[svlug] Hippocracy of the "Governance Committee" and a Call to Action

Lisa svlug at flygirl.com
Thu Jan 24 07:27:13 PST 2008


Rachel Heller wrote:
> I am posting to the main list about this matter becasue I feel it is a 
> matter of importance. I was excluded from the last "governance meeting".
Not meaning to argue, but "excluded" is a bit unfair.  That implies an 
*intent* and, as far as I know, there was no intent on anyone's part.  
Personally, I'd forgotten that you left, apparently, before it was 
decided when the next meeting would occur.

But, yes, it was an oversight, on everyone's part, that no notice was 
sent out about the next one.  That may be partially MY fault --- I had 
requested that the location NOT be published on the main mailing list 
--- mainly because of the public nature of it and the fact that it is 
archived publicly --- I tend toward the "private" as an individual.  
Some might call me "paranoid." :-)

> As background I participated in both the first and second meeting. 
> Having had to leave the second meeting for transportation reasons 
> before the meeting ended (apprx. 11:30pm), but not before the allotted 
> time scheduled for the meeting had past (9pm). I left at approximately 
> 10pm.
> I fully expected that there would have been an e-mail from the 
> committee reminding the group of when the next meeting would occur, as 
> there had been in the past. The emails addresses for everyone in the 
> committee were well known as emails had been sent in the past. I did 
> confirm the existence of this meeting with another participant of the 
> committee at the last kernel walk-through.
As I said, I believe that was an oversight.  There's a saying I like, 
which may apply (unfortunately) in this case: "Never assume malice in 
anything which can be explained by stupidity."

> If this is how the members of the governance committee act toward a 
> fellow participant, one can only imagine how they feel about the 
> greater constituency of SVLUG.
> I may not be a Linux professional; I may not be an expert on the 
> subject, but dammit I use Linux, and I love Linux, and I am a great 
> advocate of Linux and of the SVLUG. I am an enthusiast, and when a 
> committee I put my valuable time in, chooses to ignore me, I feel that 
> the entire group should know. I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, 
> the a LUG is not just a place for die-hard technical Linux users, but 
> also those who are average users and those that are curious about 
> Linux. When the latter groups are ignored it make me feel that SVLUG 
> is not a hospitable place for these categories of people. These people 
> are the bread and butter of a group like this and they are being 
> alienated by all subterfuge  surrounding the "governance committee".
> From my participation in the "governance committee", I feel it is onn 
> a bullet train to nowhere. We can't even decide how to make decisions. 
> I hereby declare that the "governance committee" has no standing, no 
> authority, and no credence to govern or advise SVLUG of its future.

IMHO the last two meetings went *much* more smoothly.  I think we spend 
a lot of the first two just learning how to work with each other.

As for the committe's "authority," I don't believe that anyone ever said 
that it *did* have any.  My understanding is that it is just a group of 
members, getting together to discuss the fact that we have NO rules, NO 
by-laws, etc, and discussing some ideas of creating some.

If anyone said it was anything else, I don't, honestly, recall hearing 
it --- and if I did, I didn't internalize it.

> I call, I implore those of you who have been lurking in the list, 
> sitting in the shadows, to please step up. PLEASE. This group is dying 
> a slow and painful death. You, we, cannot be content in coming to 
> monthly meetings being fed, entertained and educated by speakers. The 
> word is that slowly the number of people willing to talk to this group 
> is dwindling; they surely are losing respect for this group. If there 
> are no speakers, there will be no meetings and no place for you to 
> hang out and be fed.
> Is an SVLUG event something you can live without? Is SVLUG something 
> you will miss? If your answers are No & Yes, please speak up and do 
> not let the few over-spoken members of this group scare you into 
> silence. Please speak up and make yourself heard; gather people with 
> like minds to take this group back from the mud pit where it is 
> languishing and bring it back to its former glory. Move beyond these 
> childish games we are playing and become what a any self-respecting 
> LUG should be.
That is exactly what I was waiting for through all this mess before 
someone proposed the meetings.  When Mark did, I said "finally, we may 
*do* SOMETHING." (yes, perhaps I should have proposed something).  I 
don't know if this group will ever accomplish anything of substance, but 
I, personally, am trying.

Hell, if another group of people speak up, I, for one, would *love* to 
hear what they have to say.

The previous situation was that SVLUG was losing the people who keep its 
systems running and, so far as I know, no one else was stepping up to 
solve those problems (I don't blame anyone for that, BTW, we're all very 
busy people and some more than others), so it looked like *something* 
had to be done...  As I said, I, for one, am open to other suggestions.



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