Board of Directors Meeting
December 13, 2011
ATTENDING: (Board members) Arthur Aldridge, Beverly Block, Aaron Curtis (OSFCI President), Rick Lindsley (OSFCI Treasurer), Tammy Lindsley, John Lorentz (OSFCI Secretary), Andrew Nisbet III, D. Stephen Raymond, Debra Stansbury, and Marc Wells.
Also attending were Debbie Cross and Paul Wrigley (Susan Petrey), James Fiscus (Clayton and Endeavour), Sam Justice (OSFCI Attorney), Michael Monical (GameStorm 14 Chair), Tracy Penner and Paul Brinker (OryCon 34 Chair and Treasurer), Devlin Perez (OryCon 33 Chair); Rodney Barnes, Jason Bostick, Rachel Madsen, Lea Rush, Ruth Sachter and Scott Sanford. (And possibly others who did not sign in.)
The meeting started at 7:30PM, Aaron Cell Phone Time.
I. Minutes of Previous Meeting
The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted.
II. Treasurer’s Report (Rick Lindsley)
(Copies were distributed at the meeting.)
The item that will probably generate the most discussion is that, since we’re at the end of 2011, we need to come up with a budget for 2012.
GameStorm 13 is closed, the last checks have been written and the checkbook given back to the OSFCI Treasurer. Stephen (GS 13 treasurer): There is still one check for $10 that has not been cashed. If she doesn’t cash it soon, she will need to be paid in cash…or just treat it as a donation to GameStorm.
OryCon 33 was loaned $10,000 because of cash flow problems. Because of people registering later and later, they got to October and realized that there wasn’t enough money to pay the bills due at that time, so Rick moved $10,000 over from the OSFCI general account. OryCon’s account now shows $30,000 so there’s no chance of the convention not being able to pay OSFCI back. John: Did OryCon pay a deposit ahead of time to the hotel again this year? Yes, $7,500–that was the main reason (although not the only reason) for the advance from OSFCI. John: We need to talk to hotel about this. That deposit isn’t required by the contract and supposedly we only paid it the first year at the Doubletree because we didn’t have a history with them yet. Tammy: Right–it’s probably because the proper forms haven’t been submitted (in the years following). Tammy has been speaking with Monica (sales manager at the Doubletree about this, and this coming year this shouldn’t be a problem.
Debbie: Did it bother anyone else that the first the Board heard about this was after the money was transferred? Rick: I did check with the other officers before making the transfer, and time was of the essence since OryCon needed the money right away.
The Westercon bid books are closed. The account has been zeroed and the finances figured out as well as it was possible to do so. There are still a few oddities–a few people were listed as pre-supporters but there was no record of the bid receiving money from them; and there were a few where there was a record of the bid receiving money but they weren’t listed as pre-supporters.
The insurance has been for another year.
It was reported at a previous meeting that Wells Fargo was going to start charging a fee for any of our accounts with a debit card. They’ve canceled plans for that fee.
The OryCon Odd (used for OryCon 33) account looks very flush right now, but it’s misleading. It doesn’t include the checks to the artists (which were just mailed and haven’t started to be cashed yet), the $10K that needs to go back to OSFCI, or the money in the account that needs to be transferred to OryCon 34. The balance for the account will be going down very swiftly.
The Chicon Worldcon membership was purchased for the John Andrews grant, and the LoneStarCon membership will need to be purchased before the rates go up at the end of the year.
In new business, we’re now paying storage unit charges. The two new units downstairs (where the art show panels and iron are stored) will cost us $2560 a year. (The upstairs unit will still be free.)
Rick presented a proposed budget for 2012. (Detail on the changes from 2011 are listed in his treasurer’s report.) There are no starting new programs. It does account for the increased costs (such as the storage units), assumes more realistic surplus amounts from OryCon and GameStorm (higher), and is still budgeting for taking more money in than what is spent.
The treasurer’s report, including the proposed 2012 budget, was then accepted.
IV. Reports on Sponsored Activities
A. Conventions and Bids
1. GameStorm 13 (D. Stephen Raymond)
Stephen went over the summary (see attached) of the closing of the books and the distribution of the surplus. The report was accepted.
2. OryCon 33 (Devlin Perez)
A convention summary was presented by Devlin–as well as a financial report D. Stephen Raymond, the OryCon 33 treasurer–which engendered some discussion.
The art show sales seemed to be down from previous years (although it did bring in more income to the convention than had been budgeted). There were more daily memberships than in previous years. Paul Wrigley: How far do you think you’re down this year? Paul said that the membership count (1399) is likely inflated since he knew there were two “Paul Wrigleys” and two “Debbie Crosses”, and probably other people were duplicated. Looking at the actual membership income in the financial report, it looks like the amount is down 20-25% from last year. However, the dealer income is substantially higher, so it looks like the deal income number includes the memberships the deals purchased. (That is the case.)
Paul Brinker: Last year, the average price paid was about $32 per person, this year it was about $25 per person.
Stephen needs to know the detail on the memberships sold to OryCon 34 so Ory 33 can transfer the money over to next year. It’s a month after the convention and he still hasn’t been given the numbers. His estimate is that OryCon 33 will end up with about a $3,000 surplus.
Devlin also reported on some security problems with the convention (see attached report). There will be further discussion about Elliott Mitchell under New Business.
There was also discussion about the hanging hooks used for the art show. The hooks did not make it to Reno (for use at the Worldcon) and don’t seem to be in the storage units. There were hooks purchased in Reno, but it was assumed that the OryCon hooks were back in Portland, so those hooks weren’t sent back. OryCon ended up rushing out and buying new hooks when this was discovered during setup. It just remains to be determined if OSFCI should cover the costs for those hooks or do they remain an expense for this year’s OryCon (or will the Reno Worldcon pay for them).
Lea: We also had a dealer sell an edged weapon to an under-aged person (a 14-year-old girl). The weapon was returned and the dealer warned not to sell to minors again. If they do ignore this warning, would OryCon have any liability? Sam suggested a written warning to them–this should be sufficient protection to OSFCI. There should also be a general warning in the materials that goes to the dealers.
Stephen: There was not a single declined credit card at this year’s OryCon, and there was only one bounced check (for $25). There was also a piece of art that was purchased in the art show and not picked up. December 15th is the deadline for anyone to get receipts in for expense reimbursements.
The OryCon 33 report was accepted.
3. GameStorm 14 (Michael Monical)
A convention summary, with financial and registration reports, were distributed. (See attached.)
GameStorm 14 does have money, roughly $4700 in the bank right now, along with about $1600 in PayPal as of the end of November. Registration is right on pace with last year. Phoenix (Beverly Block) has been making changes to the way that at-con registration has operated in the past, to bring in a little more structure (shift leaders, etc.) to the operations there.
The Game Day in October was well attended. Gaming at OryCon (run by GameStorm) went well.
When the scheduling starts soon, the pre-reg numbers should up considerably. The web site is now live. The monthly committee meetings will go to two-per-month in January and February, and there will be a Game Day in January.
The report was accepted.
4. 2013 Westercon Bid
This was mostly covered in the Treasurer’s report. The check donating $500 to the Sacramento Westercon is written–Rick’s just waiting to hear back from them before sending it.
5. OryCon 34 (Tracy Penner)
OryCon 34 has $3500 in the back, and has not yet been given the money or the registration information for the Ory 34 memberships taken in at Ory 33. (It does have the dealer info and money for people who have paid for OryCon 34.)
Paul Wrigley: We still need to have a budget for OryCon 34. At the last meeting, we were promised that before we signed a management agreement. Paul Brinker: We will be working on that.
Debbie: What are the dates for OryCon 34? Tracy: November 2-4, 2012. Debbie: Your website says otherwise (November 9-11, 2012). Paul Wrigley: And the web site says we’re throwing a party–nothing about it being a science fiction convention. Aaron: The OryCon 34 web site is the face of OryCon right now. It can’t be fixed too soon. (The osfci.org web page still points to OryCon 33 as the “next OryCon”, but that’s an OSFCI webmaster fix, not OryCon 34.)
Tracy is still working on getting an Editor GOH, and is using Jim Fiscus as a reference for likely candidates. (It’s tougher since next year, Worldcon Fantasy Con is on the same weekend.)
Because of the delays in getting the web site working, the initial $25 rate will be good until January 31st, rather than December 31st. (The rest of the rate steps will remain the same.)
Rick: The OryCon 34 programming team has already met, and has been discussing programming ideas, including some from the OryCon mailing list. The meeting to winnow down the invite list will sometime in March.
Paul Wrigley: At the last meeting, we discussed two important things that were needed. The first was having a budget ready for this meeting. The second was getting publicity out in terms of a regress report. Is there a regress report editor? (From either OryCon 33 or OryCon 34.) Tracy: We can certainly generate one for the web page. Paul: I’m talking about an actual physical report mailed out to the members, so that we can actually sell some memberships. Tracy: I will try.
John: Do we have any idea how many people have purchased OryCon 34 memberships yet? No. Aaron: What is the status of your budget? Tracy: I need to get together with Paul (Brinker) to work it out. Paul Brinker: Give me two weeks.
Andrew: What are we going to do if, in two weeks, we don’t have a budget, we haven’t fixed the web site, any number of other things that need to be fixed “real soon now”…haven’t been fixed? At some point we either just say “Well, I hope it all works out” or we have a real fixed deadline, and be prepared to take some sort of action.
Aaron: Tracy, you were appointed chair three months ago, and we were hoping to see more organization at this point. Andrew: Are you comfortable with the two-week deadline that your treasurer just set for having a budget ready? Tracy: Yes. Debbie suggested a more flexible deadline of the first of the year. Jim suggested that if there is no budget by then, the Board might want to call an emergency meeting, rather than waiting until the next regular meeting to discuss it.
Aaron: We need to see all these things fixed–a budget, a corrected web site–and improving your con com recruitment. John: At the last meeting, we said we’d sign the management agreement if we had a budget. There is a draft ready to sign, but it sounds like we’re not going to sign it yet. (Agreed.)
Andrew: Is there anything that OSFCI can do to help OryCon? Tracy: Just making me aware of what needs to be improved. Paul Brinker: Settling the bid for OryCon 35 would be helpful–that way, they’d have more time to plan.
Rick is still on the mailing list for firstname.lastname@example.org, so he is able to monitor any emails reporting problems.
Any other suggestions? Paul Wrigley: On the day after OryCon 34 is over, transfer the pre-reg money to OryCon 35–don’t wait. The OryCon 34 report was then accepted.
B. Funds and Awards
1. Campbell Pin Fund
There is nothing new to report. Paul Wrigley: Should we take this off of the agenda until there is something to report? John: Well, we do still have the account.
2. Clayton Memorial Medical Fund (James Fiscus)
A written report was submitted (see below). The Board reaffirmed the reappointment of James Fiscus and Page Fuller to the Clayton Board. (There was some question if this had been done at the September meeting.) Paul Wrigley pointed out a typo in the submitted report (under Donations, it simply said that “We have had no donations since”), but no correction was given at the meeting.
3. Endeavour Award (James Fiscus)
A written report was submitted (see below). There have been 29 books submitted so far for the next award–we’ll probably end up with 40-45 submissions. Paul Wrigley pointed out another typo in this report, listing a donation of “$1,95.43”. This should have read $1,695.43.
Ruth: So far, it’s just for physical books? Jim: That is correct. Have you thought about including e-books? Jim: At this point, that wouldn’t be practical. It would mean a very large increase in submissions, and make it hard for the readers to judge all the entries. Rick: Do the rules explicit exclude electronic books? Jim: They require five printed copies of the book. It would be possible (but not practical) for someone to print out and bind five copies of an electronic book, but it’s unlikely.
The Clayton and Endeavour reports were accepted.
4. Susan Petrey Fund (Paul Wrigley and Debbie Cross)
A written report was submitted (see below). In the third quarter of 2011, they received $300 in income from the beer tour. Microsoft has matched a donation in the amount of $150, and there should be another matching donation soon. OryCon 32 donated $446, and a friend of Susan’s in the 1970s purchased five copies of Gifts of Blood and donated another $400, for a total of $500. And some sold something on eBay and through Mission Fish donated $0.83.
After the end of the quarter, the fund received another $40 from the beer tour and raised almost $1700 at OryCon 33. And one of the 2010 recipients just signed a two-book deal.
And Patty and Lily Wells have agreed to take over the egg sales fund-raiser at OryCon next year.
Their report was accepted by the Board.
5. John Andrews Worldcon Grant
A proposed announcement letter and application forms was circulated. Because of the lateness in getting this out, we’ll move the entry deadline from January 1st to January 15, 2012 and will say we “hope” to announce the winner at the Annual General Meeting. (It will depend on how many applications we receive.)
There was a question about the eligibility for the award. “Active in OSFCI events” is not the same level as being eligible for OSFCI committee “points.” Someone who’s simply been a volunteer at multiple conventions would be eligible for the John Andrews grant. They don’t have to be con com. Also the “two years” activity level doesn’t have to be just in the last few years, but people who have worked on events more recently will receive higher consideration. The final decision will be made by the Andrews sub-committee (Beverly Block, Ruth Sachter and Marc Wells).
The report was accepted.
IV. Other Continuing Business
A. Banning Policy
Tammy has some proposed changes to the existing wording of the policy, but there wasn’t a chance to distribute it to the other members of this committee until earlier today. So it’s not ready for any Board decisions right now. Tammy will distribute the proposed changes to the Board list, and we will discuss them via e-mail.
The report was accepted.
B. Bylaws Committee
A written report was submitted (see below)–which is the same report submitted in July, so there have been no changes.
The proposed change in the meeting schedule (which will be submitted for corporate approval) is:
- The fourth week in February (this would be a new full meeting with the new Board and officers, leaving the post-AGM meeting as strictly a short organizational meeting to elect officers and set meeting dates)
- The fourth week in April (same as the current schedule)
- The third week in June (moving from the second week in July)
- The second week in August (a new meeting)
- The second week in October (moving from the third week in September)
- The second week in December (same as the current schedule)
Paul Wrigley asked whether the Board should set the daters for the meetings on its own authority, rather than spelling our specific times of the year for the meetings. John didn’t think so–it’s one thing for the Board to set a specific day within a range of a week, and quite another for the Board to add a new meeting and drastically change the date ranges for some of the other meetings as this bylaw change would do. Stephen: And this new schedule would make some important changes–for example, there’s currently no full Board meeting between December and GameStorm, at the end of March. This change would move us back to a roughly bimonthly schedule. Aaron: There’s a general consensus that the four meetings we have a year aren’t quite enough–this change would give us six meetings a year with the same kind of structure who now have with four.
The Board voted to submit this motion to the OSFCI membership with the recommendation that it is adopted at the AGM
There was also discussion on the idea of what should be changed in the way of amending the Bylaws–how much of a majority should be needed and exploring ways of changing bylaws other than at the AGM. It was decided that this possible change would be discussed by the Board via e-mail to try to settle on a proposal to submit to the OSFCI members.
The Secretary reminded the Board that other proposals can be included in the AGM mailing that goes out in January, whether or not the Board has discussed them yet, if a member of the corporation submits them to the Secretary. (Obviously, only the items that the Board has discussed can be recommended for approval by the Board.)
C. Storage Manager Report
Devlin: No report at this time. The new wheels haven’t been installed yet on the carts, due to the demands of OryCon. There will be a thorough inventory done sometime after the first of the year.
D. Hotel Committee
We have a signed contract for OryCon 2014, at the Doubletree. The hotel agreed to a room rate freeze (the 2014 rates will be the same as 2013–$134 standard, $144 premium), and the meeting space is going up only $100 a day (which is the first increase since 2010). The structure on the parking prices will stay the same, including having the full weekend parking pass (which is going up from $10 to $12, after staying at $10 for 2012 and 2013). The room block for Thursday night has been increased, since it was a little low for our needs.
In addition, we have a first option in 2015 on our preferred dates (November 12-14, 2015, the second weekend in November)–the same as 2014 (November 7-9, 2014). Stephen: Are we still going have to pay the $7500 deposit? Tammy: That’s a separate issue, and not part of the contract. We should be able to get the proper forms in this year so that we won’t have to pay the deposit ever again.
The report was accepted.
E. Other Continuing Business
There was none.
V. New Business
A. GameStorm 15 (2013) Bids
OSFCI was presented with two bids for people to chair GameStorm 15, from Rodney Barnes and Jason Bostick (see attached).
I have been with GameStorm since 2001, and well as being involved with OryCon, RadCon and other events. So I have a lot of experience working on conventions. And I want to keep the GameStorm experience growing. People have come to the convention not just to play games but to also network with other gamers and industry people. And I want to keep that going. The people on the committee that I’ve put together are people who have worked on GameStorm for a long time, and know what they’re doing.
Rick: What distinguishes your bid from Jason’s? Rodney: It’s hard to compare us because we both have good experience and leadership skills. Jason’s write-up is more about marketing and industry, and I’m more about networking and dealing with the people who come to the convention. Arthur: Do you have a hotel liaison? Rodney: Not yet.
My focus is not on the membership we currently have, but to bring in new members. It gets old walking into a game store and hearing “What is GameStorm?” when we’ve been here for so long. We should be the one event that the stores, the players, everyone wants to come to. From that you’re going to get the experiences, you’re going find your friend that you haven’t talked to in years, the games you haven’t played in years, or the game you play every other weekend. Overall, our proposals are very similar, and that’s because the people we both picked do very good jobs. My executive committee is a little bit bigger because I want to do more outreach. My experience with GameStorm isn’t at long–I started attending with GameStorm 9 (2007). Since then, I’ve been stepping through the ranks, starting with GM, liaison with Steve Jackson games, and then committee. For the last two years, I’ve been doing outreach. I’ve also worked on gaming at OryCon the last couple of years.
Rick: What has prepared you for the abusive complaints that you’ll get as chair? Jason: My work leadership roles, I believe, has prepared me for being able to handle the rate races that is being the chair of a con. Paul Wrigley: Since Jason looks to be more aggressive in getting more members, how much bigger can this convention get without it being too big for the hotel? Jason: The hotel can hold 1500 people, but we’d start to look at rearranging things if it approached 1300.
Mike: I’m not a Board member, but as the GameStorm 14 chair I don’t think with these people that you can make a bad choice. Both of these people have full support of the existing staff. Is it possible to approve one of these people for 2013, and then go ahead and approve the other for 2014 right away? One of the challenges for GameStorm is that the possible Guest of Honor are being booked far in advance, and approving 2014 now would give more time to book the desired guest.
Andrew: This was easier when we’d just go to a McMenamin’s directly after the convention, drank beer, and decided who we’d tell the Board to pick for the next GameStorm. Jason, who would you do anything different by chair rather than simply running outreach? Your entire presentation seemed to deal with a single department (outreach). Jason: It seems like every chair of GameStorm has picked one department to focus on and improve. One year, it was increasing con com, then increasing members then the next year it was increasing volunteers. It seems like concentrating on outreach should help bring it up to the level where it should be in the first place.
Debbie: To follow up on what Mike said, would each of you be willing to take on next year if not chosen to head this GameStorm? (Yes.) Marc: It would be inappropriate at this meeting to go ahead with choosing the GameStorm 16 chair without notice, since we’d only announced that we were considering chairs of GameStorm 15. We could chose GameStorm 15 tonight and then announce that we’ll be choosing GameStorm 16 at the next regular meeting.
Aaron: Jason, you say that outreach is going to be your major emphasis, but that position on your proposal is still TBD (To Be Determined). Jason: I have someone in mind, I’m just waiting to see how she does this coming year as the assistant in outreach. Aaron: Rodney, you have Mike listed as your outreach person. How would that be different? Mike: I’d be tapping Jason as an information source on how to do the job. (Under Rodney, Jason with be vice-chair for events.)
Andrew: I would suggest that you have the selection for GameStorm 16 as an agenda item for the first regular Board meeting following the AGM (not the organizational meeting that immediately follows the AGM). (This was modified to be the first Board meeting after the next GameStorm, in case the bylaw change to add a regular February meeting passes at the AGM.)
Marc: In regards to trying to book GOHs far enough in advance, could someone be approached tentatively, maybe “I’m currently bidding to chair GameStorm 15. If I’m approved, would you be interested in being the Guest of Honor?” It turns out that’s already happening…people have been approached already for the 2013 GameStorm (GameStorm 15).
Andrew moved that we accept Rodney’s bid, and having said that is looking forward to Jason bid for GameStorm 16. This was seconded and the Board then voted 5-5 on accepting the bid, so the motion did not pass. Andrew then moved that we accepted Jason’s bid, looking forward to seeing Rodney’s bid for GameStorm 16. This motion received 6 votes in favor and was approved. Jason Bostick will be the chair of GameStorm 15.
B. GameStorm Scheduling Software
Beverly Block presented a proposal that she and Rachel Madsen write a new scheduling system for use at GameStorm. (See attached.) In exchange for $3,000 up front, $1,000 at the start of beta test and an additional $1,000 when the system goes live, OSFCI would receive a permanent license to use the software for any events it sponsors. In addition, there would be no fees for updates for at least three years.
Beverly has been involved with GameStorm schedule for the past seven or eight years, going back to when it was done in an Excel spreadsheet–there’s probably no one that knows more about GameStorm scheduling. She would gather input from games and gamemasters in developing the final product.
The two biggest things as far as the Board is concerned: (1) the current Dreamhost system would not be a suitable platform for this system–and they may not offer the VPS service that we would need. (Certainly, a service that includes telephone support is a requirement.) Beverly and Rachel are suggesting Arvixe, which does offer the needed service level. [VPS, Virtual Private Service, is a system that looks to the user that you have your own system.] It includes guarantees on minimum levels of CPU power and memory. The current OSFCI system on Dreamhost provides much more variation in the service that’s available at any one time, with much lower minimum levels.]
There was a side discussion on what service provider we should use for this. Arthur though that maybe the proposal should simply state what is required to run the system and OSFCI should decide what provider to use. Beverly said that in their research, Dreamhost did not receive very high reviews for its service. Rachel: Arvixe was recommended simply because it was coming in at the top of the rankings in several surveys. Aaron: Is having a host sufficient to run the system a requirement for developing the system? Beverly: Only past a certain point in the development.
Sam: Because we’re dealing with a member of the OSFCI Board (Beverly), it’s important that the procedure for adopting this is very clear. It’s not clear to Sam who is on the IT committee and what procedure the IT committee is going to follow. It is good that Beverly’s interest in the project is fully disclosed. But unless the procedure is clearly laid out (including deadlines for recommendations from the IT committee and a time for voting on the proposal is set), it could create a nasty situation–especially since the time frame is fairly short.
Paul: Before we sign anything (or pay any money), we need to have a contract with the developers that’s gone through a legal review. Sam: I agree, and I don’t think we’re anywhere close to having an agreement ready. We need to have a review of the proposal by an appointed committee which makes a recommendation to the Board, and we need to have a legal contracted drafted. If we wander into this with just a bullet proposal, when something goes wrong it will be too late to do anything about it. First we need a procedure for how we’re gong to have this presented to the Board, and second, we need a contract.
Rick: One of the things I was looking for was some clear criteria to measure when we’re done–what is our target, what are we trying to achieve, and how far off are we now? I still don’t see those type of acceptance criteria in this proposal. I don’t think we yet have everything we need to decide that this should go forward. Debbie: I think we should put the IT committee together with the developers and not consider this until the IT committees says we have a proposal that we’re ready for the Board to consider, and approve it to the point that a contract can be drafted for final approval. Aaron: Is there any reason for us not to do that? Rick: It is key that we move forward in order to meet the dates in the proposal. So I would encourage the IT committee and the Board to be eager to discuss this by e-mail, so that we can move forward as soon at it makes sense to do so. Stephen: Who is on the IT committee, besides Arthur and Rick? (David Levine.) Jason: Since the time line for this project includes the GameStorm that I am now chair, I would like to be on the committee that discuss this.
Beverly: Is the Board comfortable with the cost in the proposal ($3000/$1000/$1000)? Andrew: I’m fine with the total costs, not so much with how it’s front-loaded–maybe $2000/$1000/$2000? Beverly: Some of that initial $3000 is going for the software needed to develop the system. It was decided this was contract language that will be decided later.
Aaron: How do we move this forward? Stephen suggested the current proposal be sent out to the full IT committee, as well as Jason. Then the IT committee can come back with questions and requests for more information –maybe within two weeks? (That might be difficult, with the holidays.)
Marc: It looks like we have two tasks: (1) we have to come up with a documented procedure for accepting the proposal; (2) we need to come up with a contract once the proposal is accepted by the IT group and the Board. Andrew: Because the proposal is coming from a member of the Board, we have be more careful about documenting this steps. Andrew moved that we delegate this to the IT committee (and the chair of GameStorm 15) and they will discuss this by e-mail. This motion was seconded and approved by the Board, as well as adding Jason to the IT committee.
C. Other New Business
Debbie reminded people that the OSFCI lifetime achievement award was presented to Andrew Nisbet at OryCon last month.
Devlin presented a proposal the Board that Elliott Mitchell by banned from OSFCI events for a year, due to the problems he caused at OryCon last month (as well as problems in previous years)–as described in the report from OryCon, presented by the chair of that event (Devlin). Tammy proposed that we discuss this after we discuss the changes to the banning policy at the next Board meeting. However, it was pointed out that meeting would be after the upcoming GameStorm, where he might cause more problems (and he has attended that convention in the past). Aaron: Can we delegate this to the banning policy committee? Andrew: I don’t see that these are connected–the problems we’re talking about were problems under the old policy, as they will be under the new policy.
There was a motion and second to place Elliott on the ban list for a year. However, it was pointed out that our current policy states that either someone is ejected from an event and is automatically banned unless overturned on appeal, or the person commits multiple offenses and a committee is designated to review those offenses and decides whether the person show be banned. Aaron moved that a special committee be appointed to discuss, consisting of all ten members of the Board of Directors and that this committee should meet immediately to discuss this. Stephen seconded the motion and it passed. The committee then went into session, and based on the previous discussions and the well-documented problems caused by Mr. Mitchell, they decided that he should be banned from OSFCI events for the next year.
The committee reported back to the OSFCI president. Elliott Mitchell will be informed by the OSFCI secretary that he has been banned from OSFCI through OryCon 34.
The next meeting is the Annual General meeting, held Monday, February 6, 2012. The GameStorm 13 chair will be reminded that a committee list is needed for that event by the end of the year, in order for committee of that event to receive credit towards OSFCI membership.
The meeting ended at 10:43PM.
Treasurer’s Report 12/13/11
1. Current Status
Gamestorm 13 books were formally closed shortly before OryCon. Per the management agreement, half the surplus went to OSFCI and the other half was disbursed, with some going to the Endeavour and the bulk going to Doernbecher’s.
As noted to the board earlier, OryCon 33 was loaned $10,000 to help their cash flow — with so many registering at the door now, they were having trouble paying bills due before the con. I said then that I anticipated no trouble with their paying that amount back, and although of course their books are not yet closed, you can see from their account balance below that it appears that belief was well-founded.
Westercon books are closed. We did not get a receipt for their hotel room, but it’s taking more effort than it is worth to get one. There were a few supporters for which there are no receipts and a few receipts for which there are no supporters; have not been able to resolve that either. I am assuming that those for which there are receipts actually paid something and were valid pre-supports. Checking and savings accounts for the Westercon books are closed. As a goodwill gesture, we will be sending a $500 check to Westercon.
Insurance for the coming year was paid in November.
Note to all debit card users: as you may have heard, Wells Fargo (and other banks) declined to roll out their new fee of $3 per account for any month in which a debit card is used. Customer feedback was …discouraging on such a move.
The Petrey Fund and the Clayton Fund are in different funds and their totals are not included below. All other OSFCI accounts below are at a single bank to which I have easy access.
Current (as of 12/5/11) account status:
|Acct||Balance||Change from 9/19/11 report|
2. Old Business
- A Chicon Worldcon membership has been purchased for the John Andrews 2012 award.
- I will be purchasing a LoneStarCon 3 Worldcon membership ($160) for the John Andrews 2013 award.
3. New Business
- We again have storage unit charges. These are currently $2560 annually, and by paying in advance we get one month extra for free. Although this will become a major budget item for us, right now we have sufficient income and savings to handle this just fine.We now have three storage units: two small ones on the ground floor for the art steel and panels, and one upstairs for most of the rest of the con stuff. The two on the ground floor we pay for; the one upstairs we are still getting for free.
- A proposed 2012 budget is enclosed for discussion. This is identical to the 2011 budget but for the following items:
- Insurance. Insurance has gone up slightly.
Increased from $1700 to $1800.
- Storage. As discussed earlier, we are now incurring over $2500 in storage fees.
Increased from $0 to $2600.
- Bank fees. This is a tiny portion of our budget but it is demonstrably non-zero each year as Wells Fargo gets innovative. This is not meant to represent all bank fees (returned checks, for example, are neither predicted nor included) but rather account maintenance fees.
Increased from $0 to $25.
- Other postage. As postage continues to go up, our secretary spends more.
Increased from $25 to $75.
- Meeting space. We went from free meeting space to space that costs $122 per meeting. $122 x 5 is a little less than $650.
Increased from $500 to $650.
- Andrews award. This last year we had some startup costs. The new figure represents a stable annual cost.
Decreased from $1050 to $700.
- Miscellaneous. As outlined above, I expect to send a $500 check to the winning Westercon bid.
Increased from $300 to $800.
- Gamestorm Overhead Fee. Gamestorm continues to grow, and the per member fee OSFCI assesses them thus brings in more money. This projection is arrived at by averaging the last three year’s actual fees.
Increased from $1400 to $1700.
- Convention surplus. Current management agreements convey 50% of convention surplus to OSFCI. This has continued to grow each year. This projection is arrived at by averaging the last three year’s actual fees.
Increased from $3100 to $6700.
- Insurance. Insurance has gone up slightly.
OryCon 33 Chair Report
It has been a pleasure to chair OryCon 33. I believe we had a successful convention despite a few bumps. Attached are copies of reports from department heads.
We have final numbers from registration of 1399 total attendees. There was an increase in day passes and a decrease in full weekend memberships compared to last year. This could be due to a number of things including the economy, or it could signal the need to expand our advertising and broaden our focus. I will leave that to the board to discuss.
There is a security report for the two incidents of note at the convention. Also a report regarding missing J hooks and tools for the Art Show, and a report regarding a Dealer’s Room complaint. Last there is a request for a one year ban for Mr. Elliot Mitchell.
Thank you for the opportunity to Chair OryCon 33 and I look forward to continuing to assist with future conventions.
1399 total attendees, plus 70 badges that were unclaimed
(18 of those were children under 6 and paid no admission, leaving1380 paid or comped attendees)
- 1135 adult weekend badges (+70 adult weekend badges unclaimed)
- 24 adult Friday badges
- 129 adult Saturday badges
- 21 adult Saturday night badges
- 21 adult Sunday badges (2 of which also purchased Saturday night badges, and so are the same attendees)38 child weekend badges 3 child Friday badges
- 12 child Saturday badges
- 0 child Sunday badges
- 18 child under 6 badges (no admission charge)
Of those 397 adult weekend badges were comped, plus 11 adult Saturday badges, 2 adult Sunday badges, and a child Saturday badge. I do’t know which of these overlap with the unclaimed badges, though I could figure it out if I really needed to.
Head of Operations, Head of Security Orycon 33
Friday night I attended Opening Ceremonies, where I saw Elliot had a hammer or mallet on his belt, in plain view of anyone at the convention. He was not: working or using it as a tool, he was simply sitting at a table watching Opening Ceremonies. After Opening Ceremonies were over, I approached him, announced I was head of the Watch for the convention and asked him to remove the hammer from his belt and take it directly to his room as it was in violation of our weapons policy at the convention. At this point Elliot started arguing with me about our weapons policy and stating the hammer was a tool and not a weapon so he did not see any reason to take it off or return it to his room. I stated any tool that can be used as a weapon or taken as a weapon by a general con-goer was considered against the weapons policy and again asked him to take it off and return it to his room. At this point Tracy Penner, our Vice-Chair entered the conversation and backed my stand on the policy and also asked him to take the hammer to his room. He argued with us for another 5-10 minutes then said he would take it to his room and exited the ballroom. I followed him out into the large hallway area and watched him stop and begin a conversation with other con members instead of taking the hammer directly to his room as requested. At this point I spotted Devtin Perez, the con Chair and asked him to speak to Elliot as he had not taken the weapon off nor had he continued to his room. On Sunday evening, directly before the dead dog party while he was speaking with Devlin Perez outside of the Hospitality rooms, Elliot asked me if I agreed with our weapons policy and I stated I did that is why I was enforcing it all weekend. That was my only direct contact with him this con over the weapons policy. Other members of my Watch staff have reported that this was not the first convention Elliot has been spoken to about the afore-mentioned hammer, and he has been made well aware of our weapons policy in previous years–yet still continues to bring and wear his hammer every year. To my knowledge as a con-goer who has helped and ran convention setup for a number of years I personally have never seen Elliot assist with anything before, during, or after the convention that would warrant the’ hammer being a usable tool to carry.
Saturday night at the convention, I was outside the ballroom during the dance and saw that there were non-con members (no badges) attempting to bypass the Watch and enter the ballroom. I approached to lend assistance. There were two middle age men and one female. All three were obviously intoxicated and trying to talk their way past the Watch into the dance. At this point Craig Anderson, a Watch shift lead, informed the people that if they wished to enter any con space they must go to the Operations office and purchase a Saturday night badge for fifteen dollars, then they would be allowed. into the dance. He informed them of this repeatedly. After approximately 10 minutes, they agreed to purchase badges and proceeded to the second floor. I entered the Portland room several minutes after the three.individuals to find the female arguing the price of fifteen dollars for a badge. She repeatedly and loudly stated she was told five dollars by “Greg”. Craig Anderson, who had quoted them the fifteen dollar price, had entered Ops with me and informed them he had said fifteen, and as I was there to witness this, I agreed with him. The female argued that this was a lie and that “Greg” was lying to her for about another five minutes before agreeing to the fifteen dollar price and paying for all three of them. At which point they were handed Saturday night badges. The female then complained that her picture was not on the badge and only after we showed her none of our badges had pictures on them did they leave the Operations room. I thought at this point they were heading to the ballroom, so I took another route out of Ops and continued monitoring the convention. Approximately 20; minutes after this, I was leaving the Camarilla room on the second floor and I see the three individuals with John; a member of Hotel Security corning up the stairs and the female was loudly complaining to him about something she had witnessed. I approached the group, identified myself to John, and asked if I could be of assistance. The female then started yelling at John and myself about the “perverted freaks and their disgusting displays that she would be horrified to have her children witness.” At this point, John asked her what she had seen and she stated she had seen a female con-goer sitting on another female con-goer’s lap and bouncing in a chair. When asked if both were fully clothed, the female replied yes. When asked if they were facing each other, she replied no–one was just sitting on the other’s lap. John then asked her what was so disgusting about this, and she replied that it “was simply perverted and disgusting, and that all of the freaks should be thrown out of the hotel as that it was morally wrong.” I then asked her where she had witnessed this, and she said in this hallway. I looked around and did not see anyone sitting on anyone else’s lap. By this time we had a small crowd of con-goers around us, and the female started yelling at a random female con-goer that we were “all disgusting freaks.” The female con-goer (I do not know this person or her name) informed the woman she should calm down, and the female stepped up very close to the con-goer and closed her fist while yelling in her face. She looked like she was about to take a swing at the female con-goer. John stepped between them and informed the female to calm down and head to the front desk to discuss this issue. John escorted the female to the front desk. The two men with her and myself followed behind. When we reached the front desk, John went to get Isaac, the on-shift manager. While John stepped away, the female turned to the two men she was with and asked them if they were going to “have her back” about a formal complaint. Neither of the two men replied to her–they simply stood around the corner from the front desk and did not speak. John returned with Isaac and he began to question the female about what was going on. At this point the female threw her badge at Isaac and began to yell at him about disgusting freaks. I told John if they needed me. I had one of the Nextel phones provided by the hotel and that I was going to continue with my circuit of the hotel. I also informed John that if the three wanted a refund of their badge price, we would happily do so as they never actually went into con space–-provided we got the badges back. John and Isaac both said no, do not refund the badges, this was a hotel issue and they would deal with it. At this point I left the front desk area. 30 minutes later, John and Isaac approached me and I asked what the outcome of the situation had been. Isaac informed me that after talking with the lady, he told her to go stnaight to her hotel room and not to leave it again for the night. He also told her that if she caused any more problems with any con-goers, she would be removed from the hotel and banned from the Doubletree line for life. He had her escorted to her room, and had hotel security doing random hallway checks for the rest of the night to make sure she did not leave her room again. He then apologized for the issues she had caused. I thanked him and John for their assistance, and the matter was done.
J Hooks and Art Show Tools Issue
We discovered at the convention, while setting up Art Show that we were missing all J hooks, which we use approximately 2000 to hang art from, and the tools to set up the art show. We returned to the storage unit and searched with no success, The bucket that we thought had them in it was filled with nuts and bolts. After much research and frantic scrambling we found a new resource for the hooks and were able to secure the required amount. We also replaced the tools that were missing.
Further investigation, including speaking to a person that went down to Worldcon and helped with load in and load out, we found that the tool box was seen down there as were the J hooks. I believe that they were misplaced between load in and set up and, consequently, were believed to have been left behind in our storage’. Unfortunately I, as storage manager, did not doublecheck for them after Worldcon believing they had been left behind and were therefore at the storage unit all along.
This issue has been taken care of and the items procured, but a financial decision on where the funds should come from will need to be decided upon by the board.
Friday afternoon, Monica Olsen at the Info Desk received a complaint that “a vendor” had sold a bladed weapon to a minor without the consent or presence of a guardian. She called Mary Olsen and reported it. We requested that the minor and guardian (her older sister, and I forgot to get their names) come to the Dealers’ Room for identification ofthe vendor and resolution. While we were waiting, I verified that two vendors had blades for sale, The Fur Connection (a few) and Family Pride (their main product). I spoke with Nyssa Baugher of the Fur Connection and Scott and Bonnie Huber of Family Pride briefly about the incident. Nyssa and Scott were outraged, and frankly, I expected that. I assumed that it was one of the secondary people who had gotten complacent. I wanted both of them to be aware that we might be coming to talk to them. Bonnie, on the other hand, mentioned selling to a younger person and that she had considered her to be of age.
Of course, the vendor in question did turn out to be Family Pride. The older sister took the minor to their booth to return the blade before talking to us (against our request). When they returned to the liaison booth, the minor was nervous that we blamed her for the incident. I did my best to explain that we had no issue with her, that whatever was between her and her family had no bearing on us. I asked her to describe the person who sold her the blade. She said that the person had curly blonde hair.
We went back to Family Pride, and Bonnie confirmed to us that she had sold the blade to her. This was good, because Bonnie Huber of Family Pride has thin blonde hair that is stick-straight and very short. Both Scott and Bonnie denied having any,one else selling in their booth on Friday. I’m disturbed at the mismatch.
I thanked the guardian and minor, and we then informed Family Pride that selling bladed weapons to minors is against the law and that checking ID, not deciding that the customer looked old enough, was required by law. They were deeply apologetic and complied for the rest of the con.
Mary and I revised the application for O34 by expanding the weapons policy section to include ID verification. We also require that any sale involving a minor must be conducted in person by a guardian.
Please feel welcome to contact me with any questions.
OryCon 33 Dealers’ Liaison
Proposal for One (1) Year Ban For Elliot Mitchell
Due to continuous behavior of harassment of committee members and attempting to violate the weapon policy of OryCon, I propose a one year ban from all OSFCI events be levied on Elliott Mitchell. Verbal communication has not solved the issue to date and more severe consequences are called for.
The start of the history of harassment and violation was OryCon 32 when he got into a verbal altercation with the head of Operations and Vice Chair, Devlin Perez, regarding his right to carry around a mallet in convention space during the convention hours. This is in direct violation of our policy. He finally took the weapon to his room, but continued to harass and stalk members of the committee including Tammy Lindsley and Jenn Contreras-Perez. He also had verbal discussions with Arthur Aldridge and Rick Lindsley. I believed that the conversations and discussions had resolved the issue and we would not have further issues with Mr. Mitchell. This year, OryCon 33, he was seen in the hallways on Friday evening by the Head of Operations, Shyrl Hester, with the same weapon on his person. He was asked to put the weapon away. It was then brought to my attention by both my Vice Chair, Tracy Penner and Shyrl that he had been told him to take the weapon to his room and that he had not complied. At this point I told them that I would take care of it as Chair.
I saw OSFCI board member Arthur Aldridge and asked him to accompany me as a third party witness. I approached Mr. Mitchell and informed him that he had already be warned about our weapons policy and the consequences and that he had 5 minutes to remove the weapon from convention space. After this warning he proceeded to stop and talk to multiple people, he was reminded that he had a time frame that was running short. This is when he informed me that it was zip-tied into a makeshift holster and that it would need to be cut loose. I responded that the front desk was sure to have scissors to cut the zip-ties with. He proceeded to the front desk to have it cut loose. As he was heading to the elevator to go to his room, he was informed that.next year, if he was seen with a weapon, he would be excluded from the convention from that point without further warning. He attempted to argue that it was not a violation of airline policy to carry a mallet. Arthur then informed him that it did clearly violate our convention policy and that the behavior would no longer be tolerated.
Upon discussions with other committee members, I discovered that he was purposely attempting to push the bounds of our weapons policy. One committee member overheard him at Worldcon asking another person to help him violate our weapons policy in an attempt to forcibly change it. During the convention he then began harassing committee members about my discussion to the point that a committee member asked that he be excluded from the Dead Dog party due to fear of further harassment.
In my opinion, the zip-tying the weapon was an attempt to peace-bond to make it legitimate as it does at other events and conventions. By, attempting to peace-bond, I believe he has proven that he is aware of and willing violate our policies so therefore will continue to do so unless more severe consequences are imposed.
GameStorm 14 Quarterly OSFCI Report
Dec 12, 2011
- Treasury – See Treasury Report
- Registration – See Registration Report (not included in web version of report–feel free to ask for a copy)
- ConCom Meetings 11/5 and 10/3
- Game Day Oct 23rd
- OryCon Gaming
- Scheduling system improvements behind schedule. Hope to be open for Game Master submittals this week.
- GOHs finalizedRole Playing GOH
Jason Bulman – Game Designer
Paizo Publishing®, LLC is a leading publisher of fantasy roleplaying games, accessories, board games, and novels. Paizo’s Pathfinder® line of rules, adventures, sourcebooks, and campaigns combines decades of game design experience into one evocative system compatible with the 3.5 rules. Paizo’s GameMastery® accessories offer easy-to-use tools aimed at improving the tabletop RPG experience. Paizo’s board game imprint unleashes fun, challenging games like Kill Doctor Lucky™ and Yetisburg™ that appeal to both families and casual gamers alike. Paizo’s Planet Stories® line of science fiction and fantasy novels promise thrilling adventure of the like not seen since the legendary pulps. Paizo.com is the leading online hobby retail store, offering tens of thousands of products from a variety of publishers to customers all over the world. Since its founding in 2002, Paizo Publishing has received more than a dozen major industry awards and has grown to become one of the most influential companies in the hobby games industry.
Game Company/Board Game GOH
Steve Jackson Games
Andrew Hackard, Munchkin Czar
Samuel Mitschke – Production Manager
Steve Jackson Games was founded in 1980 by (no surprise here) Steve Jackson. We now publish books, games, and magazines for game fans. Our best-known games include GURPS, the “Generic Universal RolePlaying System”; Munchkin, the irreverent game of dungeon crawling; Chez Geek, the game of apartment life; INWO, the trading card game of world domination; the original Illuminati game on which INWO was based; Car Wars, about battle on the highways; and OGRE, the classic simulation of future war. We’ve released a lot of other games, too… too many to list right here
- Website – live
- Logo Artwork complete – Flyers printed
- Outreach – Flyer distribution begins in time for Christmas Holidays
- Scheduled Activities
- ConCom meeting 2/month Jan-Mar
- Game Day in January
- Scheduling System Live this week
GameStorm Registration Report
|Purchased at Previous Con||191||158|
|Purchased since Previous Con||70||72||* (as of 12/12/2010)|
|Rollovers from Previous Con||28||7|
|Total Membership to Date||405||490|
|* All GS13 figures are end-of-con except for Purchased since Previous Con|
|** ConCom & Staff were combined for GS13|
The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund Award
Report to the OSFCI Board
December 12, 2011
Requests for Aid:
We had no requests for aid since our September report.
We have had no donations since
Our account balance remains just under $9,000.
We have enough money in the account to make the additional grant we anticipate to the writer we are helping. We are, however, considering a fund raising drive to rebuild the Fund’s ability to meet emergencies.
Board of Trustees
|Committee Members||First Appointed||Term Expires|
|James Fiscus, Chairman||October 1996||November 2012|
|Page Fuller, Treasurer||October 1996||November 2012|
|Arthur Aldridge, OSFCI Rep.||July 2005||While serving on OSFCI Board.|
|Geri Jeter||November 2002||November 2013|
|Ruth Sachter||November 2002||November 2013|
|Marc Wells||November 2003||November 2013|
James W. Fiscus
Chairman, Clayton Board of Trustees
The Endeavour Award
Report to the OSFCI Board
December 12, 2011
Our winner for the 2011 Award is “Dreadnought” by Cherie Priest.
The other finalists were:
- “A Cup of Normal” by Devon Monk, published by Fairwood Press;
- “The Bards of Bone Plain” by Patricia McKillip, published by Ace Books;
- “Black Prism” by Brent Weeks, published by Orbit US;
- “Silver Borne” by Patricia Briggs, published by Ace Books.
Our judges for 2011 were John Joseph Adams, Bud Sparhawk, and Jo Walton.
Including the donation made by Gamestorms 12 and 13, we have received donations totaling $1,860.65 since our September report. Donations above the $1,95.43 from Gamestorm were made at Orycon. We thank Gamestorm, Brenda Cooper, Richard Lovett, and Pamela Wilson-Sage and Pat Steed for their donations.
We had expenses of $1,679.53, predominantly as grants to the winner and attending finalists and for the physical award.
We now have $5,354.61 in the bank, which should cover operating expenses for at least two years, which has been one of our goals.
|Committee Members||First Appointed||Term Expires|
|Sarah Bryant||October 2006||November 2012|
|James Fiscus, Chairman||October 1996||November 2014|
|Page Fuller||October 1996||November 2014|
|Marilyn J. Holt||September 2000||November 2014|
|Sara Mueller||October 2003||November 2013|
|Alan Rosenthal||January 2006||November 2012|
|Sheila Simonson||October 1996||November 2013|
|Shawn Wall, Treasurer||November 2005||November 2013|
James W. Fiscus
Chairman, Endeavour Award
Susan Petrey 3rd Quarter 2011 Report
Income Statement – Q3 2011
|Microsoft Matching Funds||$150.00|
|Gifts of Blood Sales||$100.00|
|OCF Balance (09/30/2011)||$47,659.85|
Subsequent to the end of the quarter, we recorded another $40 in income from the Beer Tour and raised almost $1700 at OryCon 32 throught the small Auction, Egg Prizes and direct donations.
- Charles Stross (Susan C. Petrey Fellow)
- Alisa Alering (Bloomington IN)
- Todd Castillo (Long Beach CA)
- Chuck Palahniuk (Susan C. Petrey Fellow)
BYLAWS COMMITTEE REPORT
There have been two suggestions presented to me by members of the committee for changes to the Bylaws.
Changes to Section VIII, which reads:
“VIII. Board Meetings
- The Board of Directors shall hold regular meetings during:
- The fourth week of April
- The second week of July
- The third week of September
- The second week of December
Such meetings shall generally be held on the Monday of the week but may be scheduled on another week day within the designated week (including both weekends). The meeting dates shall be set by the Board of Directors at the previous Board Meeting, or within two weeks after the Annual Meeting (whichever is later). Efforts shall be made to schedule Board meetings at least one week later than the end of an OSFCI-sponsored event.
Meetings may be postponed by no more than one week if the majority of the Board feels that the change is necessary to effectively conduct the business of the Corporation, as long as the decision is made far enough in advance of the new meeting date for the Secretary to send the required notification.
Except in the case of emergency, regularly scheduled Board meetings shall start no earlier than 7:30pm Monday through Friday, 1:00PM Saturday and Sunday.
- An organizational meeting of the Board of Directors shall be held following the Annual Meeting to elect new officers and conduct such other business as the Board may deem necessary.
- The date of a regularly scheduled meeting may be changed by the OSFCI President on an emergency basis following consultation with the Board. Such a change shall not affect the scheduled date of any following regular Board meeting. Special meetings of the board of Directors may be called by a majority of the officers or by written request to the Secretary from four (4) of the Directors.
- Directors, officers, and ex-officio board members, must be informed by the secretary of the time and place at least fourteen (14) days before each regular meeting. Notice may be given by email, phone, or letter, depending upon the preference of the Director, officer, and ex-officio board member. Directors, officers, and ex-officio board members shall be informed of emergency or special meetings at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting.”
The main thrust of the suggested change is that the Board return to the practice of meeting bimonthly, rather than quarterly. Meeting more often will give the Board more meeting hours during the course of the year to fully consider items brought before it (rather than postponing them to subsequent meetings for lack of time), and will give it a quicker response time to new issues.
It will also place a full Board meeting (rather than just election of officers) closer to the time of GameStorm. The present schedule has the last full meeting of the Board in December, 3.5 months before that convention. GameStorm is becoming a larger and more complex convention as the years pass, and is deserving of more attention from the Board.
The proposed schedule of meetings would be:
- The fourth week of February (first full meeting with the new Board following the AGM, and a change from the present schedule).
- The fourth week of April (same as the present schedule).
- The third or fourth week of June (rather than the second week of July, as in the present schedule).
- The second week of August (a change from the present schedule).
- The second or third week of October (a change from the present schedule).
- The second week of December (same as the present schedule).
Changes to Section XII, which reads:
The Bylaws of this Corporation may be adopted, amended, or rescinded in whole or in part by at affirmative vote of a majority of the Membership.”
The first recommendation is to change the phrase “a majority” to “40%”, or other appropriate percentage. The Secretary has been asked to provide records of the past five years of Annual General Meetings, to determine what percentage of membership voted at those meetings, either in person or by proxy. The change would be such as to have made the average percentage voting at those meetings a sufficient percentage for a change to the Bylaws to have been allowed.
The second recommendation is to specify in this section a process by which a vote on changing the Bylaws can be held, other than at the Annual General Meeting. Said process should include provisions regarding:
- Methods and timing of notification to the membership of proposed changes to the Bylaws.
- Methods of voting on the proposed changes, including whether voting will be allowed by email, hand delivery, or delivery via USPS or other paid delivery services.
- Time period allowed for voting (from date of notification to closing of voting).
- Threshold for determining when a proposed change will be submitted to the membership for a vote (as there could be significant effort and expense involved in notifying the membership of a vote). This might involve a petition signed by a minimum number or percentage of the membership. Said restriction would not apply to changes proposed at the AGM.
Stephen Raymond, Chair
GameStorm Scheduling System Proposal
This is a proposal for an agreement between Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI), an Oregon not-for-profit corporation, and Beverly T. Block and Rachael L. Madsen (Developers). Beverly T. Block is a member of the OSFCI Board of Directors.
The Developers will provide to OSFCI custom software for the purpose of scheduling and managing events at the GameStorm convention. The Developers request $3000 to be paid upon acceptance of the proposal, $1000 at the start of beta testing, and $1000 when the system goes live, in support of this project. OSFCI will hold a permanent license for use of the software at any convention it sponsors in the future. The Developers will maintain full ownership of the software and any related intellectual property rights, and will commit to maintaining the software for at least 3 years.
OSFCI will appoint a representative who will have authority to accept the software as complete.
Scope of the Software
The software will support all of the functions involved in scheduling events, including but not limited to:
- Allowing users to submit events they would like to run
- Assigning events to specific times and locations (i.e. rooms and tables)
- Displaying the schedule in list and graphic forms
- Filtering and sorting displays based on multiple criteria
- Allowing members to sign up as players for events
- Generating sign-up sheets and table schedules for use during the convention
There will be four levels of user permission:
Admins will be able to
- Define convention details, such as start and end dates
- Define locations such as rooms and tables
- Assign scheduling permission for specific locations to individual schedulers
- Assign events to times and locations in all areas
- Set times for start and end of phases such as user event submission and player sign-ups
Schedulers will be able to
- Assign events to times and locations in their areas
- Add users to and remove them from events
- Create duplicates of events
- Associate additional tables with an existing event
Members will be able to
- Sign up for events in which they would like to participate
Users will be able to
- Submit events they would like to run
- Edit their submissions prior to their being scheduled
- Tag events of which they would like to keep track
- Search for events by name and/or game master
- View additional sessions of a given event
- View their personal schedules
User Event Roles
A User may be associated with a given event with one or more of five Roles:
- Game Master
The Coordinator role will be the only one which allows a user to be associated with more than one event in a given time slot. This allows one person to run multiple events simultaneously.
Speaker and Moderator roles will be for use only on panels.
A Game Master may also be a Player in his or her own event.
Players will be associated with an event in the order in which they sign up (first-come, first-served). Once an event is full, players will be wait-listed.
The system will track conflicts of locations and individuals. Admins will have the option of defining severity levels of different conflicts. For example, early in the scheduling process a Game Master being assigned to multiple concurrent events might generate a warning, whereas when the schedule is finalized such conflicts would need to be resolved.
The system will also flag Game Masters, Coordinators, Moderators and Speakers who are not yet Members.
Members will not be allowed to sign up for conflicting events. Should they attempt to do so, they will receive a warning that the action will cancel their prior sign-ups. Confirmation will be required before the cancelation takes place.
Game Description Library
The system will have the capacity for a library of short and long descriptions for games. Users submitting events will have the option of using them as is, or adding to or modifying them for their own specific event. Users will be able to browse the library and request specific games, allowing event coordinators to recruit Game Masters for high-demand games.
Users will be able to submit game descriptions for the library, but they will require scheduler approval before being made public.
Public vs. Private Events
Schedulers will have the ability to define an event as Private. This prevents users who are not associated with it from seeing it, but maintains it in the schedule with all associated users and locations.
The system will have support for tournaments. The scheduler will optionally be able to define an event as requiring qualification. Such events will be automatically tagged as “of interest” for users who sign up for qualifying rounds, but they will not be able to sign up as players.
Organized Roleplaying Support
Players signing up for events in the Organized Roleplaying Campaigns (ORC) track will have the option of specifying either that they want to judge the event, or the level and class of their character.
Users will be able to view all events with which they are associated. This will include those marked as “of interest”, as well as those for which they are scheduled as GM, player, etc. Events for which a User is signed up as a player but is currently wait-listed will be flagged. Users will have the option to make their schedules visible to other users (public).
The Developers will provide support via email for all levels of users. While it is the goal for the interface to be as self-explanatory as possible, some questions will inevitably arise. A FAQ will be provided, with links into it on pages where questions are most likely to arise.
The software will be optimized for HTML 5 compatible browsers, particularly Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Basic functionality will be available in older versions of these browsers.
A bug reporting/feature request site will be available to admins and schedulers. Features beyond the scope of this agreement will be implemented at the Developers’ discretion. Further payment may be requested if features are extensive.
System Platform & Resources
The software will be developed to run on a Linux platform. The current free Dreamhost account will not provide sufficient resources; after considerable research, the Developers recommend purchasing VPS (Virtual Private Server) service from hosting provider Arvixe (http://www.arvixe.com). This provider has the best combination of cost, reliability, customer support, and customer satisfaction that the Developers have found.
The cost of hosting will be $480/year. This cost will be covered by GameStorm/OSFCI starting from April 1, 2012. The current GameStorm budget has $800 allocated for IT costs, so this should be within the organization’s means. The details of the agreement between OSFCI and GameStorm regarding these cost is outside the purview of this document.
The Developers will continue to monitor hosting providers prior to deployment to ensure that Arvixe remains the best choice.
The software will be developed using Python, with some parts written in C++ to improve efficiency. The database will be MySQL or PostgreSQL. Much of the development will be based on code available from Open Source repositories.
The Developers will use a unit test driven development model to ensure reliability of the code. All modules will be clearly documented. Code will be tracked through a code management system.
The Developers are committed to having the software ready for use by GameStorm 15, scheduled for March 2013. Planned milestones are:
|April 1, 2012||Complete mock-ups of web pages|
|April 15, 2012||Begin alpha test of account creation & profiles|
|May 15, 2012||Begin alpha test of game Master submissions|
|June 22, 2012||Begin alpha test of scheduling functions|
|August 1, 2012||Begin alpha test of sign-up functions|
|August 15, 2012||Begin beta test of account creation and GM submission|
|September 1, 2012||Begin beta test of scheduling|
|October 1, 2012||Begin beta test of sign-ups|
|November 1, 2012||Open system for Game Master submissions|
Completion, Acceptance & Liability
The Developers will work with OSFCI representatives to ensure that the interface meets their needs.
Acceptance will be based on both functionality and performance, specific metrics to be agreed on by the Developers and OSFCI representatives, to include but not limited to:
- Required fields checked for on all pages
- Event submissions entered correctly
- GMs able to edit their submissions only until events are scheduled
- Conflict checking functional at all levels
- User schedules display properly
- Schedule displays correct and readable
- Message and comment fields handled appropriately
- Schedule data available in CSV (comma separated values) format
In the event that the system is not completed, the liability of the Developers will be limited to funds they have received.
Certain functions are outside the scope of what is planned for the first version of this software. The Developers will, however, keep in mind certain future enhancements when making design decisions:
- Full integration with the GameStorm website: Providing a single login point will make the user experience easier, and allowing verification of membership without manual intervention by Registration will reduce the workload for ConCom and Staff. This will require migration of the website from Dreamhost to Arvixe, which is probably desirable in any case.
- Allowing members to prioritize conflicting events so they can sign up for a second choice while remaining on the wait list for their first choice
- Allowing schedulers to copy events from past conventions
- Adding a facility to allow users to “friend” each other, allowing their schedules to be shared with some but not all other users
- Allow schedulers to ask for a list of available tables of a certain type and/or size
- Adding more extensive, context sensitive help
- Adding support for mobile devices