|FROM ||Jon Bober
|SUBJECT ||Re: [hangout] Re: nylxs bylaws
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Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2001 02:16:31 -0500
From: Jon Bober
To: Ruben Safir
Subject: Re: [hangout] Re: nylxs bylaws
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Although bylaws were just passed - though amended a fair amount from these posted, FTOYNATM [For Those Of You Not At The Meeting, a new acronym that I am creating and will use some more in this post, and perhaps in the future], - I would like to make some comments about the bylaws (hopefully those amended bylaws will be posted soon) that I should have made yesterday, and a long time ago (had I actually perused them before hand.)
On Thu, 6 Dec 2001 21:15:20 -0500
Ruben Safir wrote:
> C. Active Voting student membership requires proof of student status
> plus three hours of assigned volunteer work per month for the organization
> and current on student dues.
I think that special student membership is a wonderful idea, however, it is not sufficiently defined in the bylaws. At the end of the meeting, I made a comment mostly in jest that was something like "So what are the student membership dues?" Ruben responded by saying that the idea was intended for high school students moreso than college students.
I fully agree with this - I think that many college students have cash to burn, compared to their parents who are usually the ones actually paying for college. 40 bucks, by Manhatten prices, is typically not much more than a case and a half of beer, or a week or two of cigarettes, and less than many new video games. However, long-term, this could be a problem if people who don't want to pay attempt to claim student status - and I hope to be a student in some form or another my entire life, and just reading through this list is probably a learning experience for many.
> Section 3. Two thirds (2/3) of officers make a quorum at execitive
> meetings. Executive meetings most take place once a month, in the
> second week of the month.
I don't recall this specific line from last night, so perhaps it was changed before hand. I also think that many other people at the meeting would have had problems with the line, given the exact desciption of when during the month executive meetings should take place. So, it was probably changed, but if not, I voice that I have a problem with it.
> Board, or upon request of any four active members in good standing.
> Special meetings are a form of executive meeting.
I recall something like this in the bylaws last night, but I am unsure if it was changed. If nylxs becomes a large organization, the number four could become a problem - perhaps it should be changed to a percentage in order to account for growth. However, the bylaws do not say anything about the requirement for a request for a special meeting to be granted.
> If the organization is dissolved, all assets of the organization shall be
> divided equally among the active members in good standing after all bills
> are paid.
This sounds dangerous. It was breifly discussed, but as a result of the fact that it was at the end of the constitution, I think that it got the least attention. (FTOYNATM, the meeting ran quite late - I believe that there was a motion to extend the meeting for 30 minutes, followed 29 minutes later by a motion to extend the meeting for 20 minutes, followed 19 minutes later by a motion to extend the meeting for 15 minutes - and I believe that although some people even left early, most of the people who remained at the meeting had more important things to do today than I did, and some of them even have families ;)
Anyway, I am sure that nylxs does not want to turn off any potential big donors from donating lots of money to us (and hopefully that day will come some day,) but this clause could do so. Although I am certain that there are US laws, and perhaps NY laws, that would bar us from running away with lots of money, it would probably be better P.R. if the clause had some statement like "In the case that the organization is dissolved, every possible attempt will be made to return to non-member donors the money that was donated."
Also, I seem to recall that there was some clause in the constitution regarding the prohibition of commercial companies from sponsering nylxs. While I understand the need for such a clause - that is, I would never like to see nylxs come under the influence of a commercial company - I would not like to discourage people from donating to nylxs. I think that such a clause, if included, should say that nylxs should not accept money from companies that comes with conditions imposed upon the organization, but should not say that nylxs will not accept donations from commercial organizations. Ideally, I wouldn't mind if Redhat donated some money to nylxs one day - but I would never like the organization to formally agree to support Redhat over some other linux company, or to become dependant on donations from commercial companies, for that matter. One thing that debian does is that on their website, in the section where they list debian vendors, they mark those who contribute a !
portion of proceeds to debian - a list on the website of people or companies who donate things to nylxs might not be a bad idea if the day comes when nylxs could possibly get donations.
Alright then - enough for now. I understand that it was a good step to formally pass bylaws yesterday, but I immediately put forth that I would like to see the bylaws revisited when more permanent elections are held. I have zero experience with things such as organizational bylaws, but I think that some of the things mentioned above could become problems as nylxs becomes a larger, more long term organization.
Everything said to be taken with at least a few grains of salt,
New Yorker Linux Users Scene
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