Discussion in 'FanForce Communications' started by Jedi_Dajuan, Jul 23, 2007.
Please post any questions you have about the updated FanForce rules here.
I wanted to bring up something about this point in number 11:
Advertising is not allowed except for FanForce charity events or a FanForce sponsored group event (ie group garage sale). People who sign up to just advertise will be banned and their posts removed.
Since I've been in on the discussion I thought it might be a good idea to clarify this. This doesn't mean that every event, get together, etc. has to be Star Wars related. If people in your group are into BSG, Firefly, Star Trek they can have something related to this in the forum. Meaning say their is a person in your group that also belongs to the Browncoats [Firefly/Serenity group] and the Browncoats are having a picnic and open it up to the Fanforce. It would be ok to advertise this.
What would not be ok would be to advertise cults, pyramid marketing things [AMWAY] or other such things.
Dajuan, is this correct?
That's pretty much it.
Im the treasurer of the Long Island Fan Force.
Concerning Club membership -- "Membership can not be denied based on a person's age ( for people over 18). All official fan force events need to be open to all ages and family friendly."
Our club requests that FF add a policy on underage members. Can we require guardians or permission slips?
Does anyone second the motion that it is unclear what kind responsibility a club has for an underage-member's conduct at an official event.
yes I second that.. and also it must be noted that since a young person of the age of 13 has the right to post on the boards that doesn't that technically mean they have the right to be actual members of the fan force they attend meetings, functions, and events of?
Actually [link=http://www.coppa.org/comply.htm]COPPA laws[/link] don't allow a person under the age of 13 to post on a message boards and tf.n has to comply with those laws.
I think what has come down from the Old Folks Home [FF version of the Mod Squad] is that each Fan Force can develop their own underage policy. It is prudent to require parents to sign a waiver saying their 13 to 18 year old can attend events but that the FF is not responsible for them and will not be held liable for them. Under 13 my personal thought is that the parent has to be present.
Each chapter/FF can have their own policy on "underage" members. But as said, it is strongly advisable to have a permission slip and/or parent contact details and/or parental accompaniment (either for the first meet or for all meets) etc.
I'm no lawyer, but I've always been told that permission slips are a pretty flimsy protection if you have unaccompanied minors at your events. SOMEONE (besides the minor) will always be held liable if something happens to (or is done by) someone who's under 18, and signing a form doesn't neccesarily absolve the FF (or more accurately, the organizers, leadership, and members) of that liability. If you are going to rely on them, I hope you have a lawyer as a member who can review it first. Because we don't have that, we have made the 'better safe than sorry' route and say that noone under 18 is allowed w/o parental supervision. It sounds like each group can make it's own call, but I would advise caution because from what I've heard, if something happens they can come after any and all organizers, leaders, members, etc if something happens.
I don't think it's purely the "legal protection" route, but certainly general courtesy plays a role.
Organisations such as the cub scouts and other "childrens" groups also have to have indemnity insurance for such eventualities, as well as parental permissions slips.
Perhaps it's worth looking into (and getting a lawyers advice) for a general FF permission slip in which the parent is clear that we have no insurance and are not responsible should the parent decide to sign the slip and allow their child to attend.
I do agree that we should get a lawyer's POV on it.
My limited knowledge from when I used to teach a course on Aquatic Personal Training is that a Hold Harmless/No Indemnity/Waiver form is a legally binding document. I'll try to do some more research later.
I know it varies from country to country (or state to state if yer a Yank ), but at the very least we should have a signed acknowledgement from the parents which states they know they're with us, and more importantly, we have no insurance or indemnity
Chapters are allowed to require parental permission for minors, but they don't have to do so.
Personally I think if a person just wants to show up at a meeting and can get him/herself there (ie in the 16-18 range) then they shouldn't need parental permission. Now if they are going to get into someone's car or go to a private residence and the parent/guardian is not present, that's another matter.
Since we're world wide, there is simply no way to create one "permission form" that would be legal in all 50 States let alone all countries. I'd be ok with adding something in there about it being ok for chapters to require the minor get parental permission to attend FF events, but I don't think we should make it mandatory for all chapters.
As a guideline, this is what the CFF and several other chapters have in their charter:
VIII. Underage Members
Anyone over the age of 13 may become a member, post on the forums, and attend official meetings and events. Children under 13 are not allowed to post online because of the Federal Trade Commission?s Child Online Protection Act of 1998.
However, anyone under 18 years of age will be required to fill out a Parent Consent Form to participate in any CFF meeting and event. The form the parents will be asked to fill out is as follows:
Parental Consent Form
Star Wars has always been a story for all ages. The Charlotte Fan Force is comprised of members that reflect all ages. However, it is important for parents to be aware of several things if they choose to let their minor child join the club.
1. No one will be supervising minors. While it is never the club's intention to allow a minor to get into trouble, the responsibility of the child's actions lay with the child and his/her parents or guardians.
2. The club encourages parents to attend meetings and events to get to know the members of the group and what types of activities the club engages in.
3. While no alcohol will ever be served or consumed at any official meeting by a club member, be aware that an official meeting or event may take place in a venue such as a restaurant where alcohol is being served to others.
4. The group attempts to maintain all discussions at the PG level. However, some inappropriate language might inadvertently be used.
5. Members of the club will not be responsible for transporting a child to meetings and/or social events. If a parent chooses not to attend a meeting or event with his/her child, it is the parent's responsibility to ensure that the child has a safe mode of transportation to and from the meeting or event.
6. A parental waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian and the child before that child is allowed membership in the club.
7. The parents must provide the club with a current address, home phone number, work phone number, and cell phone number. The parents must also provide the phone number of a family friend or relative not residing in the same household.
Parental Consent, Release and Waiver of Liability
Being the Parent (or Guardian) of ________________________________________ (Name of minor child), I acknowledge that I have read the Underage Member Policy and the Charlotte Fan Force By-Laws, and hereby agree to his/her participation in the Charlotte Fan Force Club Events and declare as follows:
1. I understand and agree that the minor participates in the Charlotte Fan Force Events at his/her risk and without liability on the part of the Charlotte Fan Force.
2. I understand that I may participate in Charlotte Fan Force Events and monitor e-mails sent on the e-mail list at any time.
3. I understand that it is my responsibility to arrange safe transportation to and from Charlotte Fan Force Events for the minor.
4. I am satisfied that if I am not present, the minor is sufficiently responsible and experienced to assume full and entire responsibility for his/her own safety during Charlotte Fan Force Events, and to remove himself/herself from any situations in which he/she feels uncomfortable.
Signature of Parent or Guardian
Emergency Contact Phone-Number
Minor?s Acknowledgement of Underage Member Policy
I __________________________________ (Name of Minor) have read, or have had read to me, the Underage Member Policy of the Charlotte Fan Force, and the waiver that has been signed by my parent or guardian. I understand that:
1. I will not be supervised during Charlotte Fan Force Events and that my parent/guardian will be responsible for anything that happens to me during these events.
2. There are adult members of this group and that it is my responsibility to speak up if I feel uncomfortable about anything occurring at the Charlotte Fan Force Events and to co
I'll read that in a sec, Jada, just wanna reply to Dajuan's post first
"I don't think we should make it mandatory for all chapters."
The problem here is, that FanForce (TM) IS a global group, and any incident involving one chapter COULD affect the entire organisation. I think it's very prudent to get some form of legal advice on this. We need to know whether the actions (or inactions) of one chapter could (in the worse case scenario) lead to the abolishment of the entire FanForce. In this day and age of over-protection, it's not an unrealistic turn of events.
You mentioned the 16-18 year old age bracket, but we also need to consider the 13-15 year olds as well, seeing as they can also be members of the chapter. And it's the 13-15 year olds that present the biggest potential problem
I added to it halibut
Pretty good. I would add a part specifically stating that the group has no liability insurance.
And for the UK, we'd definitely take out the part saying that no members will consume alcohol at ANY meet. We have a lot of official meets which are BBQs at some members house during which people will undoubtedly drink. A meet doesn't HAVE to be at a convention or the like. A social meet-up is perfectly fine, and I, as RSA for the UK, would not sanction such a rule stating that any of our members can not consume alcohol at any and all meets.
I would tone down that part to say that "some meets may be held where alcohol is served but parents will be told beforehand when and where that is the case"
I was thinking about that too and I know last year at the Holiday party we hosted at our house we had champagne and cranberry mixed together but I watched anyone under 21 like a hawk. <---- pretend it is a chicken hawk ].
I speak to the parents of one of our members whenever we are going to be having outside of our normal meeting so that they are 100% completely aware of what is going on and what to expect. Then again, she is 17 and just got her license.
I've been doing some research on liability and coming up blank. Mostly all I can find is other Fan Clubs Waivers of Liability. Here is one from the Sierra Club:
To the fullest extent allowed by law, I agree to WAIVE, DISCHARGE CLAIMS, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY
the Sierra Club, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and leaders from any and all liability on account of, or in
any way resulting from Injuries and Damages, even if caused by negligence of the Sierra Club its officers, directors,
employees, agents, and leaders, in any way connected with this Outing. I further agree to HOLD HARMLESS the
Sierra Club, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and leaders from any claims, damages, injuries or losses
caused by my own negligence while a participant on the outing. I understand and intend that this assumption of risk
and release is binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, and includes any minors
accompanying me on the Outing.
Another thing that they have is a sign in sheet with a built in Waiver:
[link=http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms/signinwaiver.PDF]sign in and waiver[/link]
Perhaps for a real cover your buttocks we could adopt a sign in sheet such as this and have a waiver?
I still agree that we might be best to also consult a lawyer. Anyone in FF/JC a lawyer?
Hello, all. I am a representative of the MidSouth region's Oklahoma City "FanForce" fan club, JediOKC. It was brought to our attention by my city's RSA that my city's forum would be moved to inactive status due to forum inactivity.
I posted a reply to the RSA with questions about the nature of our FanForce status regarding this change, and what we might be able to do to maintain our status. The RSA cut-n-pasted the FanForce Rules as a response, and that answered all of my questions. Basically, our club no longer qualifies as a FanForce fan club.
Our Star Wars fan club has had great success and dedicated membership for more than 6 years now. We hold meetings twice a month, with an average of 20 attendees per meeting. Our club has various fun and charitable events throughout the year, averaging 1 to 2 a month over a year's time (not counting meetings). While the FanForce forums helped get us started, they're woefully inadequate for an online and in-person community to discuss the different facets of Star Wars and club business. That is to say, the FanForce forums are too restrictive and, to be honest, antiquated. As a former manager of a FanForce forum, I?ve discussed this issue with the FanForce forums? powers-that-be a few years ago. Today, little to nothing has changed... not that I expected it to based on their response back then.
Since our club started on FanForce forums, and because we have an online presence, we're glad to be a part of TF.N as a FanForce fan club, especially since TF.N is the largest online fan-based Star Wars website in the world. Now that our status is in obvious jeopardy, I had to determine if that status was worth saving.
What I gather from the rules is that a chapter gets a single online forum, forum moderation, rudimentary chapter ?startup rules,? and the "right," I suppose, to call itself a FanForce fan club chapter. Is there anything more to being a FanForce fan club chapter? That is to ask, what does it mean to be a FanForce fan club chapter? What is the purpose of FanForce? FanForce has rules, but no goals, vision, or mission statement. If the implied goal is to support online and in-person Star Wars fandom, then it has failed in the case of the successful Star Wars fan club I'm a member of. Our club, in my estimation, adheres to at least 90% of the FF rules. At this point, my criticism begins.
FanForce rules Articles 1 and 6 contain rules that are particularly damning to such clubs that choose to start their own forums out of necessity. This policy punishes success. Our club's own website offers an online calendar, forums broken into logical sections, links to related online content, and the ability to post and enforce our own local club's policies which may or may not conflict with, or have different restrictions than, FanForce's. Once a club starts its own forums, what sense does it make for its club members to post in another forum?
It?s ambiguous whether or not FanForce can impose jurisdiction or authority offsite from its forums. Article 6 of the FF rules essentially states "FF is not responsible for offsite forums in the matters of dispute settlement and our protection." Well, not directly. But if a club is truly a FanForce fan club, how does FF resolve disputes and protect such club members when it comes to offsite, offline activities such as in-person club meetings and events? That's where Article 12 comes in. FanForce mandates in-person activities based on ?rules more strict" than the FanForce forums? in spite of inadequate or nonexistent rules for such in-person activities. In what way does in-person rules and enforcement differ from offsite, online forums? The CR Code of Conduct is inadequate (it basically says you have to ?be nice? and follow the FanForce forum Terms of Service) and only applies to the CR and the club chapter?s officers. The FF Terms of Service only apply to the forums, and not in-person activities. Also, no rules for dispute settlement exist. It occurs to me that conduct and dispute se
Actually, if your club was to make announcements of meetings and activities on this forum and if the club's Chapter Representative (seems to be you at this point) would keep in touch with the RSA on a fairly regular basis (is once a month to much to ask?) this would keep your forum current and fulfill your status as a fan force club. Having offsite forums is perfectly acceptable as long as you keep the one on these boards updated with announcements.
I think that as a Manager Emeritus you know the limits of snowboards and that they cannot isolate moderator abilities to one forum. A great many CRs would love to be able to sticky their own threads, unlock threads, change titles, etc. This just isn't the way these boards are set up. And I, for one, don't see Fan Force leaving theforce.net just so that we can give CRs the ability to moderate their chapters.
If chapters do set up offsite forums they can either a) give the RSA moderator powers or b) make sure the RSA has access to every forum on the offsite so that they can see exactly what is going on.
Yes, Fan Force has to rely on the written word of the CR and others as to the situation. But consider this. If a member shows up to a meeting and threatens another member and this is done in a public place (say Barnes and Noble) then not only will there be the word of the CR but there should at least be a Security Report that documents what happened.
Also if the CR is acting inappropriately other members of the chapter can let the RSA know.
As far as I know the only two positions that I have seen defined are the Chapter Representative and the Treasurer. As for other position I believe it is up to each chapter to define them. Some chapters have a Historian who is the club photographer. Other chapter's Historians take notes at the meetings. Another chapter might have a Events Coordinator while others don't.
Again, your club doesn't have to lose its forum. All you have to do is maintain announcements and event notifications. I can't answer for the Old Folks Home but that has been my understanding of the requirements.
As to your other questions, I believe I'll let someone else take a shot at it.
RedneckJedi: I've never met you but I'm the recently-former CR of the KC chapter just up the road a ways. I'm glad to hear someone making these points because when this came up I made a lot of the same arguments, but I would say 'to Jada you listen'. If you're willing to play ball a little bit on the stuff she mentioned, you can have your foot in both 'worlds'. Our chapter's council and former council members discussed it at length and there are a lot of benefits to being FanForce. For one, there ARE people that recognize the name, namely members of other chapters and of other fan groups (such as the Rebel Legion and 501st). It give us a measure of 'legitimatcy' in the eyes of these groups and other entities we may deal with. And when people move, they have another chapter to call home. We've had people move to KC from other cities and they 'transfer' their membership and have a built in support base when they come to a new city, and we have contacts when we visit many other cities around the region as well.
If you ever want to discuss, please feel free to drop me an email or PM to know you have an sympathetic ear.
I appreciate your responses! While I'm not the CR of my FanForce chapter, another "council member" of our club is. It is the estimation of our RSA that event announcements aren't enough, and the RSA is adhering to the letter of the FanForce rules. In other words, we need online social activity on our FF forum of at least 3 unique individuals per month. In my original diatribe above, I forgot to mention that except for a lapse in September, I posted event announcements for each month at the beginning of each month for over a year.
When it comes to particularly large events, our club usually only shows up to "experience the proceedings," and doesn't promote itself beyond our t-shirts, business cards, and word-of-mouth. We usually have a formal club presence to promote ourselves at smaller, more local, events, where we never encounter other FanForce clubs (wink, wink, DFW). As far as "legitimacy" goes, and I'm not wholly disagreeing with you gandalf, there aren't many hoops to jump through to become a FF chapter. Again, it's just 3 people in a common area/city with the desire to meet in person quarterly, and to post in their area's forum. The real problem every single fan club faces is maintaining membership and solvency. Many grassroots startups tend to rally around specific events or particular ascepts of fandom (books, games, costuming, trivia, etc.) and then fade away along with the event "high", as members drop due to lack of interest, or the next "big thing" comes along that grabs their attention. Our club membership swelled considererably in the months before and just after ROTS was released. A year later, we never heard from most of those people ever again. That's something of a seguÃ©, but my point is if I did bump into another FanForce fan club chapter, and I said, "Hey, I'm in a FanForce chapter, too!" what more is there to say? Besides being an ice-breaker, I don't see it any different than bumping into another Star Wars fan club member and saying, "Hey, I'm in a Star Wars fan club, too!"
I've been discussing this with my fellow council members, and we're in agreement that attempting to maintain "social activity" on the FF Board provides little return for the effort invested. I'll discuss it with the RSA, to see if we can compromise with the monthly Event announcements. Otherwise, we're going to just let it go... but keep an eye on the that forum in case it gets revived.
You can also talk to Dajuan (whom I'm sure appreciates me volunteering her ).
It was my understanding that if chapters had an offsite that they had to at least keep up with announcements, etc. here.
I can see your frustration from the point of view.
As far as what can being a Fan Force do for you, I know I have friends all over the US from Fan Force. I have visited other Fan Forces when I've gone through their areas (I even spent one night of my honeymoon hanging out with the Albuqureque Fan Force ). Then again, I make the effort to try to get to know other fan forces. Not everyone is as spammy . . . I mean social as I am.
Hopefully someone from the Old Folks Home will chime in here soon and address some of your concerns.
I've been following the thread but been so busy with work that I've not gotten a chance to respond. I'll try to write out something more than this tonight. Sorry work's just been kicking my ass lately.
Redneck Jedi, this is something that Dajuan had used at C4 for letting people know what Fan Force is. I think it is the definition and purpose you are looking for.
The FanForce Forums, on the other hand, are all about organizing real life meetings with fellow Star Wars fans. The forums are an online tool to help members plan events, recruit new members, get the word out about their chapter, and socialize with fans near and far. Members are encouraged to post in other FanForce forums and make connections with fellow fans across the world.
Does that help?