[svlug] student chapters of SVLUG?

Javilk javilk at polly.mall-net.com
Fri Nov 13 22:25:24 PST 1998

> In the meantime, while we had the recent discussion about Linux in local
> schools, this opens up a completely different angle on the question.  If
> students want to get involved, why not allow on-campus clubs at schools to
> be officially sanctioned student chapters of SVLUG?  Just require something
> like three members and a monthly scheduled Linux-related activity, and we
> give them a link from the SVLUG web page and consider their group leader(s)
> to be part of SVLUG's volunteer organization and our contacts at the school...

     Great idea!

     Just one itsy bitsy question...

     What is "SVLUG"?  I know that I am a member.  I know that we have
meetings.  But what is the logalo-corporate entity called "SVLUG"?  How
does the physical state of Califaultia address SVLUG?  Does it, in fact,
exist as a legal entity?  Is it a non-profit corporate entity, or is it,
in essence, a mob of people acting in concert at a particular instance?

     If it is a corporate entity, with insurance, charter, etc., then the
kids have to conform to our corporate charter, whatever that may be.

     But, if we are a mob, as I rather suspect, well... all we really need
from them, is for them to say "Hello" once in a while.  And to be much
more careful when not on school property.

     Let me toss out a hypothetical.  Supposing there is a ground loop on
the LAN, and five computers go up in smoke.  Minor loss, maybe another
$300 -- 500 to replace LAN cards.  Or maybe $5,000 if they really smoked. 
Who pays? Who fixes?  Did any of us sign any wavers as we walked in??? 

     (We really ought to have a waver/setup sheet!  Here is your sign-up
sheet. Waver to sign saying the owner is responsible for his own computer
no matter what, an assigned IP number, and instructions for setting your
IP number to the assigned number.) 

     What if Joe trips over a carelessly placed power strip, that someone
else kicked into the isle, and incurs a concussion with costs $5,000 to
$25,000 in medical expenses?  Who pays?  Did he sign a waver? 

     What if Joe happens to be a contractor, and loses a contract during
that time, one that was projected to net him $50,000 to $100,000 in
billing, and he is only $15,000 in on that contract.  Who pays for his
loss of income?  What if his client turns around and sues him for $500,000
for non-performance?  Then what?  I think many of us would chip in $100 to
$500 from the goodness of his heart to help him with his medical expenses
if we liked him, and his insurance didn't cover it and he was destitute; 
but $50,000 to $500,000?  No way!  Yet if we did chip in $100 a piece, we
might, in the eyes of some lawyer, obligate ourselves further unless we
did have wavers. 

     What if your power strip has a ground fault, and electrocutes
someone?  Who is at fault?  Did he sign a waver?  Are we all responsible
as a mob of people?  Or is the power strip owner responsible?   (Hmmm... I
think I will leave my two power strips at home Saturday...  either that
or donate one to the club As-Is, and demand a sign-over.)

     If we are a mob, we need someone to look up the laws regarding
responsibilities in a mob type action. 

     Even more so, if we invite minors, or work with minors on school
property.  Minors are, by definition, not responsible.  (Not only that,
but more likely to have accidents than us older professionals who have
been hurt enough times to know better.) WHO then, IS responsible? 

     I am not saying we can't do what we are doing.  I am not saying we
need tons of insurance, etc. etc. etc.  What I am saying, is that we need
to look at this BEFORE it happens, and have everyone sign a statement that
they are responsible for themselves, and will not hold the group or any
individual member thereof responsible for non-malicious actions.  And
maybe, will accept arbitration by those present regarding whether an
action was malicious, though that could move us beyond mob status. 

     Put things in perspective; If you are complaining about the risks of
exchanging a dollar for a CD-ROM, this is ten times the risk! Especially
when we DO act like a mod, as we did at Fry's, CompUSA, and MicroSoft. 
     Somebody better get those wavers written!  And include a salmonela
clause regarding donuts, computer viruses, and inadvertently bootlegged
software, as a lot of the distributions have licensed software.  I know we
don't bootleg, but there is inadvertent copying of licensed stuff like
Metro X, even if it is not used. 

     As my father use to say, "there is engineering before the fact, and
engineering after the fact."  Engineering before the fact is a lot easier
than trying to re-engineer the pieces after they break. 
- javilk at mall-net.com -----------------------------
-------- MS asks "Where do you want to go?" -------
------- Linux asks "What do you want to do?" ------
-- It is doers, not goers, who built this world! --
--------- Member: http://www.svlug.org/ -----------

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