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Updates to the Society Org Chart

At the April meeting of the Board of Directors, following a good deal of members feedback, a proposal was ratified to promote the office of the Chatelaine from a deputy to a full Society officer, and to add a new Society officer for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB).

As part of this update, the previous Corporate office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging office was named the Office of Inclusive Programs.

I assume the Society’s Governing Documents will be updated soon to reflect these changes.

I’ve updated my org chart to reflect these developments, as well as two corrections to the version I assembled in December:

  • Although some documents show the Communications and Social Media offices as distinct, for the last year they have been combined and held by a single individual, as part of an ongoing reorganization of that office.
  • Although some older documents show the Information Technology office reporting directly to the Board, this practice appears to have changed a few years ago, perhaps at the same time the office’s title changed from “Vice President” to “Manager,” circa 2018.

In Support of the Omnibus Peerage

I was tardy in writing to the Board in support of the proposed Omnibus Peerage, but did manage to get my letter in just under the wire.

The process of implementing this change has taken much longer than it should; the proposal has repeatedly been workshopped, brought forward for consideration and then sent back for refinement, over and over again for years.

I hope that this time it’s finally going to get across the finish line.

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Local Branches Shouldn’t Be Required to Publish Newsletters

There have been ongoing discussions for many years about how local branches can best manage communications with their populace in light of the changing media landscape.

Decades ago, the Society established a policy that each local barony and province should publish a newsletter to get information out to the membership and the public, but given the increasing importance of websites and social media, a growing number of branches find that those newsletters no longer play a meaningful role in their communications portfolio.

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Who Has Rights To Heraldic Illustrations Submitted to the College of Arms?

There’s often a bit of confusion about the rights to the pictures people submit to the SCA’s College of Arms when registering their personal devices and badges.

Does the SCA “own” or “have rights to” those heraldic images?

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An Early Edition of the Society’s Governing Documents

The Society for Creative Anachronism is governed by a collection of documents known as the Organizational Handbook, which includes both the bylaws of the modern-day not-for-profit corporation (SCA, Inc.) and the policies that govern the “in-game” historical re-creation activities and the volunteer bureaucracy that supports it (“Corpora”).

These documents emerged incrementally over the first decade of the Society, as the initial leadership established a structure for the organization. Bylaws were established in 1969 and supplemented over the following years by a body of decisions made by the Board referred to as Corpora. By 1979 the framework had taken on a recognizable form organized along similar lines to the rules we use today.

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Explicit Consent May Be Required to Publish Society Names in Europe

When I wrote a rough draft of the SCA Release Forms Handbook back in 2021, I incorporated a distinction reflecting practice here in the East Kingdom: participants’ modern names are considered personal information and must not be published by the Society without their explicit consent — the same rules that apply to their home address and other real-world contact details — but their Society names are considered “in-game” attributes and their publication doesn’t require any paperwork.

Following the release of the Handbook in 2023, folks from Drachenwald mentioned that their interpretation was different; under the European GDPR, Society names could be seen as “information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person,” and thus protected as personal data, which should not be published without consent.

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Society Membership Trends

During a recent discussion of levels of Society participation, I was asked about long-term trends in overall membership numbers.

As it happens, I had previously extracted some of the relevant figures from other sources — some of which showed up in a post about kingdom-level breakdowns — but hadn’t gotten around to publishing the older numbers here, because the data is incomplete and would benefit from additional review and cleanup.

That said, even if the specific numbers are taken with a grain of salt, the overall pattern shown here is likely of interest to others, so I might as well share this as a work-in-progress.

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Can Onlookers Report Harassment of Minors?

In the wake of an unpleasant interaction at a local event, I wrote to the Society Seneschal to ask about the correct way for observers to file reports regarding inappropriate behavior towards youth.

In response I was informed that “there are no policies that limit who can report concerns about such actions,” although I didn’t receive a response to my follow-up asking for additional details.

A few weeks later the same subject came up during East Kingdom Curia, when the Kingdom Seneschal mentioned that harassment reports regarding minor participants should only be filed by parents or guardians, and could not be initiated by other observers.

This interpretation was confirmed via email — “it is up to the legal guardian / parent to file a report” — along with an indication that this is an established Society-wide policy.

I’m not sure what to make of the gap between these two explanations.

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Coping With Increased Society Fees

The Society has just announced an increase in fees, as decided at last weekend’s Board meeting. Annual membership fees are increasing by $10 per year, while the costs of additional family members and non-member event participation are increasing by $5 each.

Here are a few tips for folks unfamiliar with the Society membership system:

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In Support of the East Kingdom Rapier Crown Variance

Earlier this month, the East Kingdom’s royals submitted a request for a variance that would allow the Spring 2024 crown tournament to be determined via a rapier contest rather than rattan armored combat as has been the practice for the last five decades.

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