Representatives from the corps of the Open Class met over the weekend to continue to develop the recently-created division as they chart a strategic course for stability and growth. Open Class Coordinator Dave Eddleman, Chairperson Vicki Schaffer (Colt Cadets), a variety of DCI staff personnel and several others presented a full agenda of informational, organizational and developmental topics which included tour and housing planning, student leadership, DCI's OnQ performance education division and marketing. The directors also discussed and acted on procedural issues and nomenclature adjustments to their operating policies and heard a status report on the development of the Open Class Quarterfinals event in Michigan City, Ind., and the ensuing Championship Week events in Indianapolis.

Members of the open class advisory committee
participate in a Saturday morning session.
"We're diligent right now to create clear processes by which new corps can come into the Open Class. We are attempting to do this while assisting current corps to strengthen their operations and providing a mechanism for well-developed corps to become further-refined in order to qualify for membership as World Class units," said Schaffer. "We're also looking at how to best leverage the diversity of our corps to gain the widest benefit for all." The directors are beginning to develop several new committees, designed to promote the growth of the division and to create a revenue-positive operation. The contest development committee will look to develop partnerships with new and existing Tour Event Partners interested in scheduling an Open Class competition. Adjudication will be the focus of a second committee, as it organizes to examine and possibly "rethink" the current adjudication model, and to assess its benefits and areas of opportunity related to the specific and diverse needs of the Open Class corps. A third committee will focus on strategic development issues, which would create specific initiatives designed to leverage the strengths and uniqueness of the corps, while simultaneously providing a foundation for continued and sustained growth. Directors also voted on a key modification to the adjudication system, which will reduce the number of judges from eight to four at specified shows along the DCI Summer Tour. Schaffer said: "This decision was not a mandate, but a proposal created by our directors designed in part to help reduce our operating deficit."