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State of the Academy Address!!! -massadoobie - Apr 03 05:22pm

Get comfortable, this could take a while...

Yes, it's that time again, time for a state of the Academy address from yours truly. It has been a crazy couple months around here and there are some things that desperately need addressing, so let's get started:

Respect. It's what this place is all about. If you read the rules, it states, "These rules all boil down to respect. If you don't have respect for your fellow players, you have no place in the Academy!" Lately there has been a HUGE amount of disrespect amongst everyone, students and staff alike (by staff I mean JAK, JAT and JA staff for the rest of this post).

I'll start with the most disappointing source of disrespect, and that's the staff. We have gotten far too many complaints from students and fellow staff members about people who have been given ranked positions. Let me remind you, in no uncertain terms, THE RULES THAT APPLY TO STUDENTS ALSO APPLY TO YOU. We've talked to you about this before both in meetings and in your forums. You are not setting anywhere near a good example for the rest of the students to follow. You badmouth people, you treat your classes like party sessions, and you general disgust me with how you abuse your position. I understand that not all of you do this, and those of you who behave properly know who you are, and I commend you for it. But to the rest of you... Don't think that once you get your promotion that you can't be demoted or even kicked. We've already shown that if you violate the rules, even if you're at the very highest level of the Academy, we have no problems getting rid of you and replacing you with someone who deserves to be there. We hold you all to a higher standard, and as such, we will come down harsher on you should you break the rules. We don't WANT to ban or demote, in fact we hate it, but if it's something we have to do then it will be done. This is your final warning, for the whole Academy to see. Shape up or we'll ship you out.

To the rest of you, what I just said also applies. We have rules, you must follow them. In fact, go read them again. Now. Ok, good. The rules aren't there for us to be dictators, they're there to make sure EVERYONE has a fun, enjoyable experience here. If you don't want to follow them, please leave and save us the trouble of getting rid of you ourselves. If you want to attend a class, attend it with the goal of learning, not of just having fun. Classes are fun, but they're also an education, so if you want to just screw around, don't waste your time or the time of the teacher and other students by going to class. In IRC, you must always remember that there are possibly young children. This means you need to keep the channel clean and family friendly. No inappropriate language, no sexual jokes OR HARASSMENT, no cruelly disrespecting someone (even Aratan), nothing that you wouldn't want your kids exposed to if you were a parent. The same rules apply for the servers and the forums. If you have any doubts about whether it's appropriate, either ask a ranked member or just keep it to yourself. Also, a big concern is password leaking. If you leak a password to a server and are caught, you will be banned. That may seem harsh, but it happens too frequently. Password leak = ban. It's that simple.

Recently, the council has made some decisions regarding promotions, demotions, and bannings that some of you may have had a problem with. While we encourage debate about issues, we also ask that you remember that the Council doesn't do anything rashly. Anything major has to be approved by all 5 members of the Council after discussing the issues, and anything minor usually has at least 2 or 3 if not all of the Council members involved in the decision. In almost any case that I could imagine, the Council has more information than you do, even if you think you know everything about a particular issue. The decisions we make are intended to improve the Academy and keep it fun and civil for all of its members.

Now, for a quick reminder of what exactly each rank can do. It's explained in detail here, but a quick summary: JAKs (Knights), can assist classes, take official padawans, kick people from servers and IRC (as well as ban on IRC), mediate arguments, and assist JATs and JACs in anyway. They cannot ban, they cannot vote on promotions, they cannot trial without a JAT or JAC present, and they cannot declare Academy policy. JATs (Trainers) do everything JAKS can plus teach alone, kick or ban on both IRC and servers, spawn NPCs FOR TRAINING PURPOSES ONLY on servers, trial JAKs and JATs, and vote on promotions. They also cannot declare Academy policy. Staff can do anything the Council gives them the power to do, and the Council can of course do anything it needs to do. I mention this because sometimes we all forget what each rank is allowed to do, and we've received some complaints from both students and staff about people abusing their power. This should serve as a reminder to the staff about what powers they have and don't have, and a reminder to the students about who to talk to about problems.

Ok, now for the positives. First and foremost, I'd like to announce to those of you that didn't hear the news that Luke Skywalker, won the JAK+ tournament. He defeated orion in the finals 4-1 in the finals. The tournament was a rousing success, with the biggest shocks being the fact that I defeated two council members (DJ and JACen Solo) to make it to round three, where I was waxed by orion. But yeah, congrats to Luke, and good luck to everyone in Smily's April tournament!

Second, I'd like to congratulate FaDed on his promotion to Lead Trainer and Exar Kun on his promotion to Lead Knight, along with congratulating again all of the recent promotions we've had to refill the Knight ranks. You guys are doing a great job so far, just don't forget why we picked you! Unfortunately, we've had some retirements recently (Eclipse, our oldest Jedi Master, Nightcrawler, and the not-really-so-retired Monty), but we've always got fresh talent coming up the ranks, so if you keep obeying the rules, setting a good example, and being a model student, maybe you one day will become a Knight as well!

Finally, I personally feel that we have a great community, one of the best on the 'net. Outside of a few setbacks and mishaps, the Academy has been a success beyond the wildest dreams of DJ and I. I especially would like to thank everyone for the kind words that were expressed both immediately after Vladarion's death and in the article that was recently posted. As tragic as his death is, it has shown how strong our community bonds are and will always be. We never would have imagined that we would be approaching our second anniversary. Thank you all for making this place so incredible and for helping us to make it this long, with no end in sight.

VIVA LA ACADEMIA!!!!

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Comments
Apr 10 2004 02:20am

Ruuk Haviser
 - Retired
 Ruuk Haviser

JG- I thought I was the only one who made exceptionally long posts...:D Good points. I could mention something as well: as GPS surveyer, I'm hiking all over the landscape every day. There are some places that can be completely disgusting: ravines. It seems as though people have this idea, "if you can't easily see it, it doesn't matter," and they toss all sorts of things over the side of a cliff/hill/whatever. (Unfortunately, I have to climb over this crap when I'm surveying...) My point is that there's a broken window thing here as well. When I'm in a wealthier area, and the ravines are fairly clean, they're...clean. Like, very clean. When I'm in a low income, rural "who gives a crap" area, the ravines are filled with stuff. Not a few things, but FILLED with junk.

Seems as though once people see someone else has done it, they get the idea that "Well, it's already messed up. What's a little bit more?" And they dump their load, and move on.

Pretty pathetic, but a realism I deal with on a daily basis.

-rh
_______________
Back from the dead...

This comment was edited by Ruuk Haviser on Apr 10 2004 02:20am.

Apr 09 2004 02:21am

Xanatos
 - Student
 Xanatos

This might sound stupid but the other day I was on , just playing normal instagib, and then mirror popped up on my team.. alot of people dont know this but Mirror= Faded_Angel, then Lego popped up, hes in my
clan thing, anyway, he joined the same team. and we had an all out JA vs all thats 3 vs 6 instagib.. Anyway, we won but besides that.. It was just so damn great, JA rox. :D

ps. Glad you posted that massadoobie, joo really are one great leader for this community.
_______________



Apr 07 2004 10:59pm

JavaGuy
 - Student
 JavaGuy

Some places have them, some don't. Health reasons, not just because it's nasty. But it's better not to have any such law at all than to have one and not enforce it.

_______________
My signature is only one line. You're welcome.

Apr 07 2004 01:02pm

Halendor
 - Ex-Student
 Halendor

Nice post Javaguy, but.. a law against spitting on the sidewalk? :P

Apr 06 2004 08:23pm

Sniya
 - Student
 Sniya

this place is just how i left it
_______________
The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do.
Bertrand Russell
http://www.thejediacademy.net/forums_detail_page.php?f_id=970


Apr 06 2004 05:39am

JavaGuy
 - Student
 JavaGuy

Regarding the foul language...

Nobody argues that kids will be screwed up by hearing/reading the F-word (or whatever). And yes, I use it in real life, but not too often, and I'm trying to eliminate it from my vocabulary forever.

The problem is that kids are still figuring out what is "normal." When you're a kid, if everyone around you curses like a sailor, you're going to think that's fine. If you're constantly around people who think cursing is trashy, low-class behavior, you'll think it's beneath you too. Now of course, kids understand that different groups have different standards of behavior, but it's a lot easier for someone more experienced to put it all in perspective. Believe me, I know well what it's like to have a different standard of behavior than those around me.

And it does make a difference. Oh yes it does.

Back in the early 80s an economist and a sociologist came up with what they called the "broken window theory" of neighborhood decay. The premise was that if a window gets broken in a building and isn't repaired quickly, people assume that nobody cares about the windows, and soon all the windows are broken. This is not just a thought experiment but a real phenomenon that happens in real city buildings: If a building owner repairs broken windows quickly, very few get broken, but if just one is left unrepaired for a couple weeks the entire building is windowless in about a month. No kidding. This happens.

The broken window theory of neighborhood decay suggested that crime was the same way: If a community tolerates kids on a corner making rude comments to passers-by, their behavior will become more aggressive because they think nobody cares. If a community tolerates petty vandalism, it will soon have to tolerate large-scale theft.

It sounds like a slippery-slope argument, but it's much more sophisticated than that. The gist of it is that criminal behavior escalates when the community doesn't care about the crimes that are already happening. Whether we care about trashy behavior is like whether we care about a broken window.

Following this theory, a number of cities and towns have dramatically reduced the rates of violent crime by...cleaning up litter and graffiti, fixing broken windows and enforcing laws that had been ignored for too long (like laws against spitting on the sidewalk, for example). Rates of murder, rape and robbery go down dramatically. Really! The rational mind chafes at the notion that murder, rape and robbery have anything at all to do with litter and graffiti, but that's not it. Caring about these things changes the whole attitude of the community, changes the standard of behavior--Fix the broken window, and the breakings will stop.

The same applies to the Academy. There's a rule against cursing. If it becomes obvious that nobody cares about that rule, then a lot of people will wonder if anybody cares about the rule against laming (this is not a hypothetical, either). And so on. It would be better to have no rule at all than to have one and not enforce it (though I have to say, I'm unclear about what a "very small amount of swearing" is...this might warrant a separate post).

I'm not arguing that people who curse a lot will become violent criminals, but I will tell you this: I've known a lot of people in my life from both ends of the economic spectrum and everywhere in between, and those who are successful are those who set a higher standard of behavior for themselves. Trashy behavior leads to a trashy lifestyle, and a trashy lifestyle is almost always a self-destructive one. And yes, cursing is trashy. Cursing itself isn't directly destructive--a word certainly can't hurt you--but it's one piece of a whole pattern of trashy behavior that does nobody any good.

I know, I know, we all know successful people who use the F-word a lot. I knew a guy with a net worth of over a hundred million (all self-made!) who said it all the time. But he also set an impecable standard of behavior in all other respects, a standard most of us around him found impossible to keep up with. So cursing isn't the road to ruin--I'm guilty of it myself--but it is a lot easier to maintain a higher standard of behavior if little bits of trashiness, like a broken window, don't creep into the picture.

It's too easy, when you're a kid, to hear adults cursing a lot and think that's how adults talk (all the more so when adults are allowed to curse and you're not). And kids do want to feel grown-up. But it's also easy to lose sight of the fact that that's how trashy adults talk, not all adults. The rule about cursing isn't about safeguarding the oh-so-pure from ever knowing that there's an F-word; it's about setting a standard of behavior that says using it is not normal, it's not how adults talk (at least not the kind of adult I want to be), and it does not make one sound grown-up to talk like that.

[EDIT]
I just noticed how hilarious my sig looks in contrast with the rest of this post. :D Sorry, but I do love my sig. So sue me. :P


_______________
My signature is only one line. You're welcome.

This comment was edited by JavaGuy on Apr 06 2004 05:45am.

Apr 06 2004 12:37am

Ruuk Haviser
 - Retired
 Ruuk Haviser

Dagnabit Billy! I'm offended by that post!

;)

-rh
_______________
Back from the dead...

Apr 05 2004 04:35pm

Battlin' Billy
 - Student
 Battlin' Billy

Great speech Doobie!!!

*standing ovation while wiping tear from eye*

As far as the jokes, I personally try to keep them clean (you should read some of the jokes my HS buddies send me). I hope any of the jokes I posted didn't offend anyone and if they did, I'm sorry. If I ever post a joke that offends someone, please let me know and I'll edit/remove ASAP, and I hope that goes for anyone's jokes that offend someone. I really hope that the thread doesn't get closed or anything because a lot of folks do enjoy them, including myself.

I also just wanted to say this:
I haven't been on the servers much lately, as a matter of fact, I haven't even seen the new map yet! But, whenever I'm feeling down, I know I can hop on IRC or the forums and I can forget about what's bothering me for a little while. I love you guys/gals!

Viva la Academia!

_______________
Midbie Council Member #2 - Profile ID 2073 | Member of B@rtM@ulS@ar | Owner of Monty's 2000th comment & D@RtHM@UL's 8100th comment |
Former Padawan of SilkMonkey & Arcuss
JA Goaltender & NHL Fan | Fellow Rush fan to Axion|Plo Koon is my oldest JA friend
Post your RL pics HERE! | Post you JK2/JK3 screenies HERE!


Apr 05 2004 04:22pm

massadoobie
 - Jedi Council
 massadoobie

it's not a matter of who makes inappropriate jokes... we can't dictate your life. what does matter is where those jokes are displayed
_______________
-Academy Leader/Dictator/Defeater of DJ Sith and JACen Solo in the JAK+ Tournament -Earn that money, hooker! GOMGOM!!!! OOOH YEAH! *CROTCH THRUST* -I do think it (the JA) will help convert dozens, maybe hundreds, to the dork nation... --me

Apr 05 2004 02:03pm

Squibit
 - Student
 Squibit

Quote:
So, even though I like dirty jokes once in a while, I think it's more approriate to see them on private messages on IRC or messenger programs.


You could have sepeare joke thread with warnings and stuff in the title, so only those who don't mind veiwing possible offensive jokes can view it and others can just look at the main joke thread.

If this doesnt make sense as the jokes shouldn't be made by highly respected JA members then i don't see how JA members PMing people with them will be any different ???

_______________
Quote:
fiZZe: its SIR Fizzy Fluffy :p

Quote:
FiZZ[JAK]: that was what I call a counter

Ah, things you only ever expect to hear once :)


Apr 05 2004 01:48pm

Flamori Athena
 - Student
 Flamori Athena

I haven't been around that much since the new year began, havent been on the servers for even longer, and I've never been on IRC. so I cant say much on the subject of server or chatspace discipline, but every now and then people do need to reminded of their responsibilities. though I think JAKs or JATs should know their duties. I dont see any changes in the forums, things are pretty much the same as they were last year. no more dirty jokes, you say? well, I guess that makes sense.

Rock on, Academy! I've been here for over a year and a half, and I can only yell encouragement.

VIVA LA ACADEMIA!
_______________
«±» 21st on the Midbie Council, Profile ID: 2027 «±»
True wisdom is the knowledge that you know nothing.


Apr 05 2004 01:18pm

Waima
 - Student
 Waima

It is good to see the rules being enforced like this.
I have seen it too many times where a clan/community has been torn apart by lack of respect, no rules and internal arguments.

Good work :D
_______________
Once a Monkey always a Monkey. But if you aren't crazy you aren't trying.

Apr 05 2004 09:30am

Odan-Wei Belouve
 - Student
 Odan-Wei Belouve

*nods vigorously in approbation*
'bout time as you say Mr Doobie :)

I love this place and I wouldn't like to see it change into a flaming ground. So, even though I like dirty jokes once in a while, I think it's more approriate to see them on private messages on IRC or messenger programs.

Now about lack of respect, I haven't witnessed too much of it but I agree that it must be kept at the lowest possible level.

Thanks for the good work :)

:alliance:
Odan-Wei
_______________
Padawan and brother to SmilyKrazy :D - Adopted in the Belouve Family by Fizz and Bubu, BELOUVE ON! :D - Vladarion, you'll always be in my heart and memories - Spam-Padawan of Jacen Aratan ;) - [DJ is my beloved wife! :P - JA Family: Brothers:
Virtue, Furi0us, Vladarion, Hardwired, Janus, Axion, D@RtHM@UL, Motrec, Mike , xAnAtOs , Luke Skywalker; Little bro to SilkMonkey ; Special kind of brother to Kenyon ; Sisters in-law: Rosered, Ain-Soph Aur]
Photoshop works: click here


Apr 04 2004 11:23pm

Ruuk Haviser
 - Retired
 Ruuk Haviser

*claps* Gawd, how I LOVE it when rules are enforced. Rock on.

-rh
_______________
Back from the dead...

Apr 04 2004 06:49pm

CuZzA
 - Student
 CuZzA

Quote:
Oh, and I didn't know Eclipse was retired. :( Let's just hope he's as active as Monty! :P


he hasn't retired, he was just stepping down from his trainer position
_______________
- Even if Carlsberg made "w*nkers", Christiano Ronaldo would still be the biggest "w*nker" in the world

Apr 04 2004 06:35pm

Thomasooo
 - Student
 Thomasooo

This sounds reasonable to me! :) This community is tha bestest! :D VIVA LA ACADEMIA!

Oh, and I didn't know Eclipse was retired. :( Let's just hope he's as active as Monty! :P
_______________
In the navy and LOVING it! :D

Recipient of comment no. 1000 and heart-warming words from Ataris! :)


Apr 04 2004 05:14pm

Jacen Aratan
 - Student

Thank you. I didn't say I disagreed, only that I wanted a better reason than small children.

Apr 04 2004 03:12pm

massadoobie
 - Jedi Council
 massadoobie

ok aratan how about this: a lot of people are offended and made uncomfortable by inappropriate language and conversations... and since we're all about respect and everyone having a good time, that seems like a good enough reason for me :)
_______________
-Academy Leader/Dictator/Defeater of DJ Sith and JACen Solo in the JAK+ Tournament -Earn that money, hooker! GOMGOM!!!! OOOH YEAH! *CROTCH THRUST* -I do think it (the JA) will help convert dozens, maybe hundreds, to the dork nation... --me

Apr 04 2004 10:26am

Halendor
 - Ex-Student
 Halendor

Well timed and well spoken :)

Apr 04 2004 10:07am

Kyp Nadon
 - Student
 Kyp Nadon

FIRST OF ALL:

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD SPEECH!!!

lol that thingi with respect for everyone...

then he says EVEN aratan ... like he is something special...

POOR ARATAN
_______________
dont't think im a newbie!

and if you dont believe me check this one out


This comment was edited by Kyp Nadon on Apr 04 2004 10:08am.

Apr 04 2004 09:03am

Nero
 - Student
 Nero

Amen to that one:P

VIVA LA ACADEMIA!!!!

edit:: must we really respect Aratan:(
_______________
-Nero
Quote: Curious, Smartass, what else?


This comment was edited by Nero on Apr 04 2004 11:01am.

Apr 04 2004 09:00am

Jacen Aratan
 - Student

Quote:
It's about time.

One thing I'd like to mention: the joke threads in the Crazy forum. Jokes are fun, but I personally think some of them need to be toned down a bit in accordance with Academy rules. Remember, there ARE some very small kids who play here, and they don't need to be exposed to the types of jokes etc that 16-30 year old males generally thrive on. Case in point: the "crazy facts" thread, where someone (I'm too lazy to check who) posted that deaths due to experimenting with masturbation techniques are rising. And I'm not even going to mention Battlin' Billy's joke thread... except that I just did. Believe it or not, there ARE some jokes out there that don't use sex or discrimination, and it would be great to see a few more of them floating around. Like the trunk monkey ads.

Great speech, Doobie. VIVA LA (E-rated) ACADEMIA!! :D


No offense, but for once I'd like to see another reason than small children. Small children won't get screwed up by seeing something about sex, nor will they go on a rampage because they see the f-word. As a matter of fact, they'll learn all about that IRL, probably before they're even 12-13. What they might see on a website has no effect on them (ok, granted, some disgusting picture might, but pure text like the stuff here won't). And if they DO get screwed up, then they were in the need of a doctor already.

I'm not saying we should go crazy and turn this into a pron site or anything, I'd just like to see a new reason.

My 25 øre.

Apr 04 2004 03:33am

Xavier
 - Student
 Xavier

very nice
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~Xavier

Apr 03 2004 11:46pm

Lackeh- Retired
 - Student
 Lackeh- Retired

Amen to that.
_______________
A champion is someone who keeps getting up; even when they can't.
Founder Of the Jedi Academy Adlut Support Group.
PIE!!!!!
Padawan of Katan. Brother to MOTREC, DarkDragon, (SKX)DarkBlade, Jacen Aratan, Achilles, Kool_Aide, EvilSquirrel, and Katan's Padawans.


Apr 03 2004 10:58pm

Kueller
 - Student
 Kueller

*applaudes*

Very nice, chap! Well spoken!
_______________
Personal sleepness-nights-supporter of Virtue. Owner of the 1000th comment of Daidalus and 1943th comment of Gradius! Owner of the 300th comment of Carda!
-Taught Gradius all his laming skills :P


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