This weekend WGI hosted a Circuit Partner Symposium for local color guard, percussion and winds circuit administrators in New Orleans. There was a record attendance for this event with forty different local circuits represented by over eighty people.
This event was last held in 2017 and not scheduled for this year; however, there was a compelling need to convene the Circuit Partners to share enhancements to the WGI Code of Conduct and new procedures regarding performers protections that circuit administrators could take back to their organizations. WGI Executive Director Ron Nankervis addressed the additions to the WGI code of conduct the board of directors recently adopted. See the WGI Code of Conduct here.
“The level of dedication and professionalism by our Circuit Partners to provide quality experiences on a local level is incredible,” said Executive Director Ron Nankervis. “While we gladly share our resources with all in attendance, we always learn just as much from them. They are the foundation upon which the indoor activity is built.”
WGI also announced it is now the first marching arts organization requiring background checks for all employees, volunteers, and judges. Nankervis advised that WGI adjudicators have been completed their background checks within the past month and are on target to announce judging and staffing assignments as usual.
Additional requirements for participating groups recently introduced will allow a clear picture of the changes and how to implement them within their group. Last week scholastic groups were informed they are required to provide contact information for their band director/arts administrator/or school official who oversees their program. Independent groups are required to provide contact information for three persons involved with their group. In the case of any concerns regarding misconduct expressed directly to WGI through their Participant Protection Reporting Policy, this information will provide a method to inform necessary parties. This additional contact information is required in their group’s online profile before they will be allowed to register for 2019 events which open the week of the September 17th.
WGI also has plans to provide tools for groups to cover the WGI Code of Conduct with their participants and discussing their groups/schools reporting procedures. WGI also will provide lists of third-party resources groups may utilize to help directors strengthen their participant protection policies and procedures and how to deal with concerns should they arise.
In addition to participant protection, several other topics in event administration were on the agenda. One noteworthy session presented by the Ohio Crime Prevention Council was overall event safety considerations. Practical concepts and applications for event management crime prevention, including active shooter training, were covered and included some role-playing by attendees in different scenarios.
Nankervis continued, “We have done event safety seminars with our WGI contest administrators. As all our Circuit Partners events function much the same as ours, we were happy to provide this service.”