By Lady Ursula the Widow
The inner workings of the SCA Board of Directors remain a mystery to many SCAdians, even as late in the game as Pennsic XL. Fortunately, the members of the Board are eager to change that.
The Board holds a town hall meeting every year at Pennsic in an effort to be accessible and gain feedback from the populace. This year’s meeting will be held in AS10 on Tuesday, August 9 from 1-3 PM. SCA Chair Leslie Vaughn will be flying to Cooper’s Lake specifically to attend this session.
Corporate officers, Society officers and Board members will be present at the meeting and ready to answer questions from the populace about any issue within the Board’s purview. Some topics expected to come up are matters of SCA governance such as e-newsletters, membership fees, the recent SCA census, coming changes to the organization, and the growing advocacy in some kingdoms to allow same-sex consorts. However, any question may be raised.
“This is a real way to talk to the BoD and get instantaneous feedback,” said Board member Tim Jennings, (Master Garraed Galbraith, OL,) who began his three-year term earlier this year. Many SCA members assume that the Board are aware of all that is transpiring on kingdom email lists, and do not realize that there are only seven Board members and three permanent staff to do all the top-level management work of the Society. “I think a lot of people assume somebody else has written in or that we’ve clearly heard about it and are dealing with it.” In fact, a posting to a kingdom or baronial list is unlikely to reach the Board members, who are eager to hear directly about matters requiring their attention. Decision-making priorities are set partly by how much email is received on a topic.
“There are a lot of myths about what Corpora does or does not say,” Jennings said. He added that the Board would welcome a chance to address those questions.
One of the persistent myths is that one must be a lawyer—or an accountant—or a peer—or an expert in medieval history—to become a member of the Board. In fact, any SCA member may be nominated or may nominate himself or herself. But be warned: in accordance with the law governing non-profit corporations, the job is unpaid.
Any SCA participant wishing to communicate with a member of the Board of Directors may email their kingdom ombudsman, listed on sca.org/BOD/, or may send a message on any subject to firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply to join the Board, contact Tim Jennings at email@example.com. The Board has recently adopted the target of a 48-hour turnaround time on all emails received.
And supposing that 300 people turn up on Tuesday afternoon and try to squeeze into AS 10? Jennings beamed. “We’ll move! We would love to have that problem.”