[Worldcon] WSFS Preliminary Business Meeting Liveblog 11

Hello everyone! It’s Thursday at WorldCon 75, I’m sick with a cold, and it’s time for the Preliminary Business Meeting! Liveblog will commence when the meeting starts. As usual, updates will come every 5-ish minutes or so. Apologies for mis-spelling names and the like, please leave corrections in the comments and I will get them later.

Also! As a wrinkle this year, for the first hour I’m going to be on a panel, so the liveblog will be taken care of by my friends Corina and Zalia (say hi, everyone) and they’ll do their best. I’ll be back at about 1100 local time and will take over.

(If you want the short summary of what happened, see here.)

9.54: There is sweet blessed coffee for the attendees of the business meeting.

1001: Business meeting for noobs video displayed which is very helpful for me to get a feel for this.

1010: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Kevin Standlee who is spending his birthday chairing the business meeting. We thank you with a gift of a new official gavel, engraved with ‘Kevin Standlee. Chairman WSFS’.

1012: The Business Meeting will be in order! Introductions and thanks. Videos of the meeting will be uploaded to the YouTube channel and is currently being Livestreamed on the Worldcon 75 YouTube channel.

1017: Awwww yes, Business Attendee Ribbons that are visible from space!

1019: Today we will be setting the agenda, deciding time limits, hearing reports, looking at rule changes, hearing resolutions, looking at time limits for constitutional amendments, and having the initial consideration of new Consitutional Amendments. Presentations for future Worldcons will be done at the Fannish Inquisition panel at 1pm today in the same room as the business meting (207)

1023: First Main Business meeting takes place on Friday, Site Selection Business Meeting will be on Saturday with presentations from 2019 and 2018 Worldcon hosts. Maybe from 2020 potential bids if there is time.

1025: We are on to The Agenda. Which first involves setting the agenda for the main meeting on Friday/Sunday.

1027: Discussion of Standing Rule Changes.

1028: Item A1 – No Candidate Regions (2 minutes of debate). Mr. Eastlake from the Nitpicking and flyspecking committee explaining. Definition of Regions of North America have been removed from the Constituion but verbage left in standing rules relating to nominations. Move to remove this passed unanimously and takes immediate effect.

1030: Kate Secor asking for explanation of motion on No Vanishing Business. Rules say that motion is submitted in advance and cannot be removed as others have planned for it and may have skipped submitting motion itself. Time for discussion reset to 3 minutes for and against.

1033: Ben Yalow speaking against, stating that this is a motion to amend and requests exact wording of motion be figured out. Suggests that ability to withdraw does not that until the deadline for submitting new business has passed.

1035: Clarification and seconding of Ben Yalow’s point.

1036: Accepting Ben Yalow’s speech as first speech in favour of amendment.

1037: Kate Secor asking question about wording -Have specified date mentioned in the rule is the standard submission date of two weeks prior.

1038: Mr Eastlike speaking against amendment. Putting in rule to allow a motion to be withdrawn even with a deadline doesn’t give opportunity for other members to submit motions similar in nature.

1039: Chair suggests referring proposal to Committee of Mr Yalow, Mr Eastlake and Ms Secor. Passed with no objection with report to come at main business meeting.

1040: Recess for 1 minute. Delicious coffee break.

1042: Corina taking over.  Hi!  Debate time streamlining debate starts.

1045: Amendment: change “may” to “shall”, unanimous consent.

1047: Proposal to produce a pre-set list of numbers of debate times.  No second, motion fails.

1048: Motion passes unanimously, takes effect immediately.

1049: Debate on proposal to eliminate wording that suggests print copies of new proposals and recognize that electronic copies exist, making existing practice into official rules.

1050: Linda Dineron speaks against this proposal as it depends on who is the secretary of business meeting.

1052: Point of information regarding technology on electronic signatures.  The exact method will be determined by the members.

1052: Hello everyone it’s Alex, I’M BACK! (Thank you so much Corina and Zalia.)

1053: “Still Ben Yalow.” This would require distribution to all members, even those without internet access, which is a thing.

1054: Kevin Standlee notes that this would impose financial burdens on the concom, so therefore the next two WorldCons will not have to comply.

1055: None in favor. Another against. Ann-Marie Rudolph, feels that the requirement and ensconcing this in the rules is more than is needed. We are already sending all material in electronic and paper format. This imposes a burden, doesn’t allow for pivoting on technological advances. Current practice is sufficient.

1057: Debate ended, call the question. The motion fails.

1058: A5, Butt Out. (No smoking, basically.) Any objections to 2 minutes debate? None.

1058: Question from Dr. Laurie – does this include e-cigarettes? No.

1059: Emotion is unanimously adopted. The business meeting will always be a non-smoking event, even if the location is a place where smoking is allowed!

1100: Moving on to resolutions. B1, extending Hugo eligibility for Kimi no Na wa. No objections to 2 minutes of debate, no debate, unanimous approval.

1101: B2 Artist Eligibility – 10 minutes of debate time adopted unanimously.

1102: There is an amendment by substitution proposed to create a Hugo Award study committee that will study the proposed revision. So we need to decide first if we’re going to do the amended version or the original version of the resolution.

1103: Please correct Kevin if you have a doctorate and he doesn’t realize it.

1103: Dr Adams has a parliamentary inquiry – is today the decision day to do committee? Yes, if that passes.

1103: This preliminary business meeting can’t send stuff on to next year’s WorldCon directly or indirectly. The committee will refer things next year to the main business meeting, which will then deal with it.

1104: Geoff Thorpe question – this is specifically for the 2018 business meeting? Kevin says the committee may recommend a constitutional amendment, but we can require the committee to do other things when the committee is made. We are creating the committee so we can give it additional tasks in the motion to refer. We cannot tie our own hands.

1105: Mr Docherty speaks in favor of substitution – this is to broaden the study committee to look at all categories, not just the artist categories. This will look at all categories and either refer to main business meeting or bring reports with regards to a comprehensive review of categories.

1107: Question for the maker. Go ahead and use some debate time against, see what happens. The previous speaker might ask you to yield some of your time. Mr Todd Dashoff actually has a parliamentary enquiry – can this committee spin off subcommittees.

1108: Kevin says yes, they can spin off subcommittees as they want unless it is specifically forbidden to them, since that’s allowed in Roberts Rules of Order.

1108: Professor Dr White on behalf of makers of original proposal to examine artist categories, thinks it’s a good idea to broaden to examine the entire structure of the Hugos in the round. Please vote for the amendment and then the resolution.

1109: No objection to adopting the substitute, so we are adopting that and now it will be before the meeting. Now we will consider the resolution, now substituted by unanimous consent.

1110: Chair suggests we reset to 8 minutes. No objection.

1110: Mr Bloom has an incidental motion. Because we cannot create a permanent committee today, suggests we postpone to tomorrow.

1111: Kevin was going to suggest that we suspend the rules so we can form the committee today and charge it with things to be reported to tomorrow. Since it seems to be people want this.

1111: The chair is a very bad chair and apologizes for going about this the wrong way. :)

1112: Any objection to adopting this resolution – there is one hand. Mr Oakes who wishes to speak against it. He proposes an amendment to limit the scope to only changing Hugo categories and not voting or nomination procedures. Since we have been working on those enough on our own.

1113: There is no objection to this amendment it seems. This would narrow the scope of the committee. But everyone seems in basic agreement that we want a review of the categories.

1114: In favor of amendment to the resolution, Mr Oakes. We have spent many years dealing with the nomination and voting process. Allowing the committee to broadly consider article three lets them mess with those, so let’s put the safety net on to restricting them specifically to the categories.

1115: Kate Secor against – appreciate the intent of the amendment, but there’s a lot of defining language (eg fan vs pro) that aren’t in 3.3, and the committee needs to be able to reach other parts of the article.

1116: No speech for the amendment. Paul Tredaway against, why bother narrowing it, because the committee has no power to implement its recommendations, just make recommendations. Give them the power.

1117: Mr Eastlake proposes to amend the amendment so it’ll encompass 3.2 and 3.3 instead of just 3.3. We suspend the rules to allow this amendment and vote it in.

1118: The resolution is amended to be 3.2 and 3.3 instead of just article 3.

1120: Back to the main motion now as amended.

1120: Mr Cronengold moves to call the question. No objection to ending the debate.

1121: Voting on the resolution itself. Only a few opposing votes. The committee will be created. Whoever is appointed as chair, they can add people to the chair at their discretion. The chairman of this meeting is not interested in discussing your membership in the committee with you, PLEASE talk to the chairmen of the committee.

1122: Dr Laurie wants to know when we can instruct the committee… when the committee has been created please.

1122: Vincent Docherty will be chairman. Other appointed members: Nicholas Whyte, Chris Barkley, Kevin Standlee, Kate Secor, Michael Lee, Catherine Duval, John Hurts conditionally if he is prepared to cooperate with the committee’s requirements.

1124: Chair asking unanimous consent to move D6, 7, and 8 to the committee just created with instruction to report back to the meeting tomorrow.  (Division of Best Novel Category, Reorganization of the Best Related Category, Best Dramatic Presentation Reorganization) Unanimous consent, we will not be taking them back up today.

1125: Unanimous consent on this.

1126: Dr Laurie asks that the committee be instructed to consult with organizations whose members will be impacted by these changes such as ASFA and SFWA.

1126: Motion is seconded, but there is not unanimous consent, so we’re going to have a debate.

1127: Dr Laurie says that the committee will be dealing with definitions, best to ask the professional organizations that represent those people.

1127: Mr Wallace parliamentary inquiry – since the committee is reporting back tomorrow, would this require them to consultation in the next 24 hours? Goodness no.

1129: Alex gives a speech in favor of consulting with organizations re: what is a professional as it is better to have more informaiton (hi this is Corina).

1131: Ben Yalow trusts Vince. (Alex back. And. Who the fuck is Vince.)

1132: Mrs Dashoff is in ASFA and would like to volunteer she is here for consult.

1132: Against: this is unduly burdensome.

1133: Me: With all due respect, who the hell is Vince?

1134: Meeting is in recess until 1145. I need some goddamn tea.

1145: And we’re back.

1146: B3 Convention Publications to Be Delivered to Members plus its attendant amendment by substitution.

1147: 20 minutes of debate time unanimously passed. Now looking at the substitution B.3.1; rather than rephrase it, chair recognizes Mr Harris to open debate.

1147: This comes up because of this con’s proposal for distribution of the souvenir books (I have no idea what this is about); the substitution is because we feel the current resolution constrains the committees too rigidly. While recognizing valid concerns, this broadens things and brings it more in line with the constitution as is. Started to get in a messy situation when there was the option to charge people; do you want paper or electronic publications was initially intended as for progress reports, not the souvenir book. There are people who are happy for electronic PRs that still want the paper souvenir book. To be financially and environmentally efficient, we need to split out the PR and souvenir book and ask individually if they want those in paper or electronic.

1151: Mr Moen speaks against the substitution; there’s nothing in this amendment that gives advance notice on how to exercise that preference. Doesn’t even specify timely.

1152: Mr Yalow – in some ways it does say that there will be timely notice. If you’re going to charge people for things, you have to specify at the time of bid filing. Also wants to address different rights for attending and supporting. The rights of attending members are defined with respect to supporting members in the constitution. You can’t give supporting members fewer rights than the attending members; the attending member is defined as supporting members plus.

1154: Mrs Dashoff has an inquiry. Having read both proposals, and sees no provision for collecting the preferences of supporting members, who are those who vote … this is a point for debate on the underlying proposal, not for this amendment.

1156: Mr Cronengold spoke and I just missed it because Kate gave me tea ILU KATE ;_; because the table was out of tea and I was just trying to survive on coffee.

1156: Dr Adams agrees main motion is overly prescriptive; this is a fast-changing area. It should be left to the committee with the guidance that’s in this amending motion.

1157: No one else wants to speak on substitute. Are we going to adopt the substitute?

1158: Yes we are.

1158: Now we’re going to debate on B.3.1.

1158: We’re going to add 12 more minutes of debate on this. Guess people are going to have a lot to say about it. (I had no idea souvenir books were such a big deal.)

1200: I’m not sure what’s going on here, sorry.

1200: It’s a motion to amend the resolution by taking the last bullet point on page 7 and inserting it into the end of the motion. This is moving something from B3 and into B.3.1. The bullet point is “The option to sign up for the printed version of either or both publications should be included on the Site Selection ballots, and through the convention’s electronic Registration process.”

1201: Mr Harris against says it’s a bit pandora’s to do this. We inherit the supporters from the previous year, and we don’t get their preferences. This gets messy because are we going to start having differential voting fees at site selection? Because we’re not collecting the extra fees then. We tend to let people get what they want and just worry about collecting the extra funds from the new members. Would rather not put this into the rules without proper consideration and probably not even then.

1203: Mrs Dashoff for and notes there are supporting members who do not have email, so contacting them to ask their preferences is impossible. You need to have that option on the site selection form so you can contact people later.

1205: Mr Walling notes that WorldCon can purchase stamps and send letters. Proposes to suspend the rules to remove the “electronic”  from “electronic registration process” since there are a lot of registrations still done via paper.

1206: Passes easily, we remove electronic and get back on track, because that does make sense!

1207: There’s only 30 seconds for left, none against. No one seems hot to trot to use that 30 seconds.

1208: IT IS TIME FOR A SERPENTINE and I don’t even know why oh god help i’m so confused

1209: oh okay this is on adding the bullet point, thanks kevin

1210: We are having serpentine teething troubles. Just figuring out the best way to count the room.

1211: The nays are going to have this one.

1212: Inquiry about the fee for the paperwork — this doesn’t sound like a parliamentary inquiry, debating the underlying subject. There’s some back and forth, no one speaking for so he can actually go with the debate and say what he’s gonna say. Instead of extra fee, propose discount for people who want electronic publications.

1215: Chair needs better wording, since the proposal is too diffuse.

1215: Mr Eastlake proposes “Worldcons may provide a refund to members who choose to receive publications electronically.”

1216: Chair thinks this needs to be referred to a committee to report back tomorrow.

1216: Nope, no committee for us, the motion fails!

1216: An alternative wording is offered by Mr Tredaway “Worldcons may offer a discount to members who choose to not receive print publications.”

1218: Ms Neal has question – does the constitution not already have a provision that allows the charging of fees? Seems the answer is no.

1219: Mr Matthews has a parliamentary inquiry – just a little clean up, sounds like, striking out some stuff for consistency. Housekeeping.

1221: Parliamentary Inquiry from Kate Secor – does the amendment as proposed conflict with 1.5.8 in the constitution. (This is the section that says you can’t sell a membership for less than the cost of a supporting membership.)

1222: Kevin: …oh boy.

1222: This means the amendment is out of order. We are back to the original un-amended resolution! Clapping abounds.

1224: Inquiry from Bruce Allbrecht (???) – is the program guide part of the publications as contemplated here. Chair rules it is. People immediately want to appeal the ruling.

1225: Mr Harris opposed to the rule. Custom and practice and practical impact say no. What do conventions historically choose to mail out. Historically, pocket programs are NOT mailed out unless there’s an excessive print run or a lot of extra money.

1226: So is the chair’s ruling right? The chair’s ruling is overturned by the meeting.

1226: And the members don’t want to extend debate, which has run out of time. And we are adopting B.3.1.

1227: One minute recess.

1229: My love is for sale and the price is tea.

1229: Kevin would like to note that this meeting is NOT the forum for complaints on how any individual WorldCon is run. Then we return to order.

1230: We’re not going to get to committee reports today. We need nominations for the Mark Protection committee next.

1231: John Coxon, Linda Deneroff, and Dave McCarty have their terms ending on the MPC, and they have agreed to be re-nominated. There was an additional nominee whose name I missed, all are accepted and nominations close.

1232: Vincent about the Hugo Committee: the YA Hugo will not be considered. People can contact him. Wants meeting at 0930 tomorrow in this room.

1232: Now we are in the debate time setting period for the constitutional amendments.

1233: None of the constitutional amendments pending ratification can be postponed indefinitely. These are ratifications from last year. (Response to PI.)

1234: Suggested debates: 10 min for best series, 4 min for amendment to it, 8 min for December Is Good Enough, 8 min for Two Years Are Enough, 20 min for Three Stage Voting, 20 min for EPH+. All accepted without objection.

1236: There is a motion to suspend regular EPH until 2018. Moved by Ben Yalow, seconded.

1237: Now it has been moved to postpone indefinitely, also seconded.

1238: Debate is on whether we will kill the motion to suspend EPH until 2018. Mr Dunn thinks EPH worked fine, why suspend it and then bring it back, just squash this bug right now.

1238: Mr Yalow points out that we specifically said we would put EPH up for debate in 2017 when we adopted it last year. We have a right to make decisions about it, and we should not quash the ability of this body to make a decision about it.

1239: Mr Cronengold says EPH is working, it’s too soon to suspend it.

1239: Question from Mrs Dashoff how many years have we had EPH? One year.

1240: Dr Adams says that we agreed we should debate EPH yearly and proposes to postpone definitely until Saturday so we can get past the Hugos this year. And postponing definitely supersedes indefinitely, which makes the indefinite postponement go POOF.

1241: It go poof.

1242: I have no freaking idea what people are arguing about now. There is shouting back and forth.

1243: Oh, apparently people are mad C6.1 is not on the slide. This is an oversight. Is there a problem with the default five minutes? No. Okay.

1244: Oh, and for C5 (EPH) as well. Is 10 minutes of debate okay since we suspended definitely? Sounds good.

1246: Oh thank god the next slide.

1246: No objections to debate time limits. I’m not going to be able to get you the numbers, but they’re reasonable. (YA Award is going to get 20 minutes of debate btw)

1248: 5 and 6 has a motion to suspend, similar to EPH, and like EPH we have postponed definitely to Saturday pending Hugo results. That gets ten minutes.

1248: Now onto the new constitutional amendments. We are running out of time y’all and might have to do a ton of stuff tomorrow. “This is what happens when you want to spend all your time debating resolutions.”

1249: Ticking right along until we get to the naming of the YA Award. There is objection to the proposed 16 minute debate. But hey Kevin’s motion is privileged so we can vote on it and move on THANK YOU.

1252: Motion to Postpone D4 definitely to Saturday as well so they can come up with a ballot and an instant runoff vote if the YA Award is adopted.

1253: Chair suggests we postpone definitely to right after the YA award and dealt with then. Chair would really prefer this, not wanting to worry about nominations until after we know if there’s even going to be an award ratified. There doesn’t seem to be an objection to handling it this way?

1256: Motion to PostPone Requiring Electronic Payments indefinitely from Ms Neal. It imposes a weird and strange burden on committees. It should be brought up next year when there’s been more time to beat it.

1257: Mr Cronengold that sounded like a speech for sending it to committee.

1257: Mr Yalow believes this is taking a short-term approach; we can kill this now, and the original maker doesn’t object to us killing it. Gives him more time to consider implications.

1258: Requiring Electronic Payments is postponed indefinitely.

1259: Committee reports are getting postponed until later. And we are adjourned.

11 thoughts on “[Worldcon] WSFS Preliminary Business Meeting Liveblog

  1. Reply Rick Moen Aug 10,2017 06:15

    Mullen’s definitely in the ball park, but it’s actually Moen (weird Scandinavian name). Thanks, Alex!

    Ben and Colin’s substitute motion (replacing Jo van Ekeren’s) should IMO improve things, advising future concoms out, even though I could wish they were advised to reveal their policies somewhere beyond just their in bid paperwork, typically read only by Business Meeting attendees, and not, say, by typical supporting members.

    Anyway, I did appreciate their thoughtful approach, FWIW, and share their concern about not overly constraining future Worldcons. ( I would guess Jo probably did, too.)

    • Reply Alex Aug 10,2017 06:19

      Got your name corrected. :)

      Man, Corina and I were very puzzled by what a hot-button issue the publication thing turned out to be…

  2. Reply Tim Illingworth Aug 10,2017 06:43

    Thanks for this, from a rainy Florida. Vince is Vince Docherty, two-time Worldcon chair.

  3. Reply Andrew Aug 10,2017 13:58

    “Yallow” should be “Yalow”

    P.S. Greatly appreciate this liveblog – I’m on the wrong continent, so I can’t attend…

  4. Reply Linda S Aug 10,2017 16:57

    Thanks so much for all your work on this! Last year was my first Business Meeting, and it was a lot more fun than I expected. I couldn’t make it to the Worldcon this year, but I’m enjoying all the reports.

  5. Pingback: [WorldCon] WSFS Main Business Meeting #1 Summary ← Alex Acks: Sound and Nerdery

  6. Pingback: [WorldCon] WSFS Main Business Meeting #2 Summary ← Alex Acks: Sound and Nerdery

  7. Reply Laura Aug 12,2017 19:33

    A little background on the Souvenir Book… traditionally they’ve been mailed to supporting and attending members who didn’t end up attending. This is becoming more and more expensive, and the last few Worldcons haven’t been clear about whether they would do it or not. As a supporting member, I received a pdf from Loncon, but nothing from Sasquan or MAC2. I just figured it was something they didn’t do for supporting members anymore. Well, apparently it was something that just slipped through the cracks. (That’s why Linda mentioned she had Sasquan books for people who hadn’t gotten them.) This year members were asked to pay extra for print copies of the PRs. They didn’t say anything about the Souvenir Book, and I guess they had only planned to give them to attending members. So basically the resolution is to advise Worldcons how they should let members know whatever their plan is regarding all traditionally mailed print pubs.

  8. Pingback: [WorldCon] WSFS Main Business Meeting #3 Summary ← Alex Acks: Sound and Nerdery

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