Proposal for Organizing MDFF...

Discussion in 'Maryland' started by MuttandSolo, Sep 30, 2002.

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  1. MuttandSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 4
    I briefly hinted in previous threads ("State of Affairs...") about creating organization for the MDFF so that we can continue as a group even beyond Star Wars-related events.

    To create organization, I am proposing that we setup MDFF as a formal organization with officers and maybe some protocol? Well mainly officers to delegate and spread out the work loads. Here are my proposed positions and a brief description of duties which are of course open for interpretation and revision.

    President: The FF City Rep. The head honcho that makes the final decisions. Keeps the meetings in order. Takes the fall when we get kicked out of public places! :D

    Vice-President: The FF Event Coordinator. Serves presidential capacity when President can't make a meeting or is unavailable. Heads up committees, arranges meetings/events, and schedules such.

    Secretary/Treasurer: Takes attendance, records minutes. Publishes notices of meetings/events details (could also entail notifying NE Mod for publication on the main site). Maintains calendar of events. Maintains finances (should we decide to incur member dues: another matter right now). Would entail collecting dues and maintaining records of dues paid.

    MDFF Webmaster: Maintains the separate MD Force website with regular updates/additions.

    It would be suggestable to have reps for toy collectable news/affairs, Star Wars movie-related current events, EU affairs, the fan film, and many other areas.

    A word on membership dues: I think it would be a good idea to start thinking about setting up a membership dues. For new members, they would have to attend 3 meetings before dues would be required. This dues would/could go to fund snacks/food at meetings/parties and such when we aren't meeting at a restaurant. Or it could be used to rent a space at a state park for picnics or anything else we may want to do that would require funding. Also could be used to finance our web domain. And offset costs to our fan film if we so decide to pursue that route

    Now this is a very rough draft and is wide open for revision. So do you guys like this idea of organization and what would you change with this structure? I think this would be a good direction to aim towards. This way we will actually have business to discuss at meetings, decisions can be clearly made, responsibility for tasks to be accomplished will be clearly defined and the such.

    We can maybe set some sort of short-term
    limits (6-month, 12-month terms?) so that we all have the opportunity to hold a position and everyone has a hand in governing the group.

    So hows that for an organizational proposal?
  2. Mogook Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 4
    I like the positions you have outlined.

    With the website, I think there should be a few people to help with that. I have a few designs for the site and I tried updating it daily, but it's just too much work. Plus, it was too much when I was the only one paying for it. With some generous donations from some of the members, and offers to help, it's looking good.
  3. MuttandSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 4
    Well, I just listed webmaster as a title, but it doesn't mean that more people can't work on it. Just that the webmaster would/could have final say on what gets posted to the website and be able to delegate the work load. Many hands make light work but in the end someone has to say what stays and what goes.
  4. mon-mothma Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 2
    This proposal looks good. I wouldn't mind paying modest dues and I also wouldn't mind rotating responsibilities among members. Are we going to vote on this stuff at some point?

    M.M.
  5. BigBroadcastah Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2002
    star 1
    Ill be the "Official Maryland FanForce Slacker".
  6. sithspawn35 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2001
    star 2
    Thant's my job, BigBroadcastah! LOL
  7. Mogook Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 4
    To be fair, we can put the position to a vote Broadcastah and sithspawn.
  8. MuttandSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 4
    Mon-Mothma and Son,

    First I'd like to leave this up and thrown around for all the members to express their SERIOUS (ahem to Broadcasta and Sithspawn ;) ) opinions, pros and cons, additions and subtractions and then when the structure is finalized and agreed upon by all, then we'll start campaigning for candidates and vote then.

    So express those opinions folks!
  9. Mogook Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 4
    I think the idea of officially organizing this group is important, but at the same, I think we have just a small group of dedicated members (post frequently and attend most of the meetings). And because of this, I think members should post, or maybe just PM if they feel embarrassed, what positions they'd like.

    I think a secretary to record the minutes from the meetings is very important right now. With each meeting having different attendees, a record of what happened would help those who weren't able to attend. For this position, we need someone who can make a serious attempt to attend every meeting. But of course, we all have lives and responsibilities outside of this, so when the main secretary couldn't make it, another would record the minutes.

    For the website, I've pretty much set most of it up. Basically, all it needs is a link to this forum and announcements for the next meetings. Also, I'd like to see a F.A.Q. and an About written up for it. If you're interested in writing those, PM them to me.
  10. MuttandSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 4
    Well right now, like I said before I want to hear from everyone first. Then we can incorporate new ideas to this proposal. Its a little early to start nominating people for positions when we only have a bare definition of what each position is going to entail.
  11. gh0stdevil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 1
    Well, frankly, I'm surprised. I usually agree with everyone almost all of the time. This must just be one of those times.

    I, for one, am totally against any fundage at all. Why should people pay to be a part of the fan force? The only reason I can think of is "so we can have snacks and pay to do stuff". Do you realize the majority of people in the MDFF don't come to meetings? The ones that post alot do, but I mean...there really aren't THAT many "every timers" when you think about it.

    So why should someone who goes to a meeting, or perhaps two, but simply enjoys chatting about SW with local folks, have to pay for that?

    I agree more organization is needed, and I think Mutt is going in totally the right direction with it. I'm just against any kind of funds being collected.

    How are we going to keep it fair and unbiased? How do we know where that money is going? How is the treasurer duly BOUND to be truthful, and report correct numbers, etc?

    I'm not sure how many of you are in non-profit orgs, but when they get big enough to register w/ the gub-mint, alot of times, their treasurer has to register as well, so that we're not feeding the bank accounts of some trashy liar. =P (not that anyone here even remotely fits the description, but...)

    Anyway, my 2 cents.

    Chris
  12. Mogook Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 4
    These are valid concerns gh0stdevil, and you're probably not the only one sharing them.

    I was once very for the idea of having fees, but this is a slow time with the movie already out and the next one still 3 years away. Membership has decreased. And you're right, there is a few number of dedicated "every-timers".

    We obviously can't make the fees mandatory, or a requirement. That's just not right. If someone never comes to a meeting, but regularly posts and sparks interesting conversation and takes part in the topics, are they any less than a member than someone who makes every meeting but hardly posts? Of course not. Some people just can't make the meetings. It doesn't matter what the reason, they can't make it. Our job with this fanforce is to provide a community of people that share a common interest.

    So, we can't make fees a requirement. Well, that's fine. Is it? The people that come to the meetings will pay, but those that won't, won't. Some may not have any problem with that, and if they don't, then we can do this fee thing.

    That brings us to another of the concerns: the Treasurer. I know no one here would take the money and keep it for themselves. The person voted into the position would be a trustworthy person. But still, they have a large responsibility. They have to keep the money for everyone and keep it somewhere. Then, they might have to deal with people PM'ing them about getting their money back or something else.

    I'm saying this to hopefully get the opinions of everyone else. Let's hear what everyone thinks about this. I think organization is a good idea, but with that comes a lack of the personal touch. We don't want to become some business instead of a fun group.
  13. MuttandSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 4
    Maybe we should examine in-depth what the money should be used for if dues were imposed. Maybe if we can come up with ideas as to what we would want to do with collected monies, other than paying for our website, then I think more people would be in favor of the idea.

    And yes, I know that Star Wars-related activity is at a low. There isn't a movie in production just yet. Collecting of Episode II items and the EU bok world seems to be the high point of the Star Wars franchise at this moment. We should expand our focus to other things, yet never forget what broght us together: STAR WARS!

    That is why the members have been suggesting other activities (laser tag, NASM restoration tour, group movie outings, getting pasty at Orangerfuls concerts ;) ) to occupy time. And I hate to say this: there's more to life than Star Wars [ducks as the tomatoes fly]. There's plenty to do in the Baltimore-Washington megalopolis that is not Star Wars-related yet can be a lot of fun and worth the time spent.
  14. kasjedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 1
    I think a few officers would be a great start. I think we should hold off on the concept of dues yet (maybe in the future).

    Maybe:

    President
    Vice President
    Secretary
    Webmaster

    Webmaster:
    The webmaster could set up a committee to have other work done - but I think there needs to be one head dude that is an "officer". The position can also report and document to the group the costs of running the site and how much has been contributed. I have no idea how much it costs, so I have no idea what would seem appropriate to donate. I'm also not willing to donate unless we do make something of the site and it's not just sitting there dead. If it's being updated and the occasional article - I'll gladly contribute.

    Secretary:
    Minutes of meetings, complete listing of members (judged by meeting attendence or at least occasional postings?), and making sure the meeting is posted on the main page.

    I'm not sure exactly how to delineate the responsibilities between Pres and VP.
    Maybe MuttandSolo could make a composite list of ideas for the positions before next meeting. Then at the next meeting we could look at them, edit, adjust - and then post online for a vote? Or do we want to do it all online now? I think just an "approved" description of what (and which) the officer positions do and a definition of who we define as making the member list - is all we really need to be "officially organized" for now.


    A word about meeting in private businesses (restaurants, coffee bars):
    This can work, and I think it's a good choice on occasion, but let me give you a warning. When we meet at anyplace that is an INDIVIDUAL business, we have to remember that the noise we make and space we take effects their business. It is inappropriate to not spend money at the location. The waitress gets cheated and we can occupy spaces for longer than a normal table (decreasing what the restaurant is making). It's important to tip well and purchase something. You don't have to buy a whole meal. Split an appetizer with someone, order dessert, buy an expensive drink. I used to be a member of a club that DID get kicked out of places because of this very issue. If this is a financial hardship for people - then we need to avoid places where we influence the business. Don't flame me for this, I'm just voicing an opinion based on experience.

    kasjedi

  15. Dark_Jedi_Jim Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2002
    I know that I'm new around here and the meeting on the 28th was my first, but I think that organizing the group in the way that Mutt is suggesting is a good idea. Being new, when I went to last month's meeting I had a good time talking with everyone, but I wasn't really sure who was who. I think taking attendance would be a good idea, as well as having everyone introduce themselves at the start of the meeting (for the benefit of us new schmucks). I also think that electing officers is a good idea, just to give the FF a little more formal structure. Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

    -Jim
  16. DRK_HLMT Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 4
    At last, they have seen the light!

    I proposed, a while back, that we do up a formal meeting with a president and a secretary and such, but it didn't work out because we really didn't have the amount of people that we do now.

    This is the best way to get organized and to do "Official Business" first and then have a chat session afterwards. That way we have some continuity to our meetings and can work out things such as the next meeting and such.

    Now here's my idea:

    We create a Maryland Fanforce Senate with a Supreme Chancellor and Senators. Each Senator will be a representative of a system of his or her choice. These system will represent offices in the Senate.

    For example: The Senator of Naboo can be the secretary, who records the minutes of the meeting and gives the Supreme Chancellor the minutes. It would go something like this:

    Supreme Chancellor: The Senate recognizes the Senator from Naboo.

    the Senator from Naboo rises

    Naboo Senator: Thank you Supreme Chancellor.

    then the Senator reads the minutes from the previous meeting and any current business that needs to be discussed.

    And then each Senator (who will represent the treasurer and so forth) will be called by the Supreme Chancellor to rise and give their reports.

    Does this sound like something people would be interested in doing? It would make it fun and interesting. We could use Parliamentary procedures and make motions and form committees to discuss those motions. This way we could incorporate a little role playing into our meetings.

    And if this sounds like a crazy idea......erm....um...IT WAS SITHSPAWNS IDEA NOT MINE!!!!!! :p
  17. kasjedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 1
    Hey Dark_Jedi_Jim - I've been to four meetings and I still don't know everyone's real first name (and I had one remember incorrectly - sorry M.M.!).

    kasjedi (The female you sat next to)
  18. Mogook Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 4
    Actually Dark_Jedi_Jim, as far as I can remember, every meeting but the last one we signed an attendance sheet and went around introducing ourselves. I'm sorry we didn't do this for you.

    I really like the idea of having a list of current members. I don't know how we decide on who is a member. I guess who we've seen at a few meetings and who posts regularly. I think having a secretary is a very important job right now.

    As far as getting the meeting posted on the main page, I can do that. I can contact our RSA (strawbary) and have a forum announcement added to this forum. But to do this, we need to finalize the details of our meetings early.

    Webmaster: I have already done this by buying the domain name, the hosting space, and setting up the site. The site really doesn't need to be updated a lot, since this forum exists. But, we should still have general info about the group and fanforce in general.

    Locations: I agree about meeting in private businesses. At the last meeting I didn't buy anything because I had already eaten before the meeting, and all I wanted to drink really was water (I was sick). Plus, in restaurants, it sometimes hard to conduct formal business. At the same time, meeting at a park or other open area, doesn't provide the food and other options people may want. Still though, I think Annapolis is a wonderful place to meet, and many of our members know where it is.
  19. Luke_Starkiller Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    If it means anything, as an oldbie, I think its a great idea! I was with the founders when we started, and the idea was there to organize (thanks to HLMT), but it was never acted on.

    To help kasjedi out, here is the usual delineation between President and VP of an organization:

    President: The presider (note the root) of the meeting. He organizes the meeting, sets the agenda, and leads the meeting through his agend. All Officers report to him.

    Vice President: Usually, this position can be held by multiple people, each with a particular focus. The overall seniority of office for each VP is usually set within the organization's constitution. Examples would be VP of Programming and VP of Membership, or VP of Fan Films. They lead committees for their respective areas of responsibility

    I have ot agree that dues could turn members away at this point, and it would not be fair to charge some people and not others. So far each person has been responsible for paying their own way. If there will be a cost associated with th emeeting location, this cost can be split among those who will be attending the meeting, funds being sent to the duly elected President for the express purpose of obtaining a reservation for the location. The need for snacks and such can be split among members (a rotating list of who brings chips, cups, ice, whole roast pig, etc...). This allows the people attending the meetings to share equally, while not charging members cannot make meetings.


    EDIT: Dang! I just noticed that my icon is gone. It's a conspiracy. **Breaks out the magnifying glass** The game is afoot!
  20. mon-mothma Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 2
    First of all, I agree with DrkHelmet. Sounds really cool. The Senaators and Chancellor look neat. I also think that someone who doesn't come to meetings shouldn't fund.
    There are a lot of important jobs. It's a great idea that can help us move along better.

    Son of M.M.
  21. Isbeth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2001
    star 4
    I agree that no body should have to pay. Some spend big bucks for travelling to meetings since they live so far away. (Now who could that be? :confused:) How about we have a "pass the helmet" at each meeting, the money going to Mogook until we pay for the website, then we can decide later as to what the money goes for.

    Yup, we need a webmaster, secretary, treasurer. What about Mogook and Mutt sharing Pres. and Vice Pres. since they already have shown committment or at least have shown they should be committed. [face_laugh]
  22. Mogook Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 4
    "...at least have shown they should be committed."

    That's what the pills are for. 8-}
  23. BigBroadcastah Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2002
    star 1
    If i dont get voted as official slacker than im gonna make up another lame title!! Suckaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!
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