Minutes Standard Review Committee 2016 May 23 Meeting
STCA SRC MINUTES 5_23_2016 Merle Taylor called meeting to order 7:30 pm EST. Members present (Merle Taylor, Kathi Brown, Tom Hossfeld, Kathy Ferris and John McNabney Guest. Darle Heck absent.
Merle Taylor Thanked John for attending and asked him to agree to our confidentiality to not discuss the meeting until the minutes are accepted and posted on the website. Before we start the 1st question he would like to ask of John is why it took 6 months for him to return his call. It was very disappointing. It was decided before John answered to see if anyone had anything to report since our last meeting. K Brown 1. She did a presentation at rotating that was very well received. The focus was on judging and the standard. Many attendees had input as sweeps judges. They provided good feedback and some were surprised about not knowing as much about anatomy as they thought. 2. Ran a Judges Seminar in Louisville, Merle was helpful there. Presented a power point presentation to prospective judges as well as breed seminar. Many still had confusion on the point scale and how to reconcile it with the actual standard. Backgrounds of the participants was varied. Kathy Ferris 1. Answered question posed at Board meeting by John regarding committee status. His email indicated that he agreed we are a special (ad hoc) committee charged with completing a task. 2. Forums on the STCA website will be up and running shortly. Tom Hossfeld 1. In judge’s education discussions and with breeders he has found that many do not know how to measure terriers by proportion. Many that he has spoken with find that the Scottish Terrier Standard confuses them.
Merle wanted to take time to point out to John that we take this job seriously. The committee has decided that there is a lot of misunderstanding of the process we must comply with and what we are tasked with doing. He gave a summary of why we have not given any recommendations other than education at this point in time. He also offered the fact that as a group of 5 individuals all judges, all breeders we have our hands on 100’s of Scotties from throughout the country and every kennel. As judges we know how to put our personal opinions aside. He is offended that John would indicate that we are not a well-rounded committee. He has great concern that social media has also played a negative role and he believes that John as president and the STCA board should make a stand and stick with it to not allow the derogatory comments and bullying that goes on in that media by membership.
John wanted to give history as to the reason he was delayed in responding. At his first meeting he felt his job was to only appoint chairs of standing committees. Merle then asked him why John called most of the other committees before he was elected but not him John stated as he wasn’t elected yet he didn’t know all the committees and this committee wasn’t listed on the website.
Tom offered clarification on the fact that we are a special committee (ad hoc) and as such we continue to exist until the job is done. John agreed and believes that is our status and has no issue with that.
John also stated that after the October meeting he had other club issues that required his attention so did not call. He also stated that he didn’t want trouble from the board if he contacted Merle and acted on his own. He also said he was not a participant in those past discussion of the committee.
Kathi Brown had to disagree with John on that point because he signed the letter that was sent around about the committee that contained falsehoods and by doing so John did put himself on one side of the discussion instead of remaining neutral.
Merle believed that letter only contributed to confusing innocent people and was not a healthy discussion of the standard. Even his own article that was based on historical data was misconstrued by a vocal few to say he was changing the standard when it was simply an article that studied historical data on measuring in proportions. Most feedback he received complemented the article. He also noted that every member on this committee once reconstituted spent hours in studying the history in books and article of the breed and its standard before convening.
Kathi Brown offered that in addition opinions were solicited from renown authorities such as Bob Bartos and Ken McDermott to name a few. The committee once reformed had to start over to ensure the process was followed and in doing so we realized that there is a great deal of misinformation out there especially on social media. Much of this is used to misdirect and inflame people who do not choose to do their own studies.
John agreed that the letter he signed might not be factual but he did sign it at the time. He understands the concern but questions where you draw the line on freedom of speech.
Kathi Brown asked him if he thought the personal attacks on the backgrounds of the committee members was fair or just. Including who we have bred to or not bred to which also was incorrect. She also asked him how he feels about the point scale reflects the standard because when she does these seminars for the STCA the Point Scale always comes up as a point of confusion.
There was discussion of how it in the 1990’s everyone had to make written letters. Today the fact of the internet makes is so much quicker to respond and people are more willing to join in the debate than when they had to sit down and write a letter.
All made it clear that the committee has no problem with debate on the issue. What they object to is dissemination of falsehoods and personal attacks.
John stated that he has no reservation about the committee’s qualifications, he agreed we are probably the most qualified in the club based on our history in the breed and standing as judges. He is just concerned that if we do make any suggestions to the standard as we exists it won’t pass.
Following John mentioning the ‘historical standard’ Kathi Brown asked John if he believe that the 1993 standard is the “historical” standard. He agreed it was not the original. She mentioned the historical American Standard was approved in 1947 and stood in place until it was revised in 1993. Kathi brought up the fact that in the Bagpiper printing of judge’s comments for the STCA Top Twenty (at our 2015 national rotating specialty) one judged indicated the inconsistency between the body of the standard and the Point Scale they were directed to use in judging. This judge echoed what is queried at many judge’s education seminars. For one example, the standard clearly identifies the importance of temperament in the breed. In the opening paragraph the Scot is described as bold, and confident. Under temperament it is clearly described as “alert and spirited but also stable and steady going”, with the caveat that “No judge shall put to Winners or Best of Breed any Scottish Terrier not showing real Terrier character in the ring.” The Scale of Points does not include temperament and has “zero” points toward overall evaluation thus a dog may be 100% without these salient characteristics. In addition, neither movement nor bite and teeth have any points in the scale. John mentioned the Point Scale might be adjusted. Kathi felt that we don’t want to lose this part of breed history but it may be best to move it to explanations and amplifications as historical perspective on the breed and continue to print it with the breed standard. The 1993 revision did change the Scale of Points removing “color” and adding the 2.5 color points to “tail”. Discussion on how in 1993 there may have been confusion when AKC stated they needed to put a number in the standard. What AKC was asking was a number in proportion not a single number. There is belief among many that this may have been a misinterpretation at the time.
John wondered how much education we thought we needed to make to members. All agreed it needs to be done so everyone may benefit in understanding the standard and also any AKC procedures that would need to be followed if needed.
Discussion followed on how this debate moved from being about what the breed really is instead it turned into a procedure about getting the most votes and that is not good for the breed. Membership needs to take time and read more about the breed’s actual history as we all have. Things like the colors for example. We have judges excusing red brindles because they don’t think it’s an allowable color. John agreed even commenting on how temperament is not listed in the point scale. Members need to spend time and not look at it emotionally but instead look at the facts before they sign on to falsehoods. It is about being able to open up the standard and get a clear picture of what the breed actually is without confusion.
John suggested that the committee might consider running a column in the Bagpiper. First we would write about one part of the dog and solicit comments. Then the next issue would list those comments good and bad and our explanation of them. Perhaps this can get the dialog going to help the breed.
Merle’s concern is that will take too long and is too slow a process. He asked about the forums. Kathy Ferris explained how the forums will work and that it should be going live shortly. Perhaps the committee could run a topic on the standard and allow for discourse on it. She explained how forum etiquette would be outlined and participants would be required to behave with in that structure. Nasty, rude, abusive or foul comments would not be allowed. Members will need to present their issues and comments appropriately. The committee could then respond as they felt.
The committee asked John for his support in encouraging membership to be positive about it as well as asking the board for the same support so that this discussion can be free from bullying. John agreed and suggested that he would comment about that point in the next Bagpiper. John and Kathy can bring this feedback to the Board on this meeting.
Next meeting 6/27/16 at 7:30pm EST Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm. Respectfully submitted, Kathy Ferris, Acting Secretary
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