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.
Previous consensus discussion about hiatus
I've been told that there has been previous discussion that agreed that the treasurer could put members on hiatus without their request if they stopped paying dues. To my knowledge, this should conflict with the previous consensus that members who cease to pay dues and become unresponsive expire as members after 3 months of attempted contact. Because of this, many people currently listed as on hiatus are unresponsive to email inquiries. The previous treasurer did not routinely attempt to contact non-paying members, and as such very few memberships expired during that time. -- User:Hurtstotouchfire 04:05, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
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
Proposed Hiatus Language
Noisebridge allows members to go on 'hiatus' if they wish to temporarily suspend their membership. Hiatus may be used when a member will not be involved in Noisebridge for an extended period, such as if they are travelling; or when a member is temporarily unable to pay their dues. If you are unable to pay your dues, please consider searching for sponsorship, or asking the treasurer about starving hacker rates.
- Members on hiatus are not obliged to pay dues and they are not able to block consensus items.
Going on Hiatus
- If a member wishes to go on hiatus they must notify the treasurer and secretary ,
- stating that they wish to go on hiatus,
- informing them of the time at which they intend to return.
- If a member going on hiatus will not have regular internet acces or has specific communication needs during their hiatus period, it is their responsibility to arrange this with the treasurer and secretary before they go on hiatus.
While on Hiatus (Termination)
- A member may extend their term of hiatus at any time by contacting the treasurer and secretary .
- If a member on hiatus does not contact the treasurer and secretary within three months from the date on which they intended to return, their membership shall expire. If that person wants to rejoin Noisebridge, they must go through the joining process again.
- If a member did not specify an exact time at which they intend to return from hiatus, their membership shall expire four months after they initially went on hiatus. If that person wants to rejoin Noisebridge, they must go through the joining process again.
Returning from Hiatus
- A member must inform the treasurer and secretary that they wish to return from hiatus.
- That person returns to full membership one month after they have both informed the treasurer and secretary , and paid the treasurer.
Consensus at Noisebridge
- Proposals for consensus should be raised for discussion in one meeting, and then consensed upon at the following week's meeting.
- Both members and non-members may raise items for consensus.
- This allows people who can't attend every meeting time to read the notes and attend the following week's meeting.
- This also allows a week for people to discuss the consensus proposals between meetings.
- Only Noisebridge members in good standing may block consensus.
- In order to block consensus, a member must be physically present at a meeting.
- If a member is not physically present at the meeting, they may attempt to find another member in good standing who is willing to act as proxy on their behalf.
- If a member wishes to, they are free to proxy for the wishes a guest who is not able block.
- The consensus process is decision-centric, and is re-configurable around any decision that needs to be made.
- The wording of the consensus proposal made in the first week can be altered during the consensus process of the second meeting, although radical changes in the sense or impact of a proposal require a resubmitted proposal, and a new two week process.
- If a member does not attend a meeting, they are asserting that they are comfortable with the decisions of those who do choose to attend, whether or not they agree.
- Members are free to express their opposition for a consensus proposal but stand aside without blocking it.
- Noisebridge operates a Do-ocracy. If you want something done, do it, but remember to be excellent to each other when doing so.