them. Under the old policy, this player would have the ability to leave their team and transfer to a new one for “[personal] reasons, such as discrimination or a harmful environment for the player within their previous team.” Now the player is faced with incredibly uncomfortable options: a) stay on their current team and deal with the harassment; b) leave their team and stop playing quidditch for the year; or c) talk to teammates and make sure that they can prove the harassment. 

This is absolutely unacceptable.

We implore USQ to stay true to its core values, one of which being “[to] build a safe, inclusive, and respectful community.”

We hope USQ hasn’t forgotten this message; however, we fear this policy suggests otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. Their enforcement of this policy is questionable at best. We know of a player who has been fighting for justice for over two years, with USQ ignoring the pleas and written testimonies from individuals who saw it (As their policy dictates) because it involves individuals they'd rather not get rid of, even though one of those individuals was recently removed from MLQ competition for something potentially similar. It is obviously not a priority for USQ to protect its players in our experience.

    Go figure.