[cw: sexual harassment] An Open Letter to VEX

Now it’s just a matter of time until VEX demands we send them a check in the mail to make up the difference for the updated price

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Mail in rebates but it comes out of the customer’s pocket

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For continuity

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I’m waiting for Falcons to get a big blue check when FOC is enabled.
FOC:
Field Oriented Checks

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If you haven’t seen yet, Vex Forum has been completely offline since about an hour after Amy’s post.

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For Continuity

Looks like Tony tripped over the ethernet cable)

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How else is IFI expected to recover from the lost income from people being checks notes woke

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Nobody thinks about the big guys! Cancel cancel culture!!! (/s)

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I am not trying to come off as preachy, hypocritical, or generally annoying, but nearly 3 weeks after this thread started I just want to say a few things about the more intimate and alarming information that continues to pour out.

  • When people take a very brave step to share a personal and life-altering trauma in this public space, try to not do snipes and cut-ups in the immediate aftermath. It is unhelpful and gross. Not posting is free.

  • With over two weeks of hindsight, it’s abundantly clear that the open letter that kicked this off has clearly served as a final crack in the proverbial dam. Stories about people deeply affected by the toxic culture that allegedly is part of IFI and spread out into the greater competitive robotics culture will continue to come out. While some might bring a certain level of forceful clarity, others might seem muddy. Accusations exist on an ever evolving spectrum of merit. You will find yourself asking questions that will have despairing answers. The feelings of anyone who was victimized remain valid.

  • Edit: something to add here. Take these stories and your earnest reactions to them to the smaller communities that exist outside of this particular website, and share your feelings. I know I find it incredibly difficult to bring the right amount of passion without overstepping, but finding that balance will hopefully help you and your communities reassert your values.

  • Afford others, and yourself, a level of grace. This is an ever-evolving moment in the community; displaying compassion and promoting an air of courteous goodwill can do a lot of heavy lifting in encouraging others to share their stories. The opposite could prove damaging.

  • Bonus round: if you are going to do fun little snipes and bits, at least don’t say anything that could get you sued

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QFT.

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For continuity/posterity:

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For continuity:

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It has been over a year since AndyMark stopped selling Falcon 500s. They have a handful of adapter kits so teams can use their existing Falcon 500s with non-VEX products.

I don’t understand the relationship between Talon SRX and Victor SPX motor controllers and IFI, so I can’t comment on those products.

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Colorado has a Safe2Tell hotline (1-877-542-SAFE, www.safe2tell.org). They provide cards that fit in wallets to students. I saw some in a folder outside the counselor’s office at Columbine High School when I was mentoring their FIRST team. I grabbed a stack, gave one to every student on the team, gave one to every mentor on the team, had every mentor save the number in their phone, and keep a stack of them in my toolbox which I take to every team meeting. I’m guessing that someone on the other line of this number would be willing to help students from other states find resources to help them.

When we handed these out to the students, we explained what we were doing and told them that if they had anything to say they could use this line anonymously. If any student didn’t want to call from their phone, a mentor would be happy to dial the number and let the student talk privately. I’ve also talked with some alumni mentors and made them aware that this resource is available to them as well.

It’s a complex world. For too many young people, their first experience with authority, workplaces, and management are bad experiences, but are treated like normal. I hope the discussions we’re having now is helping them understand that these are not normal and need to be reported so that they can become the best version of themselves.

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The Talon SRX and Victor SPX were collaborations between CTRE and IFI, just like the TalonFX and the Falcon 500.

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My team watched this Pixar short tonight, and I thought it can easily relate to this discussion - how an ingrained culture forces conformity and a loss of yourself, and how that step to reject that conformity can be so difficult. And then at the end, how different a workplace can look and feel when it has a more open and inclusive culture.

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For continuity/visibility:

(This is an unofficial Vex focused forum started after the changes at the official one)

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I would like to juxtapose these two statements from @dm_recf

(from Statement to REC Foundation Community - VEX Robotics Competition Discussion - VEX Forum)

with something Morgan wrote in her story

Dan told me how he “would love to get [me] over to RECF to be his ‘sexy little assistant’. This was sexual harrassment plain and simple

This is disgusting.

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I wonder if Dan will be required to take the “self-paced training course”?

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He might just have his sexy little assistant click through all the buttons for him instead.

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