An Open Letter to the USCA

In light of the recent issues within the US Curling Association, the The Board of Directors for the Dakota Curling Club have sent a letter to the USCA. The text of the letter is below, Please click here to see and download a copy of the actual letter.

TO: USA Curling Interim CEO Dean Gemmell and USA Curling Board of Directors
FROM: Dakota Curling Club Board of Directors
DATE: November 7, 2022

The statement provided by USA Curling following Jeff Plush’s resignation was filled with hope and healing. Dakota Curling Club supports this new direction of USA Curling. We feel it is important to be part of the solution and to also help hold the USA Curling Board of Directors and Interim CEO accountable to this direction.

It appeared to some that during the Members Assembly, the USA Curling BOD acted to silence the voices of many club members, recreational curlers, and volunteers - the very people that work every day to grow the sport of curling by teaching, advertising, hosting corporate events, petitioning local sponsors, and so much more.

Dakota Curling Club believes in a strong USA Curling. Without the Olympics and Olympians leading the public face of the sport, and without a strong USA Curling to develop, find talent, and train talent to be the best in the world, we would all have to work much harder to get new curlers in the door.

The mission of Dakota Curling Club is “to create a place where curlers of all abilities can gather, learn, and compete in a welcoming and fun environment that respects and champions the traditions of the game and the diversity of its players”.

To that end, we feel there are three things needed to heal and move forward:

  • Ensure the safety of everybody involved in our sport
  • Increase the level of transparency in the governance of USA Curling
  • Ensure appropriate and equitable represention that reflects the diversity of curling in the USA.

Specifically, we ask USA Curling and the USA Curling Board of Directors for the following:

  • Ensure the safety of everybody involved in our sport
    • To paraphrase the recent DEI Taskforce letter, it is vital that the process for how SafeSport complaints were handled be fully understood.
    • Conduct a full audit to determine the appropriateness of response to all SafeSport claims and identify opportunities for improvement. The audit must respect and safeguard individuals’ confidentiality.
    • Provide materials (posters, handouts, etc) to clubs to help ensure a safe environment for all participants
  • Increase the level of transparency of the governance of USA Curling
    • Move to an Open Meeting system with rules similar to those that apply to government bodies, at all levels of the organization, including BOD, subcommittees, advisory councils, and regional bodies.
    • Provide notice of all meetings (regular and special) on the USA Curling
      website along with agenda and support materials at least 14 days prior
      to the meeting.
    • Ensure meetings are open to all USA Curling members for observation, but not necessarily participation.
    • Publish minutes and decisions taken during the meetings no later than 14 days after the conclusion of the meeting, along with voting records of all participants.
    • Publish accurate and up to date record of USA Curling vote-eligible member counts, by region, and the number of votes available to the Athletes Advisory Council (AAC) on the USA Curling website.
  • Ensure appropriate and equitable representation that reflects the diversity of
    curling in the USA.

    • Change the date by which clubs must submit their dues to be the last day of USA Curling’s fiscal year. Clubs that submit payment by this date have full voting rights in the next fiscal year (that is, clubs that pay by 30 June 2022 have full voting rights until 30 June 2023). This will allow clubs that have a non-traditional curling season to accurately reflect their membership.
    • Restructure the Board of Directors such that Arena Clubs can share their perspective through a Director. Arena clubs are the grassroots of the organization, and their needs and wants are unique and are oen underrepresented.
    • Give the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce a seat on the board.
    • Ensure appropriate and equitable representation for clubs in the GNCC region (currently at-large)
      • Establish appropriate representation for the clubs to the USA Curling BOD
      • Ensure the clubs’ ability to participate in the ongoing governance discussions are not diminished as a result of being at-large rather than a regional member.

Sincerely,

Jason Botterill, President, on behalf of the Dakota Curling Club Board of Directors -
Sarah Hartung, Jeanine Perera, Anita Scott, John Smyrski, Jon Skyberg, Heather Guse, Allan McHugh, Randy Peterson