[part 2] Article 3: Membership

Nils Lohner lohner at spi-inc.org
Wed Mar 24 22:22:13 UTC 1999

>From the discussions it seems that people favor the two tiered membership  
approach, so here's an initial whack at the bylaws article.

Note that I'm _not_ discussing voting in here... that's the next topic for 
the other bylaws article.  This is _just_ for the details of what 
membership is, and what rights and obligations etc. _other_ than voting it 

Right now it's written in a chopped up form to make it easier to read... 
as the discussion draws to a close, I'll put it in a more 'readable' 
paragraph form.

IWJ- your points I have considered and included in this mail

Lynn- your points are regarding voting and committee service- both of 
these articles will be discussed later (I already have started rewriting 
the committee one.  Which members can serve where should be defined in 

Everyone else- thanks for your comments. I've read them all over prior to 
writing this and think I've included most concerns.


ps. an aside- let's get this done quickly if possible, then we can get a 
membership and have committees to take care of things like OS and LPF etc. 
 This would take a LOT of strain off the current board members.

[this section is for information that applies to all members]

[The membership should/will control SPI, and SPI's board and ultimately
everyone that acts for SPI will be held accountable to the membership. 
--iwj email]
[somehow I'd like to phrase this into a good sentence.  Suggestions? :)]

- There are contributing and non-contributing membership available within 
this organization.  All membership applications will be reviewed by the 
Membership Committee.
[where do we state the complete list of membership criteria?  Here?  In 
the charter for the membership committee?  What should the criteria be?]

- all members agree to the general goals principles of SPI and agree to 
help support the organization.
[This wording is ugly.  Basically, I want to say that members should 
(must?) agree with what SPI stands for and is trying to achieve.]

- members may leave the organization at any time by notifying the 
membership committee of their desire for the membership to be terminated.

Contributing Members

- becoming a contributing member
   The applicant must apply for a contributing membership and include a 
list of projects or free software related activities that they have 
participated in (including what they have done) within the last two years 
(more may be included if desired).  This will be reviewed by the 
membership committee.
[should we define more tangible criteria here (or in the membership 
committee charter) or leave it a little open ended?  how significant a 
contribution should it be (point from iwj email)??]

- term of membership
   The contributing membership will expire two years from the date of 
issue of the membership.  It may be renewed.  If it is not renewed, the 
member will be downgraded to a non-contributing member.  To again become a 
contributing member at a later time, the person can simply follow the 
renewal procedure.
[I think 2 years is reasonable, and the downgrading is also a feasible 
idea for handling the memberships.]

- renewal of membership
   The member will be notified one month ahead of time that the membership 
is due to expire and will be asked to send a renewal application with a 
list of projects or free software related activities that they have 
participated in within the last two years.  This will be reviewed by the 
membership committee.
[I like this approach... easily automated too]

- board members
   Board members, by virtue of their office, are automatically 
contributing members.
[board members are working for SPI so by definition are contributing.]

Non-contributing Membership
[this section seems short, but then again, I don't think it should be that 
hard to become a non contributing member.  Look at javalobby.org- all 
members do is basically support the 'write once, run anywhere' concept.  
I'm picturing the same for SPI- non contrib members just support the 
principles of SPI.]

- becoming a non-contributing member
   The applicant must apply for a non-contributing membership.  The 
application will be reviewed by the membership committee.

- term of membership
   The membership will not expire.

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