[part 2] Article 3: Membership

Darren Benham gecko at debian.org
Wed Mar 24 23:08:45 UTC 1999

On Wed, Mar 24, 1999 at 05:22:13PM -0500, Nils Lohner wrote:
> General
> -------
> [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? :)]
I'm not totally sure what you're driving at... on the surface, it's obvious
that the membership controls the organization.. ultimatly.  Surely you are
not talking about the day to day business.  Do you want to list member
resposiblities?  Why we have members?  I've tried 7 or 8 suggested sentance
but none fit because I don't know where you want the introduction to lead.
That being said... here's something that seems to fit with the rest of the

Members are the ultimate controlling body of SPI, Inc.  Although the
day-to-day business is carried out by the Board of Directors and their
committees, the members have the responsibility to oversee the Board and
make sure it functions within the goals and principles of SPI as set forth
in this document (and the root of SPI should be here or in the articles of

> - 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?]
That depends on how "fluid" you want the membership requirements to be.
Something defined in the bylaws should be harder to change than something
defined in a "lesser" document.  The way it's harder to change our
constitution than it is the change the Laws of U.S.A.

> - 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 agree to support SPI's goals.  

This give a little out.  "Joe" might not agree 100% with everything (he
doesn't like the GPL because it's a virus in his eyes) but SPI supports it
so he'll also support it, but not use it in his own code.

> 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)??]
See above....

> - 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]
I agree :)

> - board members
>    Board members, by virtue of their office, are automatically 
> contributing members.
> [board members are working for SPI so by definition are contributing.]
Why?  Why not "Only contributing members can be board members"  Is the job
of being a board member going to be so full they won't have time to
contribute to another project?

> 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.
The applicaton must apply for non-contributing membership stating they
support the principles of SPI.

Just for clarity and balance.  Otherwise, it's not needed.

> - term of membership
>    The membership will not expire.
I'd have it expire in 2 years also... basicly a ping to take them off the
email lists if they don't respond...

Please cc all mailing list replies to me, also.
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