Re: Proposed constitution for society (needed for bank account)

(not sure if you meant for this to go off-list, but I'm putting it back on-list)

Paul Cooper wrote:
----- Thomas Wood <thos gnome org> wrote:
On the constitution side, I'm still slightly weary about restricting membership to only those that have already made a contribution. I don't see why being part of GNOME-UK couldn't be the first contribution someone makes to the project. Maybe 'significant contribution' can include using GNOME on a recent and regular basis ;-)

I think you have to distinguish between membership and participation - we would encourage anyone to participate in GNOME-UK, mailing list, events, etc. However when it comes to voting for positions in the 'society' we need to have some definition of membership, otherwise it's open to everyone and anyone in the UK. We could charge membership fees - which would probably deter any prankster wishing to crash any elections, however it wouldn't stop someone 'buying' a position, and besides do we really want to charge for GNOME-UK membership? For volunteer based orgs like GNOME(-UK) it makes sense to put the bar to membership as a 'significant contribution' where that significant contribution is agreed and approved by your peers.

So it seems right to me that contribution (more than just joing the list) comes before membership, and that the membership is only really about protecting the bank account and bureaucracy of GNOME-UK from abuse.
As long as we make it clear that:

* The gnome-uk society membership is not required to participate in gnome-uk. * The gnome-uk society only exists to represent the gnome-uk user group in an official capacity.

I suspect then that any contribution (such as helping out with a gnome-uk event) would constitute as a basis for possible membership. Off the top of my head I can think of at least half a dozen people that I would consider have made contributions to gnome(-uk) but that probably aren't foundation members.

However, I don't want to get bogged down in details about this society, because it just shouldn't be a big deal within the group. Let's have the "initial" meeting at LinuxWorld and get the business stuff sorted and out of the way. We'll arrange some details of where and when nearer the time, but I suspect it will be in a local pub on the evening of the 25th October!


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