President’s report back – July 2013

[ Please note that this has been amended on 17 July because an unfortunate use of language might have given a wrong impression.]

 At the AGM a few weeks before our Council meeting on 18 June I was able to report pleasing progress on a number of initiatives.  The first full Council meeting of the year took us further forward, with a new Committee structure to more efficiently represent our priorities.  Most significantly we have set up a new Member Services Committee, encompassing the work of both the Membership and Master Points secretaries, a reinstated role of Education Convener and a new initiative on communication, including the SBU News and the new website.  This big and important Committee is chaired by Russell Frame and I know that he would welcome your views and suggestions.  He can be contacted here.

 It would be inappropriate not to mention an unfortunate incident that has taken up a lot of time over the last few weeks.  A member has been accused of inappropriate actions in one of our clubs.  The alleged behaviour was so serious that it was seen as bringing the game into disrepute and a group led by the Chair of the Laws & Ethics Committee have investigated, made some recommendations and suspended a member from SBU sponsored events for 6 months.  The circumstances leading up to the investigation prompted me to ask Council to endorse the statement below - which was agreed before the Group reported - and I repeat it in order to ask all members, and in particular clubs and districts, to take note. 

SBU’s position on complaints on the behaviour of players 

If a member of the SBU is alleged to have misbehaved at an SBU event, the appropriate committee [Laws & Ethics] will investigate and, if necessary, recommend to Council that disciplinary action be taken.  If that action is a period of suspension from playing, all affiliated Districts – and clubs in these Districts – will be expected to uphold this suspension. 

If the misbehaviour is alleged to have taken place at club or district event that is a matter for the club or district.  However if the club/district believes that the alleged behaviour is such that action might be required under section 15.4 of the SBU Constitution [“breaks the Laws of Bridge or brings Bridge into disrepute”] this should be brought to the attention of the chair of the SBU L&E Committee.  The Committee may then decide to investigate and may recommend disciplinary action under section 15.4 of the Constitution. 

It should be noted that the acceptability of alleged behaviour may well differ when an incident takes place in a club or district event and is then referred to the SBU.  Any club/district that is considering referral to the SBU is invited to consult the chair of L&E or the President in advance if they require any clarification of the procedure or appropriateness of referral. 

This statement was approved by SBU Council on 18June 2013 and remains valid until any  subsequent statement is agreed by the Council. 

Finally please make our new website at one of your ‘favourites’ and use it vas your first point of reference for all SBU information.  It is fully operative but still being ‘tweaked’.  However can already communicate directly with Chairs of Committees, enter events via the website and see results immediately after events are completed.  Combined with the Mempad initiative, which is nearing completion and will allow clubs to record all MP allocations electronically and allow members to view their own MP record, I think we are really getting into the e-age!


Mike Ash