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FF:SA A message from the CR

Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by Obi-Wan_Toddi, Jun 24, 2009.

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  1. Obi-Wan_Toddi Former SAFF CR

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 6
    By viewing their profile. All the info needed is there. :)



  2. TK1571 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2003
    star 5
    seems ok.

    Only issue i have is that just posting once a month does not really seem like active participation IMHO.

  3. LittleTinGoddess Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2006
    star 4
    What about members who don't have regular access to the internet?
  4. oz_skipp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2004
    star 4
    I guess once a month is a trade off. Sure, some post every day or so, but some who are interested and involved only post every now and then (the old quality versus quantity argument ;) ).

    Post count, like event attendance, is probably the 'lowest' that most interested and involved people would do.
  5. Obi-Wan_Toddi Former SAFF CR

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 6
    Yeah, good point, skipp! :)

    As a small addendum: "There will be allowances for occasional special circumstances. ie A member not havng internet access or being able to attend events for period of time. Members will need to contact the CR to advise of any extenuating circumstances."

    This will be strictly monitored, as previous members who claimed to have no internet for a period of time, were posting on other forums and internet sites, ie Facebook during that period of claimed "no internet".

    One post per month isn't really a stretch if you really think about it.
  6. I_am_Kooky Sth Aust. Chapter Representative

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2004
    star 4
    Oh,I post, . . i just scrape in with my one post a month!

    I think this is a really good idea, and clearly written and well put, kinda hard to argue with :p

    Kudo's to Tod, and Skip! =D=
  7. Quinten_JarVos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2004
    star 4
    I do not post every month, even when SAFF was at it's peak. So i actually find this rule discriminatory and will be raising this particular point with an Internet and Information Technology Lawyer friend of mine.

    be aware as a ex Forum Moderator myself that by basing membership standards on 'Post count' you are opening a door that some other forums have already been legally held accountable for discrimination. There are at least 5 current members of the SAFF i can think of that do not fall in to that category and would loose there 'membership'

    By the way, the forums that were found guilty were 'blacklisted' by the ACCC and were the local organisers were fined on a daily basis for every day the website was available in Australia.

    I understand what you are trying to do, make people post instead of lurking but you are going down a legal minefield.

    It's why many organizations say you have to attend 1 or more events in a year (outside of the forums)

    I will call my friend now and see what he says

  8. Quinten_JarVos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2004
    star 4
    Confirmed.

    I've just spoken to my lawyer friends at Cowell Clarke Commercial Lawyers (IT Lawyers)

    Due to the Fan Force's Rules of being a member, the Membership Rights for the saff are based upon, you must be a resident of South Australia. As for Voting rights, the above must be factored in and when compared with the information from the Equal Opportunity Act of South Australia 1985 means that.....

    The Proposed change of one post per month to retain membership voting rights is discriminatory and will open the SAFF and the theforce.net boards up to a breach in Equal Opportunity Act of 1985.

    Basically, any legal challenge could see a cease and desist order enforced on the theforce.net boards, asking them to stop hosting to australia. And those CR's and Moderators in Australia will be held legally responsible for the breach in the act.

    Kinda Ouch really!

    Edit: Left out a word or two due to the nature of typing and talking on the phone at the same time
  9. Darth_Meanders Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2004
    star 5
    I'd be interested to hear what they have to say. Just be clear though that there's a distinction being made between membership and voting eligibility. Membership is pretty well unrestricted.
  10. Quinten_JarVos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2004
    star 4
    See above Meanders, i clarified it with him
  11. oz_skipp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2004
    star 4
    No, this is not being put in place to make people post. It's about rewarding the involvement of people who want to be involved as well as fair and just representation for those that are involved in SAFF both online and in person.

    Analogy #1: if I have a group of 20 friends who reside in SA yet have nothing to do with SAFF yet sign up to specifically come onto the boards to vote me in at election time, is that fair and just?
    Analogy #2: if I am a non-financial member of a club that 'requires' a $5 a year membership fee, would it be fair and just for paid up members if I insisted that my vote count...that it is 'discriminatory' against me because I don't have the $5 to spare yet want my vote to count?

    Given that SAFF is not an 'official' club with a defined and legally binding charter, and especially that it exists for people of common interest and friendship, the talk of issues based on discrimination confuses me. Anyone who wants to be involved can be. Anyone who wants to post can post (unless banned for breaching rules/code of conduct etc). Those '5' members can come and post at any time.

    I do however think the wording of Membership is possibly a little misleading/confusing. Perhaps some clarification or distinction of 'Voting Eligibility' compared with Membership is possibly required. Voting Eligibility cf. Membership is a slightly different thing, perhaps it needs Toddi and I to look at it again (which is why it was put to the forum, it's not carved in stone and set in concrete yet). AFAIK, voting eligibility for a Fan Force group is 100% able to be determined by the members via the CR. In fact, it is the mods that asked Toddi and I to look into this as a matter of relative urgency due to it not being set in stone in the past.

    As far as I'm concerned, the once a month per year thing could be considered an average anyway. I was 'away' (interstate / overseas / out of internet range) for about 15% of last year and hence couldn't always post...and then there's the time when work ruled me 25 hours a day so I pretty much wasn't around...yet I've managed more than 12 posts. Oh, and I'm not being picky here, I'd bet a decent amount that your post count is greater than 12 for the last year QJV, so that means you'd be eligible ;)

    Hope this clarifies things, from my perspective as to the vibe of the thing anyway. I'm not at all trying to sound harsh or jumping on this in an aggressive manner, but just trying to be clear and to the point. A few 'things' have come to my attention in the last week or so that have astounded, annoyed and saddened me in equal parts. Whilst I'm sure you're looking at this in a positive way in order to avoid potential problems, and the advice is welcome, the last thing anyone needs to do is bring in the full force of law type stuff (I have some unfounded and somewhat nasty accusations thrown against me for whatever reason that I've let slide yet could've pursued if I felt so inclined). I believe that, sadly, there'd be plenty more dust stirred due to the walking away if that were to happen. Let's keep going forward to avoid that. I, personally, don't feel like losing more friends just because the only 'bad' thing I've done is that I'm on SAFF.
  12. Quinten_JarVos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2004
    star 4
    Oz it doesn't matter how we 'clarify' the situation, the section relating to Membership, which is defined in the force.net boards means that if you are a 'member' of the SAFF then you are a member of the SAFF.

    Restrictions placed upon who is eligible for voting, once you're considered a member of the SAFF is against the Equal Opportunity Act. It's black and white.

    Let me dig it up

    It is unlawful for an association to discriminate? (Which the SA legal system sees the saff as)
    (a) against an applicant for membership on the ground of impairment? (Internet access is related to that)
    (i) by refusing or failing to admit the applicant to membership, or to a
    particular class of membership, of the association; or
    (ii) in the terms on which the applicant is, or may be, admitted to
    membership, or to a particular class of membership; or (This is where the voting comes in, it is stating that you cannot pick and choose who gets what. It's either Every member gets it, or none. Simple as that)
    (b) against a member of the association on the ground of impairment? (If you do not have internet access or the ability to post)
    (i) by refusing or failing to provide a particular service or benefit to that
    member; or (This covers the rights of the member, they have the right to vote as a member)
    (ii) in the terms on which a particular service or benefit is provided to
    that member; or
    (iii) by expelling that member from the association or subjecting him or
    her to any other detriment. (You cannot expel a member from voting rights, nor act against the member in a detrimental way due to there inability to post or attend)


    The last one is particularly relevant, the actions that are proposed, regardless of there intention are a breach of the act. The act is broad... yes... and was created before the internet was in place. But after talking with the lawyer, he explained that the act was created that way to cover future scope.

    So simply put.

    If you are a member of the SAFF as per this definition

    A SAFF Member is defined as:-
    ? A person whose place of residence is South Australia.

    Then by law a member is entitled to vote regardless of there posting situation....


    All you can really do is state that the member has to be active, the definition of active has to be based on the lowest possible outcome for the members of the state. E.g. It would be unreasonable for someone living in Pt Augusta / Berri / Renmark to attend 3 SAFF events a year.

    So it is why you generally state that 1 SAFF event a year and say 1 - 2 posts per 6 months can be deemed as active.

    E.g. of what i am talking about is Tyken Rarely Posts (He has done as of late) by your definition he is not a member of the SAFF as he has not posted 12 times over a year and only attended one troop in costume.

    Another e.g. is myself. Last SAFF event i went to was the Dinner, prior to that it was the norwood xmas pageant. For over a year i was unable to attend regular events due to RL and work responsibilities. Yet i live in SA and i am a member.

    Regardless of the situation you are trying to put everything in to a neat little box which simply doesn't work. And this is why when you create rules to govern membership / voting you need to make it to the lowest common denominator.

  13. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    This word "rights" seems to be thrown around a lot here.

    FF Membership and voting in CR elections is a privilege, and not a right.

    We are under no obligation to accept votes if we wish, and we are under no obligation to accept the result of a vote. We can promote who we wish. We can ban who we wish and for whatever reason we wish.

    FF is not an association or an official club or anything like that. It's a group of people who like to meet up and have fun. That's all it is.

    I really suggest you just move on.
  14. Obi-Wan_Toddi Former SAFF CR

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 6
    I was about to say "but we're not an association", but thanks, halibut, for clarifying that. :)
  15. oz_skipp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2004
    star 4
    Snap.

    But you know what, the fun aspect has been forgotten by some. Which is a shame.
  16. Quinten_JarVos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2004
    star 4
    Actually the Legal Definition of an Association is

    'In general, an association is a group of persons banded together for a specific purpose.' Quote:- Australian Law Book

    That may not be specifically related to the SAFF's online activities but it certainly relates to the specifics of Real World Events.

    Like it or not, when we step out in to the real world and do a SAFF event, that event falls under legal codes and practices. For those purposes we are an association.

    So just because halibut says it's not the case, the reality is that it is as long as the saff continues to do public appearances.

    Otherwise the SAFF as a group in real life could break any law and not be held accountable.

    Plus i am all for 'getting over it' But you cannot maintain the stance that it's the members decision to ratify these proposed amendments and yet dictate without discussion that it's simply going to happen.

    And for the record, halibut you've just made a rather interesting comment, one that i've suspected for some time but didn't have the proof to confirm.

    But i will say this As a forum moderator myself, you are right, but you've also just made the entire FF Elections completely irrelevant, utterly pointless and shown that You and possibly others are more interested in power mongering than supporting the causes and spirit of the Fan Force. Which last i checked was put in place for Star Wars Fan's in the local areas to simply have fun.

    How much fun is a group when you are forced to do things, There are no perks. There is nothing other than speaking on an online forum with fellow star wars fans.....

    Memories of High School are flickering in my mind



  17. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    "you've also just made the entire FF Elections completely irrelevant, utterly pointless and shown that You and possibly others are more interested in power mongering than supporting the causes and spirit of the Fan Force. "

    Not at all. I'm simply pointing out the reality of what we CAN do. You're implying that that means that is what we DO do. I believe that's a straw man argument. :)
  18. oz_skipp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2004
    star 4
    Indeed, they were put up for people to ratify, but discussion *is* welcome. My stance is that they are there for no other ulterior motives other than to ensure that people who vote for a CR are people who are actively involved in SAFF online and in person.

    It could be argued that SAFF is an official association by default. It could also be argued that it isn't because nothing has been legally ratified.
    It could be argued that this is being done at the behest of the mods for the betterment of the group. It could also be argued that it is to get them / us / whoever power.
    It could be argued that this breaks laws. It could also be argued that it doesn't.

    It could be argued ad nauseum. But that's what this was designed to avoid. To bring the group together. To get people involved. If you're involved, no problems. No-one is being denied membership or removed. It was designed to avoid high school like behaviour. I'll shut up now.
  19. Quinten_JarVos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2004
    star 4
    Sounds like a Bushism to me.

    As a wise man once said 'A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.'

    My interests are something that you probably have no clue about

  20. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about there.
  21. oz_skipp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2004
    star 4
    I said I'll shut up...in a minute ;)
    It's called friendship. Friendship not being defined by whatever group I'm in. It seems I've lost friends, or they've at least dropped off the radar, because I haven't joined a certain group or I choose to hang with this group. Which is a big shame, but such is life.

    For some of us, the fun of hanging around with fellow Star Wars fans who we consider friends is enough of a perk. Sometimes we do other stuff, sometimes we just hang out.

    I'd like to get involved in the RL or 501st, but that's primarily a costumed thing. Even though there's people I like in those groups, I wouldn't feel comfortable joining due to not intending to do anything costume wise in the forseeable future. Here I'm not forced or even encouraged to have a costume. That's enough for me at this point. It was made pretty clear that that's not enough for quite a few people. That's fine. Each to their own and all that.

    ---
    But seriously, if I brought 10, 20, 50 people onto these boards to join up and post a few times and then vote for me, would that be fair? This is what we're trying to avoid.

    On a similar note, I made comment about about the behavioural code that EI introduced years ago and was concerned about it not being legally enforcable. But nothing was made of that, and all of what was in there was sensible, so I left it well alone. If you're involved in SAFF, then I don't get what the issue is with a self-determined, sensible mode of operation by the active members of a group.

    But I guess we can agree to disagree if this doesn't seem sensible.
  22. leektar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2008
    star 4
    I can only assume that I am one of the people that you are referring to here, as I have only been a member for approx 12 months, (it may be a little less than that) Skipp.

    To be fair, I've been involved in the Star Wars community here in South Australia longer than you (or most here for that matter) have Skipp, but until recently it was in the "background" and doing the ground work for things that e-i was trying to get off the ground. I've jointly held more functions at our house EVEN THOUGH I'M NOT A STAR WARS FAN (and it has always been the same people attending all the time, even though invitations have been open to all and sundry - you see the same people at all the events, dinners, etc that are organised - I'm sorry, but to me, they are the core members of this group, not those that pop up once in a blue moon), yet it looks as though my voice in who I would like to run this group will not be heard as I'm unable to attend RL meetings.... quite interesting. For me, it wasn't about Star Wars - it was about joining in something that e-i was involved in (maybe even to do things as a family with e-i jnr) and the friendships that had evolved from these events.

    e-i has done more for Star Wars in SA than most other people, but he has never been in it for the recognition, or to be known as Mr Star Wars.

    The people who voted in the last election were FAR MORE active here than those who remain yet are being treated like foreign invaders. These people were largely the backbone & driving force behind this place but that seems to have been forgotten somehow. It looks like history is being overwritten.

    Just my two cents and opinion, although I don't know if it is worth anything anymore .....

  23. Obi-Wan_Toddi Former SAFF CR

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 6
    That is interesting. So you were able to attend events before, but now you're unable to. Is there a reason you cannot attend, as you have been able to in the past?

    So you are saying that those people who currently post on SAFF aren't as active as those who have now left? If there's one thing to be said for the people who are currently posting on SAFF, is that they haven't left. Regardless of what SAFF goes through, they don't leave. There have been tough times for SAFF, but these people still stay and support it.

    No-one who posts on SAFF has been treated like foreign invaders, from any post that I have read. People post, people respond, people interact. That's how it goes. :)
  24. oz_skipp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2004
    star 4
    No, I wasn't actually, but I guess I can see that it might be seen that way.

    Whilst I'm not one for trying to 'one up' others, I was at the first PARSEC meeting 10+ years back and have been involved in some form or another ever since. If you've been around doing stuff for longer with EI, great. But I've been a fan for the better part of the last 27 years and have loved most of the community based stuff. Until lately that is but everything has its ups and downs.

    See above. I've been around for years. I love collecting SW stuff. Hell, when SAFF and Parsec started, I was always a little surprised at the lack of SW talk in small groups...but then I grew up a bit, haha, and was able to discuss other fun things with people.

    I am, to be honest, a little tired of the "you're not as big a SW fan/core member as me" sentiment that I've got from a few people of late (sorry if it seems you're copping the brunt of it here). I've been called a "fringe" player in the not to distant past, something I was rather taken aback by.

    Why is that? I've seen you at bowling, parties, picnics, dinners? And at costumed events too.

    Indeed. That's more of why I'm involved these days. Same for many people I'd imagine. Which makes it all the more amazing that in the last couple of months:
    1) A snide remark or two was made in the direction of Jen about her involvement, even though she's been part of all this with me through the years (and has made several SW costumes).
    2) I've had similar implications made. Meh, I'll cope.
    3) SMS, nasty emails, Facebook friend deletions have all occured in my direction. Again, I'll cope, but it saddens me nonetheless.

    For something that supposedly revolves around friendship and a common bond, this just *shouldn't* happen. Tightening up the rules a little will hopefully ensure that those that are involved are passionate and want to be involved online and in person. Part of the FF charter, I believe, requires in person events, this is just a slight extension of it.

    And, without wanting to muddy the waters at all, I suppose exemptions could made for legit reasons (whatever they may be).

    I disagree. I've been around since (almost) the beginning (as I've mentioned before, I tried to set up a SAFF, but dialup sucked and I just couldn't get it to work...next time I came back, AD had done it), so I don't have any qualms about backing up my interest or involvement. But:

    1) Where has anyone been treated like an invader? I'd sincerely love to try to get 'everyone' back together in SAFF if they chose to or want to.
    2) No-one is being forgotten or history being rewritten. But, that's not to say that the 'code of conduct' isn't aimed at trying to move forward.

    So, to move this discussion forward, I ask, what is a reasonable number of events to attend over a 12 month period (noting that both costumed and non-costumed/informal ev
  25. leektar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2008
    star 4
    Now Toddi, please don't try to play dumb - as the newly nominated CR, you know why I can't attend any RL events any more, and, if you don't, if you are ever lucky enough to have a family of your own, maybe then you will realise......

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