strathspey Archive: RSCDS Changes

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RSCDS Changes

Message 25853 · Rosemary Coupe · 29 Apr 2001 07:02:41 · Top

Please read this longish message only if you're interested in RSCDS
organizational matters.

As most of you will know, in a little less than two weeks, on May 11, the
Executive Council will meet to consider new proposals for the administration
and membership structure of the Society. They have been developed through
the process of self-examination the Society embarked on a couple of years
ago, and some creative thinking has gone into them. The new streamlined
committee structure looks as if it will work smoothly and economically.
Also, the proposal for a Branch convention included under two of the two
membership options seems an excellent idea if the logistics can be worked
out. Maybe, as Stewart suggested earlier today, it could be expanded into an
on-line discussion between branches.

The membership issues are difficult, though, because choosing one of the
three options makes us try to gaze into a crystal ball we don't have. I
think we should all try to take part in this process, however. Now seems the
critical time. The Executive Council will likely choose one of the three
options on May 11 and propose it to the AGM in November, and it seems
probable that the AGM will adopt the recommendation. So by the 2002-2003
dancing year, we may all have quite a different relationship with the
Society.

The options are clearly explained on the Society's website, together with
Alan Mair's invitation to send comments to him. Briefly, they might be
called the status quo option, the universal direct membership option, and
the split full membership / local membership option. I don't know enough to
make an argument, but I'd like to make a few comments. Even more, I'd like
to know the thoughts of other people in other branches, since our experience
and perceptions may be very different.

There's another reason for raising this issue. While all the options are
summarized in a neutral way and their advantages and disadvantages fairly
given on the Society website, the fuller information sent to branch
secretaries for circulation among their members indicates that the General
Purposes Committee is recommending the third option (often described as
"two-tier membership") to the Executive Council. This seems to make it
especially important for members who support one of the other options to
make their views known.

If people have the choice between fully enfranchised but expensive full
membership and less expensive local membership, it seems inevitable that the
split will be largely regional. It isn't that many members outside the
British Isles aren't fully committed to the aims of the Society. They show
their commitment through volunteer time and energy in running branches large
and small. But it seems unlikely that they would choose to pay for the
privilege of voting, since distance would preclude them from the other
privileges that come with the proposed full membership, standing for
election and attending the AGM. The General Purposes Committee says, "Budget
predictions show that the smaller full membership would still be financially
viable without unduly large increases in subscription." However, I wonder
what assumptions these predictions were based on, and fear that declining
full membership may make costs spiral upwards.

The second option (universal full membership) is appealing at an emotional
level because it would connect us all directly to the Society. I understand
the concern that higher costs may lead to higher subscriptions and thence to
fewer members. But perhaps members would be willing to settle for Society
publications produced in a simpler format than the current glossy mags. And
while the Society might be legally required to mail election information to
all members, the electronic publication of current information on the
Society website is already making us feel more connected, and the dance
book, bulletin, and election information could perhaps be included in a
single mailout.

Finally, to describe the first membership option as a "status quo" option is
inaccurate since it does include changes to the present structure (in
particular, branches would be proportionally represented according to their
size). Since this option would perpetuate some of the perceived problems in
the present system, it's hard to see the Executive Council voting for it
unless they have evidence that the present system of branch representation
is working well from the branches' point of view. (The branch delegates at
the Executive Council can scarcely judge their own effectiveness!) Here
again, our experience in different areas is probably quite different, and it
would be good to have other points of view. Perhaps we need a branch
convention before the changes are made, not as a result of the changes! A
convention might even be able to suggest ways in which branches could take
part in Society affairs without going through a delegate who is not a member
of the branch.

So I don't doubt that the working party carefully studied all the
submissions made to them when they developed the options. But I'm not sure
that they sought out the kind of comprehensive information that needs to be
applied to a decision of this magnitude, at least where membership is
concerned. Will the current governing structure be in touch with the
interests of all members when it (possibly) votes itself out of existence?
Perhaps we can still ensure that it is.

Rosemary Coupe
Vancouver

RSCDS Changes

Message 25868 · alan mair · 30 Apr 2001 21:16:31 · Top

. Even more, I'd like
> to know the thoughts of other people in other branches, since our
experience
> and perceptions may be very different.

Thank you, Rosemary, for bringing this issue to the notice of RSCDS
members - and potential members - on the Strathspey list.

It will soon be two years since we began this debate with weekly meetings at
Summer School. The current structure of the Society has made it very
difficult to involve our world-wide membership as fully as we had wished,
but we have tried.

You are right to recognise that experience and perceptions differ between
branches - and within branches as well. That has been a major influence
behind the thought that the Society might benefit from having more than one
type of membership.

Whatever option for change is selected now for approval in November, it is
just the beginning of a process to develop a flexible, streamlined and
inclusive management and membership structure for the benefit of Scottish
country dancing throughout the world - and modern methods of communication
will not be overlooked.

We have had our say and support the General Purposes Committee
recommendation but we do not have a crystal ball either.

We will be logging - on with particular interest over the next few days.

Best Regards

Alan (Mair) / Linda (Gaul)

RSCDS Changes

Message 25877 · p-d-draffin · 2 May 2001 06:30:27 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "alan mair" <alan@abercorn58.freeserve.co.uk>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 7:16 AM
Subject: Re: RSCDS Changes

> . Even more, I'd like
> > to know the thoughts of other people in other branches, since our
> experience
> > and perceptions may be very different.
Personally I feel that the Society is only tinkering with the problem. Maybe
it is time to cease having individuals as members and have Branches as
members instead.
The structure we are operating under at present was good while membership
was limited to the European area but now that it is a World wide
organization it could be time to let the local Associations care for the
individuals within their area.and the Society concentrate on teacher and
Tutor training and examinations.Not having to service individuals with a
subscription copy and a Bulletin each year would have a dramatic affect on
its finances.
David Draffin
p-d-draffin@xtra.co.nz
>
> Best Regards
>
> Alan (Mair) / Linda (Gaul)
>

RSCDS Changes

Message 25879 · Marilynn Knight · 2 May 2001 21:07:21 · Top

Ohoh, David,

In New Zealand I understand you are blessed with a healthy concentration of
SCD dancers. Not here in my area. While I feel the merit of your
suggestion, it is very scary here, as our Branch is very far away, and as
someone who likes to travel, I really want a sense of 'world connectedness',
even more than comes currently from Edinborough. (Sorry Alan, Linda, and all
the hard-working staff!!!) Of course, I may have somewhat misperceived what
you propose, and I am simply reacting on behalf of self, for what it may be
worth?

Marilynn Latta Knight
in Columbia, SC, where pollen season(from Feb through May) has seemed mild
this year....

-----Original Message-----
From: p-d-draffin [mailto:p-d-draffin@xtra.co.nz]
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 12:30 AM
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Subject: Re: RSCDS Changes

----- Original Message -----
From: "alan mair" <alan@abercorn58.freeserve.co.uk>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 7:16 AM
Subject: Re: RSCDS Changes

> . Even more, I'd like
> > to know the thoughts of other people in other branches, since our
> experience
> > and perceptions may be very different.
Personally I feel that the Society is only tinkering with the problem. Maybe
it is time to cease having individuals as members and have Branches as
members instead.
The structure we are operating under at present was good while membership
was limited to the European area but now that it is a World wide
organization it could be time to let the local Associations care for the
individuals within their area.and the Society concentrate on teacher and
Tutor training and examinations.Not having to service individuals with a
subscription copy and a Bulletin each year would have a dramatic affect on
its finances.
David Draffin
p-d-draffin@xtra.co.nz
>
> Best Regards
>
> Alan (Mair) / Linda (Gaul)
>

RSCDS Changes

Message 25889 · Simon Barbour · 3 May 2001 23:10:16 · Top

Sorry I don't agree with Davids' idea either. The world is a mighty
place when you can turn up anywhere around it and walk into a dance
group, and know you are part of it because of the RSCDS membership.

Also Marilynn, New Zealand has concentrations of dances in some
areas, but not others and our Branch is the whole country so you can
travel over 1000km and still be in the same branch. And that distance
just to get to a branch meeting.

And yes New Zealand has already made a stand about the fees we
pay to the Society, but I'll give David time to say something on that,
as he is our President.

On 2 May 2001, at 15:07, Marilynn Knight wrote:

> Ohoh, David,
>
> In New Zealand I understand you are blessed with a healthy
> concentration of SCD dancers. Not here in my area. While I feel the
> merit of your suggestion, it is very scary here, as our Branch is very
> far away, and as someone who likes to travel, I really want a sense of
> 'world connectedness', even more than comes currently from
> Edinborough. (Sorry Alan, Linda, and all the hard-working staff!!!) Of
> course, I may have somewhat misperceived what you propose, and I am
> simply reacting on behalf of self, for what it may be worth?
>
> Marilynn Latta Knight
> in Columbia, SC, where pollen season(from Feb through May) has seemed
> mild this year....
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: p-d-draffin [mailto:p-d-draffin@xtra.co.nz]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 12:30 AM
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: Re: RSCDS Changes
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "alan mair" <alan@abercorn58.freeserve.co.uk>
> To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 7:16 AM
> Subject: Re: RSCDS Changes
>
>
> > . Even more, I'd like
> > > to know the thoughts of other people in other branches, since our
> > experience
> > > and perceptions may be very different.
> Personally I feel that the Society is only tinkering with the problem.
> Maybe it is time to cease having individuals as members and have
> Branches as members instead. The structure we are operating under at
> present was good while membership was limited to the European area but
> now that it is a World wide organization it could be time to let the
> local Associations care for the individuals within their area.and the
> Society concentrate on teacher and Tutor training and examinations.Not
> having to service individuals with a subscription copy and a Bulletin
> each year would have a dramatic affect on its finances. David Draffin
> p-d-draffin@xtra.co.nz > > Best Regards > > Alan (Mair) / Linda (Gaul)
> >

Simon Barbour, PC LAN Support
HortResearch, Private Bag 3123, Ruakura, East St., Hamilton, New Zealand
E-Mail: SBarbour@hortresearch.co.nz
Ph: +64 +7 8584795, FAX: +64 +7 8584703

____________________________________________________
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RSCDS Changes

Message 25892 · Angus Henry · 3 May 2001 13:08:43 · Top

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "alan mair" <alan@abercorn58.freeserve.co.uk>
>To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 7:16 AM
>Subject: Re: RSCDS Changes
>
>
>> . Even more, I'd like
>> > to know the thoughts of other people in other branches, since our
>> experience
>> > and perceptions may be very different.
>Personally I feel that the Society is only tinkering with the problem.
Maybe
>it is time to cease having individuals as members and have Branches as
>members instead.
>The structure we are operating under at present was good while membership
>was limited to the European area but now that it is a World wide
>organization it could be time to let the local Associations care for the
>individuals within their area.and the Society concentrate on teacher and
>Tutor training and examinations.Not having to service individuals with a
>subscription copy and a Bulletin each year would have a dramatic affect on
>its finances.
>David Draffin

Definitely worth looking at.

Angus
--
Angus Henry; Secretary, NT Branch RSCDS
web site <http://www.octa4.net.au/ahenry/>

RSCDS Changes

Message 25904 · Ivan · 4 May 2001 16:22:39 · Top

Angus Henry wrote:

> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "alan mair" <alan@abercorn58.freeserve.co.uk>
> >To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> >Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 7:16 AM
> >Subject: Re: RSCDS Changes
> >
> >
> >> . Even more, I'd like
> >> > to know the thoughts of other people in other branches, since our
> >> experience
> >> > and perceptions may be very different.
> >Personally I feel that the Society is only tinkering with the problem.
Maybe
> >it is time to cease having individuals as members and have Branches as
> >members instead.
> >The structure we are operating under at present was good while membership
> >was limited to the European area but now that it is a World wide
> >organization it could be time to let the local Associations care for the
> >individuals within their area.and the Society concentrate on teacher and
> >Tutor training and examinations.Not having to service individuals with a
> >subscription copy and a Bulletin each year would have a dramatic affect
on
> >its finances.
> >David Draffin
>
> Definitely worth looking at.
>
> Angus
> --
> Angus Henry; Secretary, NT Branch RSCDS
> web site <http://www.octa4.net.au/ahenry/>

Not for some in the UK. With no local Branch within 20 miles I belong to HQ
for
the facility of getting the publications and information on weekends and
Summer
School. If local associations were to try and service individuals then my
dancing days will be over!

"Quote :-Society concentrate on teacher and
>Tutor training and examinations. Not having to service individuals with a
>subscription copy and a Bulletin each year would have a dramatic affect on
>its finances."

It sure would without the individual members subscription where would the
Society get income from other than to levy each Branch and Associationwith
an
annual fee to enable them to do this training.

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