Dance Studio -
Mr. Archer -
I appreciate your warm esteem
towards Texas A&M. More
importantly, it appears I owe you a huge apology.
By describing the chain of events below, I am not trying to
rationalize my original message - it appears I was undoubtedly mistaken
as to SSQQs willingness to associate with us.
Please accept my unqualified apology, but please let me explain
as well, for I do not want your perception of me or of A&M, the APF
or any other A&M alumni organization in general to be impaired.
The original message appears to be
the first time you have been made aware anything at all was amiss.
In the spring of 1998, as we were
attempting to advertize for our first lessons, I contacted Leisure
Learning in hopes to advertize in the best source for advertizement in
Houston for dance lessons. I
fully understand not listing our classes was a business decision on the
part of Leisure Learning, with which I am not taking issue.
I was attempting to convey in my original messgage why the use of
the term would be all the more important if we were unable to get word
out in in their publication. What
I did not explain in my original message was that they recommended that
if I wanted to pursue it further, I should call SSQQ.
Subsequent to that call with
Leisure Learning, I placed a call to SSQQ and spoke to someone (other
than yourself) about the issue. To
keep it brief, this is where I developed the wrong idea that SSQQ was
unwilling to associate with us.
I am experienced in “office
bureaucracy”, so I questioned whether there was someone else I could
speak to at SSQQ to which she responded that she was the right person to
speak to and that she would call if anything changed.
At that time, SSQQ was not advertizing “Forbidden Word
I accepted my conversations with Leisure Learning and SSQQ as the final
positions by each party. It
has been a struggle ever since to get the word out and consistently have
the lessons at a suitable place enough to make a dent in our scholarship
This past summer, SSQQ began
advertizing “Forbidden Word Jitterbug”.
Because of the previous phone conversation I had had with someone
at SSQQ (who was apparently the wrong person to speak to), I felt
precluded from working the matter out directly with SSQQ and felt that
the August advertizements in Leisure Learning were drawing what
participants we could get away. As
such, I felt the only course of action was to at least save our only
real selling point.
And that’s where this has
apparently turned tragic. In
September, I questioned the Collegiate Licensing Office (CLO) as to
whether it was true that the term was trademarked.
As explained, I felt the only course of action was to have his
office request that SSQQ refrain from using the term and left the matter
with the CLO. Unfortunately, upon reviewing the website a few days ago, I
perceived that this action had no effect, that a more stern
communication was my last option, and chose to write my ill-fated
message. As it turns
out, you have not heard from the CLO (not to mention that my previous
conversation with SSQQ was with the wrong person).
If I had never made that contact with the CLO and the CLO had
found out about SSQQ’s use of the term, they would have requested that
SSQQ refrain from using the term anyway, only I would not have
Mr. Archer, please accept my
unqualified apology for sending the previous message.
I was not at all aware of Ms. Seff’s association with SSQQ. If I were, I would have certainly used the Forbidden
Word network to
contact SSQQ again to discuss the matter.
Had I used her to establish contact with you directly, I may have
found out I was mistaken all along about SSQQs willingness to associate
with us. Texas A&M is
not “mad at SSQQ” and there is no “legal action threatened.”
It my understanding the CLOs request (should you receive it)
simply informs SSQQ the term is trademarked and requests SSQQ to refrain
from using the term in the future.
I would very much like you to
accept my apology for the original message and my assurance that I will
do anything to make sure SSQQ is held in high esteem among myself, my
peers and the A&M community at large.
On a personal note, though I know after this there is no way you
will perceive me as such in the future, I generally consider myself to
be a level-headed individual that would rather take benign actions to
exhaustion before getting myself into conflicts.
Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to myself before sending the
original message and based my decision to do so on an errant perception
of the situation.
Additionally, I made a tragic
mistake in that I did not circulate my original message among my fellow
directors (the individuals copied on this message) for comment prior to
releasing it to SSQQ, for which I received (shall I say) “feedback”
from my peers. For that, too, I apologize to both you and my fellow