WSFS Business Meeting – Friday Liveblog 7

Business meeting agenda for this year can be downloaded here for those of you playing from home.

Hey everyone, we are up and running. Meeting got going at 1000, we are currently going over procedural information. This liveblog will be updated every 5-10 minutes when something is happening.

1010: Suggested time limits for establishing debate. Old business first. E.1 E Pluribus Hugo, 20 minutes (no objection). E.2 30 Days Hath New Business, 6 minutes. Objection – but Cliff Dunn then points out that the time must be voted on first before we play fill in the blank. 6 minutes passes. E.3 The Statue of Liberty Play (12 minutes). E.4 A Matter of Days (4 minutes). E.5 Non-transferability of voting rights (20 minutes).

1013: New constitutional amendments. F.1 The Zero Percent Solution (20 minutes). Kevin Standlee reminds us via Point of Order that motions to postpone indefinitely, etc, are in order at this time.

1016: F.2 To Defuse the Turnout Bomb, Cut the Red Wire (20 minutes). Nicholas Whyte points out that F.2 (this amendment) is rendered moot by the passage of F.1. Meeting votes to take F.2 up first before F.1.

1017: F.3 If a Tree Falls in the Woods and Nobody is Around (20 minutes). F.4 Best Game or Interactive Work (30 minutes). F.5 Fan vs. Pro (30 minutes). Terry Neill moves to postpone indefinitely. I second. Cliff Dunn against the motion; the committee explicitly wants to bring this up for the purposes of feedback. Dave McCarty for – points out that attempting to perfect a measure within the business meeting is not that useful. Joshua Kronengold against – the committee could not resolve these issues. KJ for – suggests this meeting is not the correct venue for this discussion, particularly due to the limited attendance for the business meeting. Motion to postpone indefinitely fails.

1029: F.6 Clearing Up the Artist Categories Forever (No, Really, We Swear It This Time!) (20 minutes). Motion to postpone definitely until the Sunday session of the meeting. It would be the first order of business on Sunday. Martin then proposes to amend the the motion to propose definitely until Sunday and after F.5 in case F.5 is not finished before Sunday. Kate Secor points out that the person who put F.6 together is observantly Jewish and would prefer F.5 not be debated on Saturday as well. Motion to postpone definitely passes.

1034: F.7 One Rocket Per Customer, Please! (10 minutes). Terry Neil motions to postpone indefinitely. Seconded. Kate Secor against motion to postpone – this needs to be debated because Best Series has moved from the intent of the category. Nicholas Whyte for – feels this burdens Hugo administrators and circumvents the will of the voters and should not have our time wasted. Dave against – also Hugo administrator, disagrees with Nicholas. Ben Yalow against – Feels this solution is too draconian but should be debated and sent back to committee. Cassie Beach for – feels it is against the will of the votes to tie their hands in this manner. Give it more time to shake out, the category is still pretty new. Terry Ash against – again points out we need to have this debate for because the Hugo Study Committee needs the feedback.

1044: Kate Secor points out that the rules change C.1, which would allow items to be debated without passing/failing, would allow us to debate these things if passed. The Chair (Jared) points out that we could suspend the rules if C.1 passes and then allow it to come into effect immediately for this purpose. Andrew Adams moves to refer F.7 to a committee to report back tomorrow. As committee was not specified, the chair says he will call it the Hugo Awards Study Committee and put Cliff in charge of it (“Oh, thanks,” says Cliff from the back, to much laughter). Cliff asks what the committee would be deciding – answer is that since it has not been given specific instructions, the committee can do whatever they want with it. Terry wishes to instruct the committee to discuss striking “nor may any series containing an individual installment which has won a Hugo Award of any type in its nominated format.”

1050: At this point we are in the weeds. We are now discussing amending the motion to refer to committee. Joshua Kronengold against amending the motion because as guidance, it’s terrible. The committee now has the impression that this is too draconian. Let them figure that out and come back.

1055: Motion to refer F.7 to committee fails. And now we still have to set debate time. Ben Yalow moves to amend F.7 by striking “nor may any series containing an individual installment which has won a Hugo Award of any type in its nominated format.” Elspeth against since this debate could happen tomorrow. Rafe Richards for as it will provide a very clear idea of what WSFS wants. Kate Secor against, pointing out that the amendment will effectively render F.7 and F.8 the same. Perianne Lurie against pointing out that it is similar but not the same. Motion to amend fails. Now once more Jared attempts to propose a time limit for debate.

1102: F.8 A Work, By Any Other Name (20 Minutes). Rafe Richards moves to postpone indefinitely for similar reasons that people wanted to postpone F.7, for circumventing the will of the voters. Motion to postpone indefinitely fails.

1106: Onto the standing rules changes… but first we’re having a ten minute recess.

1117: Point of information, which I originally did not hear. At one point Jared thanked Jesi Lipp for keeping him straight, to which their answer was, “I’ve never kept anyone straight in my life.” Bless u, Jesi.

1119: We are back in session and onto the standing rules changes. C.1 Making Business Meeting Feedback Possible (10 minutes). If You Don’t Have to Print, Neither Do We (10 minutes).

1121: Kate Secor with a question regarding C.1; the slide with the standing rules changes notes “These items will be effective this year if passed.” Confusion regarding previous discussion. Jared clarifies that these will take effect at the end of this business meeting and the slide is a mistake. Slide is corrected in real time.

1122: Committee reports.

1123: Debate time for resolutions will be set after committee reports, per Jared, since those will be coming up today.

1123: Kevin Standlee unexpectedly gives the report from the Mark Protection Committee, as his co-chair is absent much to his surprise. Not a lot new this year. They are taking up registering Lodestar as a mark. Opens to questions, but suggests it’s better to approach him individually or come to the meeting on Monday. No questions, he escapes.

1124: Cliff Dunn asks if, though it is the preliminary business meeting, if we can do debate on standing rules changes. We can. Jared exercises his executive privilege to say we will finish out committee business, then we will do standing rules changes, then we will address resolutions.

1126: Nicholas Whyte is nominated to the Mark Protection Committee. Ron Oakes self-nominates for the MPC. They will be put in with the three people whose terms are ending. Perianne Lurie points out that we also need to move to re-nominate those whose terms are ending, which we hastily do. MPC voting will take place tomorrow.

1128: Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee. Don Eastlake says they combed through the constitution and found a number of places for improvement, but have chosen to not submit any of those this year as the meeting agenda was already quite full. They have documented in their report the changes that will have to be promulgated if E.2 passes this year.

1129: WorldCon Runners Guide Editorial Committee; Mike Willmoth reports that they have made progress. They are working on a new page for North American vs. non-North American WorldCons. Have spoken to many past con chairs to gather information for that.

1131: Jared exercises his executive privilege to re-appoint the members of the previous two committees. FOLLE Committee, Kent Bloom reports. They continue to nitpick away at various minor issues, particularly for the last two years where there has been confusion over who was where and when. Kent asked that the FOLLE committee continues and is re-formed.

1133: Hugo Awards Study Committee, Cliff Dunn reports. C.1 was proposed by members of the committee, but the committee did not have the remit to do so itself. They are working on a more clear process for issuing reports so that there is not a rush at the end. Clarifying subcommittee structure. Have set up Discord so that digests go to email to help email only people. Are taking steps to be more inclusive and transparent. The business meeting is a less than ideal way to deal with these things due to the need to travel; the committee’s accessibility via discord and email solves much of this.

1137: Nicholas Whyte objects to the continuation of the Hugo Study Committee as it has done very little. The amendments of this year are deeply imperfect and he fears it is a feature of the structure, not a bug. The committee had the time and chances to consult more widely with stakeholders and has not. The broad remit of the study committee inevitability of siloing. He suggests leaving the old structures behind and going back to forming committees as needed that will perforce need to structure themselves to be more inclusive of stakeholders.

1142: I am honestly not sure what just happened. The weeds, they are beckoning.

1144: Jared: “Is the member proposing to suggest the committee before reformed with specific instructions?” Joanie: “YES.” Jared: “What specific instructions?” Joanie: “I don’t know! Because you’ve never given us direction.”

1145: Oh god there’s a motion to go to a Committee of the Whole. Martin Pyne asks if there is a time limit. Jared: At this time… no. But we only have 45 minutes left.

1146: The nos have it, there will be no Committee of the Whole. The deputy executive officer’s elation is noted.

1147: Perianne Lurie moves to amend the resolution to reform the committee but have them elect a new chair. Which can be the same chair, but they will be directed to do an election.

1148: Kate moves that the cameras be turned off for this bit?? Seconded. Unsure what’s going on.

1150: This motion is debatable. Kate asks for the cameras to be off because since people are going to come up by name during discussion of successes and failings, we need not capture this for posterity on youtube.

1153: Against, member of the committee who believes these discussions could be useful to future WorldCons. Elspeth also for, the internet is forever.

1155: Olav Rokne against, because all records are important for further information, for historical knowledge of debate. This is important historical record for why decisions were made.

1157: Terry Ash for, on the committee and notes that the discussions at the end got nasty and she does not feel it needs to live on youtube forever.

1158: Perianne Lurie points out that turning off the record further disenfranchises people. Vote is taken, motion to turn off cameras fails.

1159: Now back to the amendment which I don’t even remember what it was… oh wait it’s the vote on the committee leadership. Martin against; rather than voting on a chairman, one should be appointed.

1201: Motion to amend the instructions to the committee fails. Motion to reform the committee also fails. The Hugo Study Committee is disbanded. Kent Bloom moves to thank the committee for its efforts over the last five years. Seconded by many. The committee is thanked for its efforts to applause.

1202: Site Selection Review Committee has no report per Jared, who is the chair. They go bye-bye.

1203: Financial reports. Martin Pyne has a question about DisCon and Chengdu and… I am not sure what this is. John here for DisCon and he apologizes for not being Mary Robinette Kowal for so many reasons. DisCon is holding the funds in trust for Chengdu but they are having a hard time getting the money forwarded. Ben Yallow, co-chair of Chengdu; because of the complexities of transferring money to China, they are in the process of setting up a new 501(2)3 corp in America that will be able to get the funds. The new corp will be located in… Wyoming.

1205: Kate Secor asks if the data for the finance will be transferred to the US or Chinese corporation, RE: data protection laws. Per John, the paper copies of the info have already been given the Chengdu.

1206: Cliff asks if there is a timeline for when Chengdu expects to open back up supporting memberships for those who were unable to participate in site selection last year. Per Ben Yalow, they are basically waiting on the banks so they can get the credit card processing in place and that’s what the holdup is.

1208: Motion to censure committee of Sasquan from Linda Deneroff: the financial reports have been functionally unchanged for years; they claim they will give $500 scholarships for SMOFCon or ConComCon but with no information on how these scholarships will be distributed. They are not contributing meaningfully to greater fandom.

1210: Mike Willmoth, vice-char of Sasquan. They had a lot of excess money due to the controversy we all know about. They sent a lot of money out after the convention. Gives examples of money that was sent out. Feels it is very unfair to censure Sasquan for these things when they have contributed a lot of other things feels like a shot in the foot. Kent Bloom indicates the WorldCon Heritage Association, which received a substantial contribution after Sasquan closed its books. Feels the remaining amount, which is really just failure to finish, does not warrant a censure, maybe just a kick in the “you-know-what.” Ben Yalow feels a resolution of censure is an extreme measure that should be applied very carefully; Sasquan has complied with the constitution.

1213: Motion to censure Sasquan fails. Linda notes that MidAmeriCon has not submitted a financial report and is strongly requested they submit theirs next year.

1215: Question from the elder Mr. Dashoff regarding LoneStarCon’s financial report.

1216: Kevin Standlee moves that we deal with the resolutions since we have only 15 minutes left in the meeting. The chair moves for unanimous consent to take the resolutions up. Asks for unanimous consent for D1-4 to approve the Hugo eligibility extensions. All pass with unanimous consent.

1218: D.5 and D.6 are given 4 minutes of debate each.

1218: Meeting is adjourned.

7 thoughts on “WSFS Business Meeting – Friday Liveblog

  1. Reply JohnD Sep 2,2022 10:37

    Gosh it is good to hear from you again!

    And I love the titles of the various items of debate.

    • Reply Alex Sep 3,2022 23:15

      <3 It's been a long time...

      But yeah they really outdid themselves on the names this year!

  2. Reply Andrew Sep 2,2022 13:49

    Thank you for this – I’m missing Worldcon this year, and it’s nice to be able to follow along remotely.

  3. Reply Rafe Richards Sep 2,2022 15:33

    While I am faintly amused to twice be recorded as ‘Mr. Richards’ where everyone else is by full name, I’ll assume it is because my name is obscure and was missed, rather than by any particular intent, so for the record, and because I’m unlikely to shut up tomorrow, I’m Rafe Richards.

    Separately, thank you very much for doing this!

    • Reply Alex Sep 3,2022 23:00

      Yes, it’s exactly because I kept missing your first name and the CART operator just kept putting you down as Mr. Richards! I’ll get that fixed, thank you for the correction. <3

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  5. Reply Kevin Standlee Sep 12,2022 20:43

    I’m just now getting to read this stuff, as I was too busy dealing with getting the videos edited together. (They actually come off the cameras as a bunch of individual segments that I have to stitch together in Adobe Premiere.) As you know, I did daily summary reports, but yours are more entertaining than mine.

    I was Vice Chair (not Co-Chair) of the MPC, and I expected Chair Jo Van Eckeren to come to the meeting. That’s why I was surprised and why I didn’t wear my WSFS polo shirt. Jo Van, as you know declined her renomination to the MPC, and the committee, when I admitted that the reason I’d stepped aside a few years ago (Westercon 74) was now behind us, re-elected me for the next term.

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