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Long Stewardship

by
Hilary of Serendip

©2004, Hilary Powers


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T.I. #80, Fall ’86. This description of the kind of people the Board needs as Directors is still sound, but their working conditions have changed somewhat since it was written. The Board now holds three meetings a year away from the main office, and the Directors normally stay at an inexpensive hotel near the meeting site rather than in members’ homes. The cost of hotel lodgings is more than balanced by the additional working time the Board can put in, now that the Directors are all in one place.
     Any branch in the Society can bid for a Board meeting (with its kingdom’s support), but those near major airports in the continental U.S. have an edge because their travel costs are so much lower. Bids are accepted six months before the actual meeting—ask your Kingdom Seneschal for details on the process if you’re interested in bringing the Board to your branch.
     I left out the list of candidates, as that changes every few months. The current version appears regularly in T.I., and the Board really is interested in your observations on potential Directors, for good or ill. Yes, yours, too. The Board cannot rely on the current Directors’ personal knowledge of the candidates; in order to reflect the whole Society, they have to look outside their own circles. I once spent an hour and a half teaching a class on SCA organization, in the course of which I returned to the theme of the importance of commenting on Director candidates roughly every ten minutes. Towards the end, someone in the class raised a hand and asked in a tone of cautious discovery, “Oh, you mean they want to hear from people like US???” Yes indeedy. What you know can make a difference!
     Send your comments to SCA Member Services, P.O. Box 360743, Milpitas CA 95036-0743, Att: Board Recruiting.

LIFTING THE VEIL

My cousins, herewith an invitation to enter into the Inner Mysteries (not, alas, all that mysterious) of the SCA. The Board of Directors will be selecting several new members in the next year, and they have commanded me to request your assistance in the search. They want candidates able to relate sympathetically to the Society’s regional variations in culture, and to write difficult letters to people they’ve never met. (As you may have noticed from the ombuds­man assignments, Directors always work with kingdoms far from their own homes. This gives everyone in the Known World equal access to the Board’s attentions, but makes it especially necessary that Directors be able to deal with matters outside their personal interests.) In addition, prospective Directors should be observant but close-mouthed, hard-working without feeling compelled to run everything in sight, and sufficiently even-tempered to put up with three years of being considered one of Them. [It’s three-and-a-half years now....]
     These qualities are difficult to assess directly, so the Board looks for people who have served successfully in major kingdom offices, held Crowns without losing friends and sanity, subscribed to the Board Minutes and a variety of kingdom newsletters, or otherwise demonstrated relevant abilities and interests. There’s no requirement that a Director be a Peer, but they usually are—the Board and the Peerage circles are looking for the same levels of sustained effort, and the kingdom orders are closer to the candidates and thus likely to spot them first.
     There are some real costs associated with being on the Board. The meetings occupy four full weekends a year, which usually requires members who live far from the site to take Friday and Monday off to travel there and back. The SCA pays plane fare, and Directors and Corporate staff living near the meeting site provide bed and break­fast, but there is no other compensation. (Three of the meetings are at Corporate Headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the fourth is held elsewhere in the country.) Between meetings, the SCA provides stationery, stamps, and a moderate phone allowance, but Directors donate the time required to answer mail and solve problems—a smaller workload than most Kingdom Seneschals, Chroniclers, or Heralds, but larger than other kingdom officers have to deal with.
     It’s rare to find the combination of temperament, ability, and mundane position that will allow a person to serve happily on the Board of the SCA. The list given below includes those of the previous nominees who are willing to be considered at this time. The Board welcomes your comments on any of these people, and also invites you to suggest others to be added to the list. I am coordinat­ing the recruiting program, so please address your letters to me. [Obsolete; see note at top of page.]


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