Notes from January 16, 2016 Board Meeting

January 18th, 2016 by seneschal

These updates were adapted from Kelly Magill’s updates posted on the Society Seneschal’s web page. View the original updates here:

http://socsen.sca.org/january-2016-bod-meeting/

These are not official minutes of the meeting, and should be treated as unofficial until any changes involved are announced from more formal sources.

Highlights below were chosen for relevance to An Tir:

Canadian Background Checks

In an effort to respond the concerns of its Canadian members, The Board of Directors believes it has located a Canadian company to handle Canadian Background checks.  Final vetting of the company is expected to be completed within the next 15 business days. A further announcement will be sent out once this process has been completed.

BOARD AGENDA

The following changes to branches in An Tir were slated for discussion:

Under “Status Changes” the Shire of Myrtleholt – (Josephine County, Or) – (Incorrectly listed as inactive at a previous board meeting)

Under “Mergers” the Shire of Cae More into the Shire of Tir Bannog – (Smithers, B.C., CANADA)

Under “Abeyance” the Shire of Earnrokke – (Whidby Island, WA)

The entire proposed agenda for the January 16 meeting can be found here:

http://socsen.sca.org/proposed-agenda-for-january-meeting/

Other notes from the Board Meeting:

The Board identified a Canadian company to handle Canadian Background checks. Final vetting is expected to be completed with the next 15 business days, after which more details will be announced.

Several Marshal Handbooks were updated and will be posted on-line by the officers in charge. A new Siege Engines handbook was presented and approved, and the Board approved a revision to the Youth Combat Handbook.

The Society Publications Director submitted a communications proposal. After discussion, the Board has decided to table it “for more work and for more strategic planning for the future of communications.”

Director Chele Martines, Board Ombudsman for Publications, stated: “We would like to thank Gloria and her team for their work on the communication proposal. Gloria’s vision for moving SCA communications into the 21st-century is inspiring. We are currently evaluating SCA.org and how we can improve the site and incorporate many of the items listed in Gloria’s proposal. We look forward to working with her and her team on this endeavor.”

Newsletter Access

The Board has decided to allow electronic newsletter access for people with family memberships as well as the primary member.

Event Module

“We are close to do the final stages of testing. Request will go out for testing pool help via the Kingdoms Seneschals shortly. It’s hopeful that it will be up and running in early spring.” [Editor's note: we believe this refers to a plan discussed at the Q4 2015 Board meeting to create a system for pre-registering via the SCA's own web site. See Director Andrew Coleman's comments at the link below:

http://aethelmearcgazette.com/2015/10/27/sca-board-meeting-in-pittsburgh-october-24-2015/

Potential Rate Change Proposal

"With the increasing costs of services, IT infrastructure and insurance for SCA Inc  to run, a proposal has been put forth.  Discussions are happening as to how to implement. No decision has been made and the topic has been remanded for further discussion and further research. Further communications will be forthcoming as new information is available."

Board Meet and Greet sessions was updated: one at Gulf Wars, one at the 50 Year Celebration, and an initial event still to be determined. [NB: these do not typically involve the entire Board, rather two or three representatives, giving the populace a chance to ask questions and raise concerns in an informal setting.]

The Board of Directors is still seeking applicants for the position of President of SCA, Inc. Details on the position can be found here:

http://www.sca.org/officers/jobs.html?posid=47

Mr. Richard Sherman from Hawaii is the new Director Elect. Mr. Sherman is known in the Society as THL William Walworth de Durham, from the Kingdom of Caid. View his full biography here:

http://www.sca.org/BOD/directors.html

The Board seeks additional nominees for Board positions and commentary for those already under consideration.

List of nominees:

http://www.sca.org/BOD/nominees.html

Future board meeting dates:
April 23, 2016 – Milpitas, CA
July 16, 2016 – Milpitas, CA
October 22, 2016 – Milpitas, CA

Concerning Background Checks

December 30th, 2015 by seneschal

New Years Greetings,

As many of you may be aware, there has been considerable discussion — particularly in Canadian Kingdoms — regarding procedures for conducting background checks for Kingdom Seneschals and Youth officers.

The Board of Directors, at its November 30 conference call, granted the Canadian Kingdoms of Avacal and Ealdormere a partial variance from the requirement for Canadian citizens needing background checks to send sensitive data to Milpitas, but the announcement I received did not make clear what our Kingdom should be doing.

Thanks to the leadership of our great Queen, I now have confirmation that all Youth officers and Youth activities in Tir Righ are sanctioned by my own background check as Kingdom Seneschal, until such time as the SCA contracts with a Canadian firm.

Who needs to have a background check?

Per Corpora and the Kingdom Seneschal Handbook, a background check is required for the following officers: Kingdom Seneschals and Youth Coordinators at any level (or any other officer who is charged with overseeing youth activities: Ministers of Children, Pied Pipers, Preceptors of Pages, Youth Armored Combat Marshals).

Background checks are performed on warranted officers who have been pre-approved by the Kingdom Seneschal. As all warranted officers must be current members of the SCA, no background checks will be conducted on non-members.

Parents, instructors, marshals that do not hold an official youth office but work in conjunction with warranted officials such as a Minister of Youth or Youth Marshals at SCA events are not required to obtain a background check.

If you have questions about this announcement, or need to check the status of your own background check, please contact me directly at seneschal@antir.org. Dame Angharad, my extremely able Background Checks Deputy, has suffered a tragic loss, and I ask you all to keep her and her family in your thoughts at this difficult time.

Closure of the Office of the Chirurgeonate – August 10, 2015

July 12th, 2015 by seneschal

A short while ago I and all other Kingdom Seneschals received the following announcement:

The decision has been made to close the Office of the Chirurgeonate as of August 10th, 2015. The board and corporate officers want to extend their gratitude for ALL who have served our organization in this capacity in the past. To those who have provided feedback, questions, and worked to explore options for scopes of the office that would allow our organization to retain the office and maintain insurance coverage for the officers and our organization, many thanks as well.

To clarify some of the concerns that have been raised during the many discussions of this change, the board and corporate officers want to provide the following information:

The Society Seneschal has been directed to remove references to the Chirurgeonate from the Record Retention Policy. Existing records should be retained for 2 years for adults, 21 years for minors, then shredded to ensure any Personally Identifying Information is destroyed.

Local groups should sort records into Adult, Minor and Destroy categories and ship (paid for by the local group) records to the corporate office. The corporate office will retain records and handle the shredding.
Each Kingdom has thirty business days to transport these records to the corporate office.

Event Coordinators/Stewards/Autocrats are still responsible for arranging for EMS on site if that is required by municipal/county/state requirements. This most often will apply to large events projecting an attendance greater than the threshold set by the applicable modern agency. It is recommended to include information regarding distance from site to medical care in event announcements, particularly for camping events.

The marshallate will still be responsible for reporting injuries on the field. Seneschals will still be responsible for reporting injuries (particularly requiring transport) as currently directed.

Tangible assets owned by SCA branches that are specific to the Office of the Chirurgeon may be retained or donated or sold, in accordance with applicable financial policies.

Over the counter medications may not be purchased by SCA branches to distribute or make available to event attendees.

The badge of the fleam will remain available for those individual volunteers (not affiliated with the SCA, Inc. and its Kingdoms and local groups) willing to provide basic first aid.

Should additional questions or concerns regarding this change arise, please direct them to the SCA President, at president@sca.org

Our thanks again, to all the volunteers that have helped keep our organization going for 50 years!

Leslie Vaughn
President, SCA, Inc
A.J. Pongratz
Vice President of Operations, SCA, Inc.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

I, Julia Sempronia, wish to personally thank our dedicated Kingdom Chirurgeon, deputies, and branch chirurgeons for their years of dedicated service. Please join with me in making these volunteers feel our care and concern.

Corporate Call for Comments on Chirurgeonate Closure Proposal

February 25th, 2015 by seneschal

The following announcement was posted yesterday evening, 24 February. Please note that the deadline for commentary is 1 July, 2015, and the Board really does read the commentary, so if you have opinions on this, I highly recommend that you share them.

Currently open for commentary is a proposal for the closure of the office of the chirurgeonate. The language for this proposal can be found below. The Board of Directors recognizes that this topic is controversial and would like to emphasize that commentary is being accepted until July 1, 2015, and would strongly recommend that all members forward their opinions for consideration.

Over the last number of years, issues have been brought to the attention of the Board and Society Officers regarding the chirurgeonate as it is currently organized. These issues included numerous disputes between chirurgeons regarding availability of over-the-counter medications, interactions between chirurgeons and contracted EMS personnel at large events, interactions between event participants and chirurgeons, and differences between first aid provider credentials available in different states, provinces and countries. The frequency of issues and the potential for liability to the SCA as an organization prompted the President to ask the SCA’s insurance carrier to clarify whether the duties of the Society Chirurgeon, as described in Corpora, are covered by the SCA’s policy.

In addition, a request for opinion was made to outside counsel to consider whether the risk of not having an office of the chirurgeonate created more liability for the SCA than keeping the existing office of the chirurgeonate. The response from the insurance carrier was that the duties of the Society Chirurgeon, as defined in Corpora, were not covered under the insurance policy, and there was not an available option for coverage of those duties. The response from outside counsel was that there is more liability to the SCA if the SCA has an office of the chirurgeonate.

The Board requested that a committee of current chirurgeons from across multiple North American kingdoms consider options: revising the existing office; evaluating insurance options specific to that office; eliminating that office. Given the recommendations from that committee, the following Corpora changes are proposed.

There is no intention to release the heraldry currently associated with the functions of volunteer first aiders participating in the SCA, nor to prohibit any individual from volunteering as a volunteer first aider. This proposal is driven by issues from the North American branches of the SCA. Non-North American SCA affiliates will need to determine their own needs regarding regulation of provision of first aid.

Table of Contents

Current text:

VI. H. Society Chirurgeon

Proposed change:

Delete H. Society Chirurgeon
Re-letter I. Webminister to H.
Re-letter J. Reservations to the Board to I.

Current text:

VII. H. The Chirurgeon

Proposed change:

Delete H. The Chirurgeon
Re-letter items I through M to H through L.

Corpora

VI. D. Marshal of the Society

Current text:

The Marshal of the Society is responsible for activities related to combat, archery and equestrian activities. This includes directing the Earls Marshal of the Kingdoms in matters concerning the supervision of combat and related activities at Society events and the manner and conduct of duties of all marshals throughout the Society; working with the Society Chirurgeon to promote safety in the Society’s martial arts; and working with the Minister of Arts and Sciences to encourage research in armor and weapons. The Board specifically authorizes the Marshal to make interpretations and clarifications regarding the Rules of the Lists, with the proviso that such rulings must be reported to the Board at the following meeting. The Marshal’s rulings will stand until and unless overruled by the Board.

Proposed text:

The Marshal of the Society is responsible for activities related to combat, archery and equestrian activities. This includes directing the Earls Marshal of the Kingdoms in matters concerning the supervision of combat and related activities at Society events and the manner and conduct of duties of all marshals throughout the Society; working to promote safety in the Society’s martial arts; and working with the Minister of Arts and Sciences to encourage research in armor and weapons. The Board specifically authorizes the Marshal to make interpretations and clarifications regarding the Rules of the Lists, with the proviso that such rulings must be reported to the Board at the following meeting. The Marshal’s rulings will stand until and unless overruled by the Board.

VI. H. The Chirurgeon

Current text:

The Society Chirurgeon is responsible for organizing a program of volunteer first aid services and health-and safety hazard warnings to be made available whenever feasible at Society events, and for establishing policies for and coordinating the activities of the Kingdom Chirurgeons.

Proposed text:

Delete VI. H.
Re-letter I and J to H and I.

VII. KINGDOM, PRINCIPALITY, AND LOCAL OFFICERS

A. General

Current text:

1. Officers assist Royalty in the administration of the lands and branches of the realm. Each officer has a specific area of specialization, and a defined geographic scope. Within those bounds, an officer coordinates branch activities, and may supervise deputies or lesser officers.

2. Kingdom Great Officers are responsible directly to the Crown, but also report to a corresponding Society officer if such a Society officer exists. Each Kingdom’s Great Officer corps must include the Seneschal, the Principal Herald, the Earl Marshal, the Minister of Arts and Sciences, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chronicler, and the Chirurgeon. No person may hold more than one of these Great offices at a time. The Crown may create additional Great Offices. Kingdom Lesser Officers and deputies are created by the Crown according to the needs of the kingdom. These officers may be supervised directly by the Crown, or be placed under the jurisdiction of a Greater Officer, and report accordingly. However, Great Officers retain ultimate responsibility for delegated functions.

Proposed text:

1. Officers assist Royalty in the administration of the lands and branches of the realm. Each officer has a specific area of specialization, and a defined geographic scope. Within those bounds, an officer coordinates branch activities, and may supervise deputies or lesser officers.

2. Kingdom Great Officers are not only responsible directly to the Crown, but also report to a corresponding Society officer if such a Society officer exists. Each Kingdom’s Great Officer corps must include the Seneschal, the Principal Herald, the Earl Marshal, the Minister of Arts and Sciences, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Chronicler. No person may hold more than one of these Great offices at a time. The Crown may create additional Great Offices. Kingdom Lesser Officers and deputies are created by the Crown according to the needs of the kingdom. These officers may be supervised directly by the Crown, or be placed under the jurisdiction of a Greater Officer and report accordingly. However, Great Officers retain ultimate responsibility for delegated functions

Current text:

VII. H. The Chirurgeon

The Chirurgeon administers the organization that is responsible for voluntary first aid at Society events, including assisting participants in tournament combat, notifying attendees of health and safety concerns, and such other related activities as kingdom law and custom may entail.

Proposed text:

Delete VII. H.
Re-letter I through M to H through L.

WARRANT TO APPOINTMENT OF OFFICE

Current text:

[ ] Chirurgeon
Proposed text:
Delete [ ] Chirurgeon

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:

SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036
You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

Order of Defence

February 5th, 2015 by seneschal
We have more big changes on the cusp of our fiftieth year. The Board of Directors, in a conference call February 2, approved proposed changes to Corpora to create a new peerage: the Order of Defense. They further directed Laurel Sovereign of Arms to submit such name and heraldry to the heraldic comment process.
The Board waived requirements of Corpora Section IV.G that the Crown consult the members of a peerage order prior to inducting new members of that order, but only in the case of the first three members of the Order of Defense. Once there are three members of the Order of Defense in a kingdom, the Crown must consult the Order per Corpora prior to adding members.
No candidate may be inducted into the Order of Defense before May 1, 2015. All candidates inducted into the Order of Defense on May 1, 2015, will carry equal precedence, regardless of the time of day each such candidate was inducted.
Five years ago, the enormous response in favor of a path to peerage was specifically focused on rapier and cut and thrust combat. When and if another martial activity engenders the response from the membership at large that rapier and cut and thrust did, when another martial activity has the depth, breadth and community as exists for rapier and cut and thrust, then the Board of Directors may investigate the possibility of facilitating a path to peerage for such martial activity.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036
You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

Celebrations

January 18th, 2015 by seneschal

Our festivities for 50YC will be unmatched: the SCA new year will be marked by the first Crown Tournament of the Kingdom of Avacal!

Yesterday the Board approved the excellently-crafted bid package presented by Viscount Kirk Einarsson, Principality Seneschal, who was present for the historic meeting, and spoke eloquently for Avacal’s advancement.

This is a joyful moment for Avacal, and An Tir!

Why your branch officers need standard email addresses

November 29th, 2014 by seneschal

Those of you who have written the Kingdom Seneschal from the An Tir Web site know that the address that you receive a response from is not usually the one to whom you have written. Why is that? Of course, our Kingdom has used email aliases for a number of years, both to give our officers some professional chops and to protect them from spam harvesters.

Several years ago, the Kingdom Seneschal email alias started routing to a Gmail address.  Email sent to this address provides an essential historical record for successive Seneschals; also, with new features that Google has added in the interim, the account now allows for document storage, Google Hangouts, a permanent contacts database and all the other nifty Google+ features that help us communicate with one another.

What’s more, a new Gmail feature called email delegation can allow deputy officers to read and respond to email — a great service to your populace and a great way to ease the burden of office. How does it work? Say you grant your deputy seneschal access to xyzbranch-seneschal@gmail.com. When your deputy sends a message from xyzbranch-seneschal@gmail.com while signed in as somebody@anywhere.com, it will appear to the reader as having been sent by somebody@anywhere.com on behalf of xyzbranch-seneschal@gmail.com, so there’s never any doubt as to who has replied.

One of the great challenges we have is finding an easy way to transfer knowledge from one officer to the next, as well as keeping our own history intact. Creating a permanent Gmail  (or other online email service) address that officers can hand over along with other records can be an invaluable way to keep your branch’s history intact, as well as smoothly transitioning from one officer to the next.

For more information on using delegation, click here.

12th Night

November 19th, 2014 by seneschal

…is just 50 days away! In addition to preparing your finest court clothing, if your branch has not submitted a Crown-level event bid in several years, it is time to do so now! Event bids are presented, discussed, and awarded during the Curia meetings at all Crown events.

How does one find out which event need a host? Check out the Kingdom Calendar and search for Branch TBA, then pick up your quill and start writing your bid! Need help? Our Events Deputy is a font of knowledge: eventinfo [at] antir.sca.org