Should those who represent the USCF be held to a higher standard and subject to a higher degree of criticism merely because of their position, as opposed to their alleged wrongdoing? Putting it another way, if both a USCF representative and a USCF member were accused of the same infraction, should both be subject to an identical amount of coverage, commentary and scrutiny? USCF officials have expressed that USCF members should be held to the same or higher standards as our USCF representatives and leaders. Many others feel those in a position of leadership or authority should be held to a higher standard of conduct than the USCF membership.
Further we often hear from those who have authority over us “I am not a paid employee of the USCF - I am a volunteer.” Some people feel that giving volunteers that serve us a break for not doing a good job should be the standard. We are told we ought to recognize their volunteer status and be more lenient. Our volunteers often argue this largess should apply to them. When a poor job is done we usually hear a litany of rationalizations as well as all the effort, hard work, time and money the individual provides for chess as if this mitigates poor behavior or results. We are always reminded since they receive no money for their service they should not be held to higher standards or even a simple professional standard of care.
Those in authority might argue at best they should be treated no differently than anyone else. However, in the view of many, it is thought those in a position of authority over us should have a duty to set an example. Like it or not, they can be viewed as role models and, as such, these people have a special responsibility to the membership. People who we delegate authority to are accountable to a special degree, ex officio - merely because of their position. What is usually forgotten is these individuals have been given positions of authority and with extra authority comes extra responsibility. Even though we very much appreciate the work of our volunteers, a bottom line argument is if people don't want responsibility or to be accountable for their actions they should not volunteer to serve a tax exempt organization.