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Greetings Directors and Corporate Secretary;
The Apr/06 Grand Council Report. The Counsel Secretary apologies for 
the lateness of this report. After serving as Grand Council Secretary 
for 1 year modern era complications require me to relinquish the 
position.
YIS;
Master Aleksandr Vasilevych Lev of Northshield
Grand Council Secretary

cc Grand Council
cc Grand Council Web Archivist

Report from the Grand Council: Apr 2006

A. COMMITTEE/MEMBER ACTIVITY

1) The Grand Counsel continued to to discuss the topics outlined below.
A) Establishing an official start date/end date for the SCA (note that 
we already officially say 1600 as an end date).
B) Requiring membership for awards/martial activities
C) What changes, if any, should the SCA make to Tournaments Illuminated 
to make it more responsive to member needs?
D) What changes, if any, should the SCA make to Complete Anachronist to 
make it more responsive to member needs?


B. COMMITTEE STATUS AND COMMENDATIONS

A current list of Committee Officers is viewable on the committee 
website
at http://grandcouncil.sca.org/gcroster.html

Changes due to Resignation/End of Term Limitations:
Grand Counsel Secretary Position Open.

Leave of Absence:
None.

Commendations:
None.

Additions this Quarter:
1) Dietrich von Vogelsang, Todd French, CAID  USA, Kingdom, 2002/02 
est.  Returned from Leave of Absence.
2) Thomas Blackmoore, Sam Davis, Meridies USA, Kingdom, 2006/03
3) George Anne, George-Karen Hawks, Aethelmarc, Kingdom, 2006/03

  Some Change Over due to Tenure Resignations and New Candidates will be 
added to the Grand Council in May/06.
C. PUBLISHABLE SUMMARY

The committee has continued work on the topics assigned to the Grand 
Counsel:
A) Establishing an official start date/end date for the SCA (note that 
we already officially say 1600 as an end date).
See Appendix A
B) Requiring membership for awards/martial activities
See Appendix B
C) What changes, if any, should the SCA make to Tournaments Illustrated 
to make it more responsive to member needs?
Discussion continuing see next Quarter Report.
D) What changes, if any, should the SCA make to Complete Anachronist to 
make it more responsive to member needs?
Discussion continuing see next Quarter Report.

D. REQUEST FOR THE BOARD

None.

Respectfully submitted,
John Patrick Kowal,
Secretary
SCA: Aleksandr Vasilevych Lev of Northshield
#28604 28 FEB 2007
Barony of Castel Rouge,
Northshield

Appendix A: Establishing an official start date/end date for the SCA 
(note that we already officially say 1600 as an end date).

The Grand Council wish to advise the Board that, after discussion, we 
do not regard the establishment of a fixed start date for the SCA as 
being feasible or essential.

While there are some benefits to be gained from establishing a specific 
start date, the Grand Council as a body feels that these benefits are 
outweighed by the potential negatives of establishing a specific 
starting date for "period" 40 years into the game.
The primary advantages to establishing a start date are the potential 
to refine the focus of the SCA, as well as making the rules more 
symmetrical - since there is a stated end date, there should be a 
stated start date.
The primary drawback to including a stated start date for the SCA is 
that it is likely to cause disruptions and ill will among the Populace. 
  In particular, the problem of choosing *which* specific starting date 
to use is likely to cause a good deal of dissension, to no particular 
benefit.  Just within the council there are factions which would favor 
a relatively late start date, such as 700 or even 800 AD (Charlemagne), 
while others would prefer 410 (withdrawal of Rome from Britain), 476 
(fall of Rome)  or even 379 (Christianity becomes the official religion 
of Rome).
The stated end date of 1600 is *already* in our governing documents, 
and has been there for quite some time.
II.A. Society Events Defined
"The term "Society event" refers to tournaments, feasts, and other 
activities whereby participants can display the results of their 
researches into the culture and technology of the period in an 
environment which evokes the atmosphere of the pre-17th century 
European Middle Ages and Renaissance."
Attempting to alter that date now, making it either later or earlier, 
would likely cause difficulties similar to those foreseen for 
establishing a start date.
In addition, there is another and less disruptive method to reap many 
of the same benefits as establishing a start date - such as increased 
focus on the SCA's core time period of the European Middle Ages and 
Renaissance.  There already exists a passage in the governing documents 
that defines SCA Events as " tournaments, feasts, and other activities 
whereby participants can display the results of their researches into 
the culture and technology of the period in an environment which evokes 
the atmosphere of the pre-17th century European Middle Ages and 
Renaissance."
If the phrase "of the pre-17th century European Middle Ages and 
Renaissance" is made more prominent throughout the governing documents 
and other SCA materials, then the SCA can refine and promote its focus 
without having to adopt new language which appears to exclude some 
current members.  This also elevates the importance of mood and tone 
over an arbitrary date which may not be meaningful across the 
geographic scope of early Medieval Europe, particularly given the 
isolation of many parts of Europe at this time.
All of the points above can be easily made separate votable items, so 
that we have tangible measures of support/agreement to include in our 
report:
1) The potential drawbacks to establishing a specific start date for 
the SCA period outweigh the potential advantages.
2) The existing end date of 1600 adequately serves our current needs.
3) The Board and Officers of the SCA should ensure that all our 
official documents include language which states that the goal of SCA 
activities is to create an environment which evokes the atmosphere of 
the pre-17th century European Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Note: Minority Opinion
The GC do understand that many people are upset about excluding people 
who want to stretch the boundaries. And really We do believe that is 
part of our
overall problem.
- Too many ideas drawing the society in too many directions at once. If 
we are truly a medieval and renaissance society then lets lock it down. 
Lets make it Medieval/Renaissance. Otherwise redefine it as a society 
that recreates any period



Appendix B: Requiring membership for awards/martial activities?

The Grand Counsel discussion was far ranging.
PROS:
1) Creates a tangible benefit (for some) of membership that might 
increase
membership/revenue.
2) Forces a society-wide standard to an aspect of our hobby.
3) Provides another method to track a certain class of participants. 
(Or is
this a con?)
4) Regarding martial activities, some minor tweaking involving "blue" 
card
membership could potentially reduce the time and energy exerted in 
waiver
collections at the local level.
CONS:
1) Eliminates a current benefit of non-members.
2) Might drive away those who have an ideological aversion to it and 
reduce
membership/revenue.
3) Implies a contractual expectation. (I paid, where's my award?)
4) Usurps authority of some kingdoms where this practice has not been 
the
historical or cultural norm.
The question itself creates more questions. Impact on "old timers"? 
Newcomers? Specific kingdoms, etc.  What's the financial impact? (Short 
term? Long term? At local, kingdom, society levels?)  What's the 
cultural/psychological impact? What's the political impact? Even in the 
absence of perfectly complete info, could we not at least intelligently 
speculate? If it is not required to maintain a rank, why is it required 
to obtain a rank?

Below are the conclusions we have to offer.
"1. The issue of requiring membership of the SCA Inc. remains as 
divisive as ever.  After much debate we still see assertions rather 
than proof, no side is able to convince the other and we cannot reach a 
consensus opinion on change. One of the reasons for this is that there 
is no hard data bearing directly on the subject that has been produced 
free of other variables and that has any pretense at being 
representative.
Accordingly we recommend that:
2.  Until we know more, the current policy of minimal membership 
requirement, enforced by the SCA as a whole, be continued.
3. Because of the way cultures have developed, the Kingdoms should be 
allowed to set higher membership requirements for their own citizens.
4. By implication, and in order to maintain the universality of the 
SCA, this means that, in pay to fight Kingdoms, visitors from other 
Kingdoms, if duly authorized and allowed to fight in their own Kingdom, 
are to be allowed to fight, regardless of their membership status.
5.  The SCA needs to gather data on a variety of subjects, this among 
them. This means that the SCA needs to get experienced social 
researchers from among its ranks to devise and administer a 
representative survey or surveys of attitudes and demographics.  It 
would be best if a separate survey targeted and attempted to survey 
persons who have left the SCA." (note on 5 - this means it cannot be a 
self-selected survey and that great care must be taken to diminish any 
bias in the questions or structure)
6. Explanation: It is not possible with the information available to us 
to determine  whether requiring membership for combat or awards will 
have any positive  financial
impact for SCA, Inc. The data on member/non-member ratios collected  
since 2003 in relation to the NMS does not provide evidence that 
kingdoms with  these policies have a proportion of paid membership that 
is greater than those that don't. The same data shows that the ratio of 
paid membership show a great deal of variation even between neighboring 
kingdoms with similar laws and heritage, so that a policy that in fact 
increased paid membership by 5% might be swamped by other variables.  
But even if this was the case, it's not clear what the net financial 
impact would be. Non-member participants active enough to participate 
in formal combat or receive awards would presumably attend a  
substantial number of events, and so any increase in membership revenue 
would be offset to some extent by lower NMS revenue. And since some 
kingdoms already enforce such a requirement, any positive financial 
impact would be limited to those kingdoms that don't ."

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