The looming crisis

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The looming crisis

Postby theMoMA » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:48 pm

Over ten years ago now, Paul Litvak raised concerns that the college quizbowl game had stagnated and might contract to a smaller and less organized state. The issue that people identified as the thread unfolded was a lack of dedicated people joining the ranks and filling in for quizbowlers who had departed to the real world. This didn't end up happening. From around 2005 to 2013 or so, most of the people who are now the leaders of the college quizbowl community joined the ranks. These people, myself included, now hold most leadership positions in the various quizbowl organizations. And most of us, especially from the earlier cohort starting in 2005-2008, have graduated (and those who haven't are nearing graduation with terminal degrees and have real-life concerns very similar to those of graduates).

Unfortunately, I think the college quizbowl world is now facing a similar leadership crisis to the one in 2006. Looking back through the editorial mastheads of the various tournaments this year, I'm having trouble finding a single tournament that was run without the central participation of someone who's currently not in school. More troubling is the fact that most of the administrative positions in large quizbowl institutions are held by graduates. These people aren't going to be around forever, and unless new leaders step up soon, the effect could be devastating for the core organizations, especially of the college game.

I say this not to denigrate the efforts of people who are still in school, or those who aren't. Anyone who manages to find the time to fit quizbowl leadership into their academic or post-academic life should be celebrated. But quizbowl can't keep relying on the same dozen or so people to hold every position and anchor every editorial staff. If the next calendar year is another one in which people like Will A., Jonathan, Auroni, Will N., Jordan, and Ike are central to every event on the calendar, we'll be one year further along in the problem of not developing new editors. (That said, there have been a lot of very promising new editors under these players recently, so I don't think the editing situation is entirely dire.)

For people in similar situations as me--still involved after long years of participation--this is an occasion to look in the mirror. I think we haven't been very good about bringing along new people, and have relied almost exclusively on graduates to fill out our editorial teams and leadership positions. For people who are still in school, I hope you'll understand that the continuation of the game is not guaranteed, and it depends on people willing to make it known that they can step up to do the work, whether it's a glamorous job like editing a prestigious tournament, or the tough work of being an organization's treasurer or communications officer. (On that note, this is a good place to remind everyone how amazing Stephen Eltinge has been at doing hard work for ACF while he's been in school.)

College quizbowl is currently in the tricky position of relying on a few people doing a tremendous amount of work to keep the questions flowing and the administrative gears churning. If just one or two of those people burns out or leaves (for instance, to take a demanding job), I'm not sure whether we have enough people willing to fill the gap. For the game to be in this position despite years of growth, when questions have never been better and competition has rarely been stronger (and never this deep), is discouraging. I hope we can fix the problem, and I look forward to hearing ideas about how to do so.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby vinteuil » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:57 pm

theMoMA wrote:If the next calendar year is another one in which people like Will A., Jonathan, Auroni, Will N., Jordan, and Ike are central to every event on the calendar, we'll be one year further along in the problem of not developing new editors. (That said, there have been a lot of very promising new editors under these players recently, so I don't think the editing situation is entirely dire.)

Is it possible that there are more of these people around and willing than there used to be? Moreover, standards have gotten so stringent (guilty guilty guilty, I know) that people feel like they can't produce a tournament "unsupervised"?

In any case, I agree with Andrew that this is less than ideal. I might as well announce that I'm hoping to write/edit the pre-nats open next year; this post has inspired me to try to build a writing and editing team entirely of people in school (science may defeat this).

EDIT: Adam Silverman is on board, so looks like science isn't a problem. I'm no Ophir with acronyms, so the tournament will be called "Pre-ICT and ACF Nationals Open".
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Auroni » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:15 pm

Andrew is correct in his diagnosis. While I and several of my peers enjoy writing and editing tournaments and (at least I) plan to keep doing so, we can't be relied upon to produce the bulk of the needed sets year after year. I have tried, with my past two projects, to recruit younger co-editors who are still undergraduates. However, this measure isn't enough -- we need the same people to volunteer to head edit regular difficulty tournaments, the mainstays of college competition.

Lest I sound too pessimistic, I'd like to add that I was extremely heartened to see that a plurality of the most recent college set to be played (CMST) was written by editors who have worked on no or almost no tournaments before, and at a level that many would find daunting for their first project. I hope that this trend continues.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby ErikC » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:56 pm

It's interesting that this thread has already spurred the organization of another tournament - perhaps more visibility for posts asking for first-time help could get more people involved? I know that I'm more interested after reading Andrew's post.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Aaron's Rod » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:13 pm

Auroni wrote:I have tried, with my past two projects, to recruit younger co-editors who are still undergraduates. However, this measure isn't enough -- we need the same people to volunteer to head edit regular difficulty tournaments, the mainstays of college competition.


This is what needs to be happening. More of this, at every level.

I've said this in other threads but I'll say it again––it is hard to know how to indicate interest in writing or editing. It just hasn't been part of the culture on the forums (or elsewhere) to say "hey, I'm interested in producing a set of x difficulty for y date, anybody else want to work together?" With some exceptions, housewrite teams just get together between friends/known quantities behind closed doors, which I guess is okay if you already know who you want, but is not conducive to bringing new people on board. NAQT is the only org I can think of that has information up year-round about how to write for them, and that's a real loss for the people that aren't doing that. As far as I know, NASAT/HSAPQ and even PACE have never been that way.

I think quizbowlers forget how scary "big-name" quizbowlers can be to mere mortals, even the nicest of you. It takes major chutzpah for Jane Doe from University that Plays Quizbowl to email somebody saying they want to help out on a set, when the most they've ever done is submit to an ACF tournament. Especially if you are not well-connected in the quizbowl community, going from "I've written some questions for study or for packet submission" to "I want to write a set's worth of questions" is practically a quantum leap. EDIT: Even messaging Vasa last year saying "hey, I could write some questions for EMT" was terrifying to me. Actively soliciting writers is the right thing to do, and even then it's scary to put yourself out there!

Speaking of which, when was the last time ACF brought on new people? Genuinely wondering because I don't know. It would seem to me that an organization that has had to defend itself under the premise that their members have real jobs would benefit from bringing on enthusiastic college students who don't have real jobs yet.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:41 pm

Aaron's Rod wrote:Speaking of which, when was the last time ACF brought on new people? Genuinely wondering because I don't know. It would seem to me that an organization that has had to defend itself under the premise that their members have real jobs would benefit from bringing on enthusiastic college students who don't have real jobs yet.

ACF makes an effort to bring in new members every year, usually as subject editors for Fall (but sometimes for Regionals or even Nationals as well). The most common path to ACF membership is through editing: working on one tournament* (and being approved by a vote of the organization) makes you a provisional member, doing a similarly satisfactory job on a second tournament makes you a full member. These new-member votes happen yearly. The major bottleneck is in moving from being someone who's edited a couple tournaments to being someone who wants to do managerial/leadership-type work--and as Andrew suggests, the causes of that problem are divided between newer people not stepping up to volunteer for those roles, and clunky or absent institutional continuity/encouragement to said new people from ACF's extant elder statespeople (myself included).

*we've recently added non-editing paths to membership as well, to recognize and encourage things like logistical work.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Victor Prieto » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:42 pm

As far as I know, the only way to become a member of ACF is to be an editor for one of the three tournaments. The recruitment of editors for Regionals and Nationals has been 100% opaque to me for years. The Fall editor application has been around for a couple years now, but there's no information about how potential editors are selected. Are you looking for people with 1-2 tournaments edited, many tournaments edited, or no tournaments edited? What exact responsibilities are expected of editors? What compensation can potential editors expect to receive? These are all questions someone on the outside looking in could presumably ask (most of which are answered on NAQT's becoming a writer page). I'm not asking for the answers here, I'm just saying this is information not publicly available.

I have no idea what ACF discusses within their secret chambers, but if it were me, I would think about putting into place general policies like:

- One ACF member agrees to oversee ACF Fall without being directly responsible for editing any categories
- The ACF Fall editing team is comprised entirely of first-time ACF editors
- An application for ACF Regionals akin to ACF Fall
- The ACF Regionals editing team has at least one first-time ACF editor

Those are just some ideas for how to introduce new people into ACF. You may want to also consider avenues that don't involve editing, if you have holes in administrative positions that need to be filled.

EDIT: from Rob's post, it doesn't sound like there's a shortage of editors (although being recruited as an editor is still a very opaque process), but rather a shortage of people willing to carry the institutional knowledge. I guess you could just post an announcement on the forums saying "we're looking to hire a new ________, we don't pay much but we don't require a whole lot either other than sticking around."
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Cheynem » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:29 am

From the perspective of someone not involved in any leadership position, I would say the writers/editors situation is not dire at all in my opinion. We've gone through runs of people being very heavily involved in tournament production for a few years--Ike, for example, was super active a couple years ago, and scaled way back this year. There were cycles where Matts of various surnames, Rob, Andrew, Auroni, etc. all were very active and cycled in and out. There's definitely a wide spectrum of people being involved in production, ranging from grizzled vets to people in school to people just out of school--there are tournaments coming out of places like California, Yale, Michigan State, Canada, etc. Yes, most of these tournaments feature some participation from a veteran, but I think that's both healthy and natural, assuming the new writers and editors are learning what they are doing. I'm not too worried about that.

I'm more worried about leadership structure. It's one thing to write and edit a tournament, but it's another thing to keep institutions and organizations going, and that in regard, I'm completely flummoxed. As someone suggested above, perhaps ACF should simply just advertise hiring for a treasurer. As someone not in ACF, I had no idea how the treasurer was selected or what qualifications that person needed.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:53 am

My question is: what's the rationale for ACF and PACE not just offering membership invitations far more freely than they are currently? I suppose there's a desire to make sure people aren't besmirching their good names, but every year it seems like PACE posts a <10 person list of new members when surely there's far more graduating seniors who would present at least some benefit in being at-call members. If nothing else, just inviting someone to be a member would instigate them to be more involved quizbowl community members in general.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Cheynem » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:09 am

To be fair, I assume they offer more than they get people to accept; I've turned down both PACE and ACF memberships in the last few years.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:20 am

Cheynem wrote:To be fair, I assume they offer more than they get people to accept; I've turned down both PACE and ACF memberships in the last few years.


Really? That's surprising to me: I would have thought there was little reason to turn down a membership, but it may just be that I'm vastly underestimating the amount of work required of members. Maybe there should be another rung on the ladder that's just, like, voting status? Or "prospective" status? I don't know, something that allows ACF/PACE to include more people in the community without also scaring them off with commitment demands.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby theMoMA » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:43 pm

I don't think raw membership numbers are the issue, except to the extent that some number of new members go on to become very productive, and failing to offer those people membership in the first place means that they never have the chance to contribute. Speaking only in the case of ACF, I think that raw numbers aren't the issue; we have plenty of people in the organization, many of whom are fairly active. But that activity tends to be focused on ACF's core mission of editing a quality Fall, Regionals, and Nationals. There are considerably fewer people interested in the roles that support the editors, such as treasurer or meeting chair. Those who serve in those positions tend to do so for years at a time, and finding people to assume the mantle when they move on is difficult.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Sam » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:02 pm

Aaron's Rod wrote:EDIT: Even messaging Vasa last year saying "hey, I could write some questions for EMT" was terrifying to me. Actively soliciting writers is the right thing to do, and even then it's scary to put yourself out there!

I was actually going to post a thread about how great collegiate quiz bowl feels compared to not even that long ago, before I saw Andrew's post and thought it would be weird to be so Pollyannish in response. One of the things I was going to say, though, was how last year a bunch of relatively inexperienced people decided to write a tournament, almost at the last minute, and it turned out pretty good!

I still feel the pool of competent people is wider than it has been in the past. Andrew raises a good point I hadn't considered, that there's a lot of intensive, behind-the-scene work that is still done by the same handful of people. (So maybe the pool is wide but not deep? Not entirely sure where my metaphor is going there.)
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby nsb2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:15 am

As a freshman who wrote about 15 questions for CMST (having written for and edited a few high school sets previously), I've found that the world of collegiate quizbowl, especially the higher echelons, can be extremely exacting. Naturally, collegiate questions are held to a much higher standard, meaning there's a bit of a learning curve for many graduating high schoolers -- even those who, like me, have gone to multiple national tournaments and played at the highest difficulty levels available in high school.

The natural question that arises from that learning curve is this: where does one draw the line between allowing slightly inexperienced writers/editors to contribute to college sets and the high standards expected of collegiate questions? Having never previously written for a set above HS nationals level, I was thrown in at the deep end at CMST, but I was able to improve as a writer thanks to guidance from more seasoned teammates. Given my experience, I feel that a large-scale mentoring program to improve the writing and editing skills of somewhat less experienced collegiate players might help mitigate this problem.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Deviant Insider » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:03 am

The main reason PACE doesn't add a lot of members each year is because not too many people are nominated. To some extent, this is PACE's fault for not nominating more people ourselves, but it's also the case that anybody can nominate anybody to be a PACE Member. It is possible that PACE has been too picky when considering very recent high school graduates as Members, but there is some justification for that based on the fact that such people are at an unpredictable stage of life, and they can always get nominated a year or two later.

Keep in mind the main reason to be a PACE Member is because you are interested in promoting high school quizbowl generally and the NSC specifically. If somebody was into high school quizbowl when they were in high school but wants to focus almost entirely on collegiate quizbowl when they get to college, then that person probably should not be in PACE. If a college student wants to contribute to high school quizbowl by working on local high school tournaments, then that is very helpful to the high school game but might not involve PACE if that's all the person wants to do. Even with NSC, if a person's primary interest is staffing or contributing a handful of questions, then that's not a reason to become a PACE Member.

When it's all said and done, PACE would be happy to have more Members. That being said, PACE Members do specific things: carry out PACE projects, decide how to add or change PACE projects, run the NSC, and talk about how to improve the NSC. People interested in those things are a good match for PACE Membership, and people interested in other things can hopefully find avenues that are better for them. Because PACE is focused on high school quizbowl, I think that we are at best an indirect path to addressing the issues raised in the original post.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:54 am

David wasn't a member at the time, but around 2010 when PACE was having a serious crisis under a president that a number of the most active members had good reason not to trust, one of the biggest problems was that PACE had a very large number of members who had zero involvement anymore (and some who had barely been involved in the first place). If I remember correctly, many of these members were who held up an impeachment because they didn't vote or else didn't know enough to actively vote yes. The result of failing to impeach was the departure of multiple very enthusiastic members and a disastrously unfun 2011 NSC. PACE did the right thing - it purged its membership in the wake of those failures, and seems to have done a great job learning a lesson about not handing out new memberships like candy to people who aren't ultimately going to be motivated to help PACE be the best force for good quizbowl in high school.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby AGoodMan » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:26 pm

I do think that there is definitely interest among younger players (I would count myself as one of those) to write and maybe even eventually edit at the college level. But I would also appreciate a bit more guidance/encouragement. I've volunteered to contribute to sets before but have on several occasions received no meaningful response, and after a while, it gets a bit disheartening to keep putting yourself out there. I also think it would be important to actually revive the question clinic thread so people like me can receive constructive feedback from experienced writers.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:45 pm

Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) wrote:David wasn't a member at the time, but around 2010 when PACE was having a serious crisis under a president that a number of the most active members had good reason not to trust, one of the biggest problems was that PACE had a very large number of members who had zero involvement anymore (and some who had barely been involved in the first place). If I remember correctly, many of these members were who held up an impeachment because they didn't vote or else didn't know enough to actively vote yes. The result of failing to impeach was the departure of multiple very enthusiastic members and a disastrously unfun 2011 NSC. PACE did the right thing - it purged its membership in the wake of those failures, and seems to have done a great job learning a lesson about not handing out new memberships like candy to people who aren't ultimately going to be motivated to help PACE be the best force for good quizbowl in high school.


I don't really know anything about this situation, so please take this feedback with a grain of salt. But it seems like there was an overcorrection? I feel like having a "provisional membership" where people are required to "attend" every vote and write at least 5 questions seems like an easy way to both add members and not unduly fill the ranks with fluff.

As David said, it's not helpful to focus on PACE (a HS-oriented organization) as a solution to wider QB solutions, but what I've seen from afar -- in QB, and dealing with organizational issues in general -- is that pretty much anything can be a gateway drug to participation.

Also, it's an anecdotal experience, and who knows how much it applies here, but one group I was in had a lot of trouble convincing anyone to join because everyone was convinced it was a lot of work. So we just...made the minimum work requirement lower. Officers still had a lot to do, but once people were attending meetings without feeling like they had to attend every meeting, then some of them did actually go on to attend every meeting.

Anyways, my broader point is that, even if people do barely anything to start with, just being in an organization imposes a sense of community and duty to chip in. And then you can always just really easily cull anyone who's clearly just sticking around for the sake of sticking around.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby El Salvadoreno » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:55 pm

AGoodMan wrote:I do think that there is definitely interest among younger players (I would count myself as one of those) to write and maybe even eventually edit at the college level. But I would also appreciate a bit more guidance/encouragement. I've volunteered to contribute to sets before but have on several occasions received no meaningful response, and after a while, it gets a bit disheartening to keep putting yourself out there. I also think it would be important to actually revive the question clinic thread so people like me can receive constructive feedback from experienced writers.


This is where I think a Padawan like tournament could be useful to introduce more experienced editors to younger writers and to hive younger writers a chance to learn from tried and true editors.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Rococo A Go Go » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:08 pm

Big Y wrote:The main reason PACE doesn't add a lot of members each year is because not too many people are nominated. To some extent, this is PACE's fault for not nominating more people ourselves, but it's also the case that anybody can nominate anybody to be a PACE Member. It is possible that PACE has been too picky when considering very recent high school graduates as Members, but there is some justification for that based on the fact that such people are at an unpredictable stage of life, and they can always get nominated a year or two later.

Keep in mind the main reason to be a PACE Member is because you are interested in promoting high school quizbowl generally and the NSC specifically. If somebody was into high school quizbowl when they were in high school but wants to focus almost entirely on collegiate quizbowl when they get to college, then that person probably should not be in PACE. If a college student wants to contribute to high school quizbowl by working on local high school tournaments, then that is very helpful to the high school game but might not involve PACE if that's all the person wants to do. Even with NSC, if a person's primary interest is staffing or contributing a handful of questions, then that's not a reason to become a PACE Member.

When it's all said and done, PACE would be happy to have more Members. That being said, PACE Members do specific things: carry out PACE projects, decide how to add or change PACE projects, run the NSC, and talk about how to improve the NSC. People interested in those things are a good match for PACE Membership, and people interested in other things can hopefully find avenues that are better for them. Because PACE is focused on high school quizbowl, I think that we are at best an indirect path to addressing the issues raised in the original post.


If somebody is nominated to be a member of PACE, but then found to not be worthy, do you at least tell the person what they can do to meet your standards? It kind of sounds like the standard is "we know what a PACE member looks like when we see one" and that always risks devolving into just inviting people that current members know and like.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Deviant Insider » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:46 pm

A few things to clarify about PACE, which as I already said should be a tangential part of this thread.

First of all, I have already gotten feedback outside of this thread about my statement, "Keep in mind the main reason to be a PACE Member is because you are interested in promoting high school quizbowl generally and the NSC specifically." Even though I am by title a President, I am not a career politician who codes what he says. I am a career teacher who tries to say things as clearly as possible. Our primary mission is to promote high school quizbowl generally. That's what we do, and when you think of the growth of PACE, that's how you should define and measure it. If we are failing in that regard, then we are failing. The NSC is our most time-consuming project--running a large tournament in a hotel to high standards is a major effort. If somebody wants to join PACE, they are welcome to focus on growing high school quizbowl generally or focus on NSC, and there is nothing wrong with that focus changing from year to year.

Secondly, let me address provisional membership. It is something we have talked about in the not-too-distant past (about two years ago) and have decided against. Basically, we didn't think it added anything. I have seen PACE operate under three Presidents--Matt Jackson, Michael Bentley, and myself. I have never seen new members given orders along the lines of 'start producing before we throw your butt out of here.' The approach instead has always been to say what we are working on and to attend meetings and to look for opportunities to come up that fit your skills and schedule. Writing questions is on the one hand the easiest way to contribute because it's something that a lot of us do and understand. On the other hand, some of us don't write questions, especially to the quality expected of NSC, and some of us contributed NSC questions before joining PACE, so the expectation that all provisional members should perform a particular job does not make sense for us.

As far as notifying people who have been turned down, we generally do not do that because people usually do not know they have been nominated. It depends to some extent on the circumstances. If you have questions about whether PACE Membership is right for you, feel free to talk to me or any current or former member of PACE. I headed a state organization for 10 years before becoming a PACE Member, but I am the complete opposite of normal--new members are generally college students or recent college grads who have in some way demonstrated that they are willing and able to help high school quizbowl. It's not like you have to save the world first before you join PACE--it's in fact very far from that, and we are happy to have more members and more nominees. The low number of nominees in recent years is to some extent my fault, and it is something I would like to improve upon.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Cheynem » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:02 pm

At some point, ACF should perhaps just post a "job listing" for things like treasurer and meeting chair (the latter of which I have no idea what duties are entailed), in which duties are outlined and qualifications listed.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Habitat_Against_Humanity » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:47 pm

Rococo A Go Go wrote:
If somebody is nominated to be a member of PACE, but then found to not be worthy, do you at least tell the person what they can do to meet your standards? It kind of sounds like the standard is "we know what a PACE member looks like when we see one" and that always risks devolving into just inviting people that current members know and like.


Just for the record, I've toyed with the idea of working with PACE in my head, but I think I'm disconnected enough from the community that I wouldn't be nominated and as we all know, self-nominations are "discouraged." That always struck me as a good way to keep an "in-crowd" mentality.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:21 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:Just for the record, I've toyed with the idea of working with PACE in my head, but I think I'm disconnected enough from the community that I wouldn't be nominated and as we all know, self-nominations are "discouraged." That always struck me as a good way to keep an "in-crowd" mentality.


Me as well, for PACE & ACF. Totally narcissistic to use myself as an example, of course, and who knows if I would actually be a positive effect on said organizations--you know I could always just suck--but if we're commenting just for the record...

IDK if self-nominations are actually discouraged (by PACE), but there definitely seems to be a normative reason not to do it.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Habitat_Against_Humanity » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:34 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:Just for the record, I've toyed with the idea of working with PACE in my head, but I think I'm disconnected enough from the community that I wouldn't be nominated and as we all know, self-nominations are "discouraged." That always struck me as a good way to keep an "in-crowd" mentality.


Me as well, for PACE & ACF. Totally narcissistic to use myself as an example, of course, and who knows if I would actually be a positive effect on said organizations--you know I could always just suck--but if we're commenting just for the record...

IDK if self-nominations are actually discouraged (by PACE), but there definitely seems to be a normative reason not to do it.



Most recent PACE recruitment thread wrote:Happy New Year, quizbowlers! The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is again seeking nominations for new members!


Nominations

If you know someone who is exceptionally qualified to contribute to these goals, please consider sending their name, along with a short statement of their track record of contributions thus far, to secretary@pace-nsc.org.

Current high school students are not eligible. Self-nominations are discouraged.


If PACE has had a problem with self-nominations in the past, then I understand. I'm not incredibly itching to get super involved in anything, but sometimes I think it would be good for me socially to contribute to the community. To me this post (and I'm not calling out the author; I believe all of the nomination threads have said this) dissuades me from trying to stay involved with quiz bowl.
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Re: The looming crisis

Postby Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:42 pm

I've been a PACE member since 2010 and have seen our nomination practices change from "people who are good high school players get in regardless of logistics or writing experience" to "hey, let's try to make sure everyone here has skills besides the ones at the buzzer." PACE has also had a problem with self-nominations in the past from people who have ranged from well-meaning but unhelpful to actively bad for quizbowl, several of whom renominated themselves every year. However, if as Nolan suggests we're deterring good folks from sticking around, it's certainly worth revisiting that language and filtering out ill-advised nominations while knowing that we're gonna piss some people off in the process. We try to nominate good writers and logistics folks, but as I well know, logistics skills often fly under the radar.


Because logistics skills are easier to miss than buzzer prowess and question production, we know we're missing out on good talent in ACF, and Mike's suggestion of a job posting is under internal discussion and receiving tons of support.
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