CHARTER OF THE GRAND COUNCIL
Executive Committee of the Board of Directors,
Society For Creative Anachronism, Inc.
I SCOPE AND PURPOSE OF THE GRAND COUNCIL A. The Grand Council (GC) will consist of a body of volunteers, diverse in knowledge, experience, and geographic origin. The primary purpose of the GC is to examine specific issues put before it by the Board and return actionable recommendations to the Board on these issues. It will do so within reasonable time limits set by the Board. B. The GC may also examine other issues on its own initiative, again always with the goal of producing actionable recommendations. However, each project must be managed so that the GC can appropriately discuss and make recommendations on all it has been asked to consider. C. The GC will primarily discuss matters that affect the modern administration of the SCA. Sometimes such matters may also affect the Society's medieval recreation as well, in an ancillary fashion. II RELATION TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS A. The GC is an advisory committee to the Board of Directors and has no power to enforce the recommendations it makes. The GC is made up of Society participants from a large cross section of the populace and the diversity of its membership is an asset to the Board. The Board of Directors considers the proposals and recommendations of the GC in open session. B. The Board will designate one director to serve as Ombudsman and Liaison to the GC. C. The Board will submit topics to be discussed to the GC. In addition, GC members will propose topics for discussion, however those proposed by the Board will take priority. D. Should the GC need more information during its deliberations, the Chairman or members appointed by the Chairman may request the information from the appropriate parties or ask the Board for clarification. When seeking information from officers other than the Board the Council's ombudsman must be copied on the request. E. Reports will be submitted to the Board for each quarter as specified below. F. In order to meet report deadlines and ensure that the report accurately reflects the Council's intent, the Secretary will post a draft report at least two weeks before the Board's deadline. It is strongly advised that a modified draft, if needed, be posted at least one week before the deadline, and a vote for approval of the report start then, with the understanding that results of the report's approval vote to be added before it is sent. G. The results of the GC votes, both Action and revised Preliminary (should such have a vote) will be included in the next GC quarterly report to the Board. Dissenting members of the GC may request that the Secretary include their dissent in the GC report, or may make a separate submission to the Board. H. This document will be made available to all who request it. It may be amended at any time by the GC. Amendments are provisional until approved by the Board of Directors. III MEMBERSHIP OF THE GC A. To maintain geographic diversity on the GC each kingdom is entitled to a voting member on the Grand Council. The individual Kingdoms are responsible for the selection process for their prospective representative. Once selected, Kingdom representatives are bound by the same conditions as the "at-large" members. Kingdom representatives are not bound by any geographical constraints, save those imposed by the selecting Kingdom itself. B. The nominating committee is a permanent sub-committee of the GC. It consists of at least three people and may include GC subscribers who are not members of the committee. If the nominating committee includes people not members of the Council, then a majority of the committee must be members of the GC. C. The remaining "at large" voting members of the Grand Council shall be selected by the nominating committee. This committee is responsible for ensuring that enough members exist to support a full quota of officers and to fulfill the purpose of the Grand Council. The nominating committee shall commence selecting replacement councillors if they deem the need exists or under direction from the Chairman. D. New Members must either post to the Council mailing list or otherwise contact the Clerk before they will be added to the roster. If they do not do so within thirty days of their appointment, the Clerk will inform the appointing body and the new member. E. Appointments to the Grand Council are for a three (3) year term. 1. All terms are counted as starting on May 1 of the year of appointment. 2. A member of the Grand Council may serve two consecutive terms so long as they continue to meet the obligations of membership. 3. At the end of their second consecutive term members must resign their position and wait one full term (three years) before they may be reappointed. 4. At no time may any member of the GC have served for more than six years in any continuous nine year span. F. Councillors anticipating a prolonged absence may take a leave of absence from the GC. 1. Councillors are required to inform the clerk prior to a leave of absence. 2. A leave of absence may extend past one year only with published approval of the Chairman or Executive Committee. 3. Votes or roll calls during a leave of absence will not be counted against the representative. 4. For vote results and quorum calculations the size of the GC will be the current number of seats filled minus the number of councillors absent on leave. 5. Reinstatement upon return is on notification to the clerk either directly or posted to the list. 6. Time on leave does not count as time on the Council with regards to term limits. 7. If a councilor is unable to rejoin at the end of their leave their seat will be considered vacated effective the start of their leave of absence and filled at first opportunity. G. Resignation from the Grand Council is via email to the Clerk and the Chairman or posting to the list. Kingdom appointees must copy the appropriate Kingdom officer so that a new appointment can be made. H. Missing two consecutive votes or roll calls without substantiation shall be considered a resignation in lieu of a written notice. I. The resignation of a Kingdom representative will be conveyed to the appropriate Kingdom officer or Their representative by the clerk so that a replacement may be selected. IV GRAND COUNCIL MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES A. Members of the GC have the following responsibilities: 1. Actively participate in GC discussions and decisions. 2. Either vote on, or actively abstain from, proposals put before the GC. 3. Frequently discuss the issues facing the GC with Society participants in whatever forum(s) are appropriate (SCA-related mailing lists, newsgroups, meetings, at events when doing so does no harm to the medieval ambiance, etc.) 4. Consider all sides of discussions and options presented and provide recommendations based on those discussions 5. Attend GC meetings if at an event where a meeting is held. Meetings could be held at Pennsic, Estrella, Board Meetings, Known World events, etc. B. Officers: (drawn from the members of the Grand Council for one year terms, ending May 31st). 1. Chairman: Leads and keeps discussions on topic, tracks and keeps agenda, schedules discussion of and voting on proposals, chooses members of work groups and committees when the number of volunteers exceeds a convenient size 2. Deputy Chairman: substitutes for Chairman if needed 3. Secretary: Writes and sends quarterly report to Board. Publishes rough and semi-final draft to mailing list at set intervals before report deadline. Is encouraged to post monthly summaries of the GC agenda and current subjects of discussion, with contact information, to the GC website, Rialto and Kingdom email lists, and Kingdom newsletters. (Whether the newsletter actually carries the information is at the discretion of the editor.) 4. Clerk: Maintains rolls, removes inactive members and informs relevant parties of removals and reminds them of their right to elect replacements. C. Staff positions supporting the GC are as follows. Unless otherwise stated, these positions may be filled by personnel who are not members of the GC. 1. Moderator. Approves relevant postings to the mailing list by moderated subscribers. Any GC member may also post messages from moderated subscribers at their discretion. The moderator, if needed, should be a member of the GC. 2. Archivist. Maintains records of discussions. 3. List Administrator: Maintains mailing list or other forum as needed. Responds to requested changes in staffing and subscriptions as requested. 4. The jobs of Archivist, and Mailing List Administrator and Moderator may be combined with other positions or offices, but need not be. D. To avoid excessive concentration of workload and power, it is undesirable for the Chairman, Secretary, or Clerk to serve on the nominating committee. E. The jobs of Archivist, and Mailing List Administrator and Moderator may be combined with other posts or each other, but need not be. F. The Chairman, Secretary, Clerk and the Nominating Committee together form the Executive Committee (EC). If offices become vacant before the end of a term, or there is no candidate for the office when officers are elected, the EC may appoint replacements to fill those posts. 1. For voting purposes, the EC has four voting members. a. Ties will be broken by the Chairman. b. A quorum of the EC shall be two members V WORKING GROUPS A. The GC may choose on occasion to send some topic or subsection of a topic to a subcommittee or working group. Calls for volunteers for working groups will be posted to the GC list. Any member of the GC may be a member of any working group. Any deviation from this membership eligibility must be approved by the Chairman of the GC and posted to the main GC list. B. Each working group shall set its own means and method of communication and shall not use the main Council mailing list for their deliberations. Working groups may, at their discretion, give the power to post directly to that working group to any person they think may help complete their assignment. C. Working groups will chose a Chairman and a Secretary, who may be the same person. The Secretary will post a brief monthly summary of the status of the working group's deliberations to the main list, and be responsible for an archive of that working group's deliberations. D. Working groups may set their own policies on communication, but are urged to keep their deliberations as open as practical. A record of deliberations of all Working Groups must be provided to the Archivist and should be made available at the GC web page and/or other readily accessible site(s). E. It is the responsibility of the Chairman of the Working Group to inform the Chairman of the GC when the proposals of the Working Group are ready for the GC as a whole. The Chairman of the GC will consider the state of the current work on the main list before directing the posting of the working group's proposals. Delays of more than 14 days must be noted to the GC list. VI PROPOSALS A. Working Groups and individual members of the GC may submit proposals to the full council after consultation and approval of the Chairman. B. Proposals should be labeled either Preliminary or Action, and should include summaries of alternatives considered and why they were rejected. 1. Preliminary Proposals will include the basic assumptions and statements of principle under consideration. 2. Action Proposals will include the structure of a Preliminary Proposal as well as details required for implementation. C. Preliminary proposals will be discussed by the GC. The Council may suggest wording changes or additional proposals as it sees fit. When the GC Chairman deems discussion complete any of the following actions may be taken on advice from the Council as a whole: 1. call a vote on all seconded proposals 2. form a new working group to explore a given question 3. send the proposal(s) and any counterproposal(s) back to the original or another working group 4. allow the GC to drop the topic, unless the topic was assigned to the GC by the Board. 5. other action as appropriate to the situation. D. Action proposals will be discussed by the Council as a whole. Based on this discussion the proposers may adopt suggested changes, withdraw the proposal(s), or request a vote to gauge the proposal's acceptance. If the proposal is not withdrawn the GC Chairman will call a vote when the discussion is complete. E. The GC will vote using a system of abstain, YES, yes, 'no preference', no and NO to indicate the strength of individual opinion. With the Council's support the Chairman may call a vote using other methods, including ranked/preferential (1-n) and simple YEA/NAY as appropriate to a particular question. VII OPEN DISCUSSIONS A. The forum the GC uses for its discussions shall be open to anyone wishing to follow the discussion. B. The Council may elect to restrict posting of messages to the forum as it believes best serves its purpose. Options include, but are not limited to: 1. Council members themselves 2. Council members and approved others 3. Most subscribers with limited moderation 4. Open to all subscribers. C. The Council is free to change its position on posting as needed by the GC and the topic under discussion. D. When moderation is in use the moderator(s) must use judgment in approving messages for posting. Any member of the Council may post appropriate messages sent to them.