The topic of "hiatus" is currently under consideration for changes. There is a thread on noisbridge-discuss where we are discussing changes. There will be a discussion of this item at the meeting on Feb 7, 2012. The results of our discussion will be up for consensus on Feb 14, 2012. Our current understanding is below.
Outline of existing practices
Reasons for Hiatus (in order of frequency)
- Cannot afford dues for x period of time (where x may be unbounded)
- Do not wish to participate officially in Noisebridge for personal reasons
Communication about Hiatus
- Sometimes people do not communicate their intended hiatus to anyone. This is distinct from people who cease paying dues without consciously intending to go on hiatus.
- Most people email the treasurer. Usually they include an apology/excuse/explanation. Sometimes they include a time period. If they leave either one out, Kelly asks them, but previous treasurers may not have.
- Most people currently on hiatus do not respond to contact about their status.
- At present, hiatus continues indefinitely until the member decides to reactivate their membership.
- Most people have not terminated their hiatus to date.
- People usually terminate hiatus because they want to participate in a specific consensus or get a discounted membership at techshop.
- Hiatuses that are terminated appear to have no pattern in time length.
Problems with existing hiatus model
- We have 39 members in good standing, 16 members past due, and 58 members on hiatus.
- Most of the 58 people on hiatus are not responsive to email. There used to be more of them but Kelly emailed them all several times and some have rejoined or officially quit.
- People just stop paying their dues, and sometimes change their contact info in the intervening time, resulting in the 58 member list.
- Members on hiatus don't pay dues, sometimes don't contribute in other ways either, then want to block at a meeting, so they hand the treasurer $40 and break consensus.
- Should hiatus expire?
- after y period of unresponsiveness? (following x period of stated hiatus)
- Should hiatus have a time limit?
- 1 year max hiatus? 2 years? 6 months?
- If hiatus has no time limit, how often should hiatus status be confirmed? (i.e. when does unresponsiveness become a factor?)
- Is hiatus acceptable for purely financial reasons? (i.e. member is still fully active in the space, etc)
- benefits extended to non-members would imply that the answer is yes.
- if membership implies an ongoing commitment to contribute to the space, this implies no, but perhaps that we should have more options for skint members