Update: Branches Can Create Their Own Facebook Events

TL;DR: SCA branches can create their own Facebook events using their official Facebook page identity without going through the KSMO; however, some kingdoms might impose additional requirements for kingdom-level events.

Earlier this year I posted about an annoying stricture of paragraph IV.C.3.d. of the SCA Social Media Handbook which specified that “On Facebook, Events are to be created through Official Kingdom Pages.”

The one problematic word there is “kingdom” — because it means that local branches have to coordinate all of their Facebook events with the Kingdom’s social media officer, and in the East that means that over fifty branches have to funnel their hundreds and hundreds of Facebook events through a single individual.

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SCA Social Media Can Allow Off-Topic Conversations

In a recent discussion of the reasons some local branch officers persist in creating “unofficial” Facebook groups, an officer from another region of the kingdom reported that two branches had gone down that path because they had been told that “official” social media channels could not allow any off-topic conversations.

This came as a surprise, as I know online conversations often wander, and it’s totally common for a local populace discussion forum (whether on Facebook, Discord, a mailing list, a video conference, or wherever) to include a mix of group business, historical trivia, crafting discussions, in-jokes and wordplay, conversations about role-playing games, pictures of people’s pets, and a hundred other topics.

I wrote to the social media officers at the kingdom and Society level and was pleased by the prompt reply: “there’s nothing wrong with having occasional off topic conversations.”

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Lowering the Bar for Confirmation of New Board Members

At the July quarterly Board meeting, a proposal was made to reduce the requirement of unanimous support for new directors to unanimous-minus-one, and the membership was asked for feedback on the idea.

This seems like a small step in the right direction — for many years that there has been a concern that the Board was too insular and insufficiently responsive to new ideas from the populace, and allowing any sitting member to unilaterally veto a candidate makes change extremely difficult.

I think more sweeping changes are needed, but we shouldn’t let a quest for revolutionary utopia throw up hurdles to incremental improvement, so I’ve written to the Board in support of the proposal.

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It Turns Out My Modern Name Is Also Difficult to Spell

Thank you to Thomas Blackmoore for recognizing the effort I’ve put in to the still-in-progress IT Policies handbook.

Commendations: Matthew Cavaletto, Eben Kurtzman, Daniel McEwan, and Nicolas Milano for their work on the proposed IT policies and Hunter Eidson, Lewis Tanzos, and Russ Smith for their troubleshooting efforts on the server during Pennsic.

President’s Report for October 2023 Board Meeting

An SCA Governance Org Chart

While working up some feedback on a draft Society policy document, I noticed a reference to the SCA’s “Corporate Officers” and was reminded of the fact that I didn’t have a clear understanding of the distinction between Corporate Officers, Society Officers, and other members of the organization’s central leadership team — categories that I would like to be able to explain to folks here in my local branch.

I posted in the SCA’s “unofficial” Facebook group and soon had useful pointers from Cormac Mór and John the Bearkiller.

As I should have guessed, the answers can be found in a careful reading of the Society’s Governing Documents. The SCA, Inc corporate officers are listed in the Corporate Bylaws paragraph VII.A.1, while the Society officers are listed in Corpora section VI.

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Draft Licensing Agreement for SCA Software Developers

TL;DR: If you write or manage software for the SCA, I’d love to get your feedback on this proposed license agreement intended to document the Society’s ability to continue using and maintaining the software even if you someday become unavailable.

Given the high proportion of technical professionals in the Society’s ranks, it is no surprise that the SCA has a long history of informal software development: folks developing small custom applications to facilitate some part of their office’s or local group’s operations. However, this process has by-and-large been uncoordinated, and policy for it has been slow to coalesce.

One recurrent issue in this area has been the lack of clear licensing practices. In a few cases, copyright has explicitly been transferred to the Society, but in the majority of cases the issue has not been considered, leaving the copyright in the hands of the original developer. In most cases, there is no written license agreement, which is usually fine while the original developer remains involved in local activities, but can become problematic if they move away or drop out of Society activities, as nobody knows for sure if the group has the right to to continue using the software, to make changes to it, or to share it with other branches of the SCA.

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SCA Tax Filing Summaries

The SCA and its various US subsidiaries appear in the new “Nonprofit Explorer” system from Pro Publica, which aggregates and summarizes Form 990 tax filings. (Note that there are separate corporate filings for some states but not all; there there are about a dozen state-level subsidiaries as well as two event-specific groupings.)

The returns for 2022 have not yet been included, so the major hit taken when activities were halted by Covid is highlighted, and the subsequent (partial) recovery is not yet visible.

For more, search for the SCA on projects.propublica.org/nonprofits.

Recent Board Minutes Posted

The minutes from the first two quarterly meetings of the SCA Board of Directors for 2023 have now been posted to their website in the usual location, along with the minutes from the first four conference calls of the year:
https://sca.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/sca/neonPage.jsp?pageId=10

Correspondence follows, for those curious.

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From the Archives: The “SCA Gazette” Proposal of 2015–2017

In April 2015, the Society’s Publications Office undertook a survey, variously referred to as the “Evolution of SCA Communications” or “Newsletter & Communications Survey,” which asked participants about the channels they used to obtain information about SCA activities.

Survey announcement sent to kingdom chroniclers

At the next quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors, the Publications Office submitted a flurry of proposed policies and actions based on the survey results.

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New York City’s Knife Law and Historical Reenactment

In a couple of recent discussions as part of our local NYC chapter of the SCA, folks have expressed concern about running afoul of the city’s notoriously-strict knife law.

Obviously that law was written to deal with people being menaced or attacked on the street, rather than to crack down on our local fencing practice, but it’s reasonable to wonder whether a well-intentioned historical re-creationist might get caught in the same net.

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