[Volunteers] SVLUG Volunteers meeting minutes, 20 June 2005

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Jul 21 17:25:39 PDT 2005

Quoting J. Paul Reed (preed at svlug.org):

> ACTION_ITEM: JPR/IK: get SBAY.org paperwork done, including the SVLUG
> Charter

Might be pluses and minuses to Sbay.org classifying us as a chartered SIG,
which you might wish to consider before moving on this.  Reference: 
Article 12, section 3 of the Sbay's current bylaws

(I should stress that I deeply appreciate Sbay.org's sponsorship, and
intend no criticism.  They've been great, and a real asset to the
volunteer community.)

The biggest difference would actually be that, unlike before, Sbay.org
would require that any persons SVLUG's charter would dub as "officers"
pay annual membership dues to Sbay.org (and be accepted by them as
members).  SVLUG has never in the past required membership dues.  Do 
we really want to do that?  What's the benefit?

Firing up the Wayback Machine for a minute....

We started as a Silicon Valley Computer Society SIG (initially its UNIX
SIG).  Web page was at Dan Kionka's workplace, then later at our own
machine subsidised by VA Research.  SVCS affiliation was cool because it
gave us non-profit tax-exempt status and a corporate liability shield.  

We registered domain name "svlug.org" (for the new name "Silicon Valley
Linux User Group" that, as Ian reminded us, was coined by Rob Walker),
carefully keeping ownership of the DNS domain in the hands of trusted
volunteers, _rather than_ handing it to SVCS, in order to preserve our
ability to leave SVCS if that ever became necessary.  Later, that proved
a really wise move, when our relationship with SVCS disintegrated.  

At that point, we simply de-affiliated with SVCS and re-affiliated with 
Sbay.org.  Because our only property (our domain) was in our hands
independently, this wasn't a problem.

Our understanding with SVCS was always that neither of us would
interfere in the other, and we'd exist in symbiosis, e.g., SVLUG gave
free Web hosting to its (theoretical) parent group at
http://www.svlug.org/~svcs/ for a long time.

Anyhow, Sbay.org's bylaws classify us as an "informal association" in
its eyes (which is only fair), and state that Sbay.org's president has
power to appoint and remove any "officer" of such an informal
association, including you (in your role as what from Sbay.org's
perspective is the "SIG coordinator").  My guess would be that you want
a charter inside the Sbay.org framework to change that.  Correct?

But, actually, if Sbay.org were ever to attempt to do that, wouldn't our
reaction be to say "Thanks for the corporate sponsorship, which was
really nice, but we're leaving now"?  I mean, that was our understanding
with SVCS; isn't that likewise with Sbay.org?  

(Again, I'm not suggesting that Sbay.org isn't our benefactor and
friend.  I'm just saying that we believed that about SVCS, too.)

Looking from that perspective, it's a good thing that we always kept
ownership of our domain name in the hands of a trusted volunteer, rather
than giving it to our sponsoring corporation -- or we'd have been in a
real pickle with SVCS.  Luckily, we can pick up and move, any time
we decide we need to.  Except -- oops! -- you seem to have very recently 
done away with that precaution.  Pity about that.

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