Articles of Association/Future Membership
Article 0. Name
Article 1. Purpose
- sudo room is an association of individuals (called "sudoers") established to collectively support a creative community and hacker space with corresponding values.
sudo room is an open, collaborative community of creators and practitioners working toward positive social change. sudo room chooses to:
- Value open, public discourses over closed, proprietary processes.
- Value access and transparency over exclusivity.
- Value solving real problems over hypotheticals, while respecting visions of the future.
- Value community and collaboration over isolation and competition.
- Value human judgment over automation and efficiency.
- Value do-ocracy over bureaucracy.
- Value safe space over ideology.
Article 2. Membership
Section 2.0 Definition
sudo room is a deliberative collective, meaning there is horizontal democratic control and participatory management of the organization, which is composed of all individual members. However, the group actively strives to substantially incorporate interested community participants and beneficiaries who are non-members. Members agree to decisions made by sudo room as well the terms of these Articles of Association and all future amendments.
By using spaces or services operated by sudo room, community participants and beneficiaries are obligated to respect all decisions by sudo room as well as the terms of these Articles of Association and all future amendments.
Section 2.1 Qualifications for Membership
- Membership is defined by fulfilling the following requirements:
- Contributing monthly dues (sliding-scale with respect to operating costs) or equivalent.
- It is an express purpose of the group to keep membership rates low, and therefore accessible, as well as offer, when possible, alternatives to monetary contribution to suffice for monthly dues.
- A status of good standing with the organization.
- Unresolved debts and/or substantial lapses in respecting the values of the organization and its members may result in suspension of membership, to be determined by fair process respecting individual rights and freedoms and the integrity of community norms.
- Successfully completing the process for becoming a member, below:
- Contributing monthly dues (sliding-scale with respect to operating costs) or equivalent.
Section 2.1.0 Process for becoming a member
Sudo room's process for becoming a member strives to balance the values of openness, access, and transparency against the community's need for members to hold respect for responsibility, accountability, and safe space. The members need to trust and respect one another in order to fully self-express and to perform sudo room as a creative community and hacker space.
Sudo room respectfully request that all prospective members remember that trust is essential for our community and can be very easy to build when we all bring with us love, our genuine selves, and mutual respect.
In this regard, sudo room has replaced its formerly centralized membership process with a peer-to-peer (or peer-oriented) path to membership. In order to become a member of the sudo room, you must:
- Become aware of sudo room's history, values, culture, physical space, virtual space, and other members:
- history -
- values -
- culture -
- physical space
- Come visit the space! If you can't find a good excuse, you can join for a "Newbie Night" at 6pm on Wednesdays before the 7pm weekly membership meeting.
- virtual space
- we're all over the tubes and interwebs! https://sudoroom.org/humans
- member directory: https://sudoroom.org/humans
- Meet with at least one sudo room member to discuss becoming a member, getting feedback and help with the process.
- Sign up on this form: https://sudoroom.org/membership
- Come to a weekly sudo room meeting
The sudo room will engage in a process to reflect on your intention to join sudo room by:
- Ensuring you get a chance to communicate with at least one sudo room member about membership
- Allowing plenty of opportunities to come to the sudo room physical space, to meet other members as well as non-member participants, and to get a sense of the ongoing activities of the community.
- Provide online resources that fully detail many aspects of sudo room as possible that may help inform your decision about membership.
- Listening to other members to determine if there are any objections to your membership
- If there are any objections, you will receive an explanation, and potentially an optional request for more information or engagement with you.
Section 2.2 Sudo Functionaries
As a collective, functionary positions are voluntary roles taken on by willing members and intended to change regularly. No person may hold more than one position simultaneously, unless permitted by sudo room. Any member of sudoroom may perform any of the functions of any of the Functionaries, but the Functionaries are expected to perform their duties regularly and must perform them if no one else can or will. Any Functionaries can voluntarily cede the role to another member any time, and is replaced if another member is voted into the function by a simple majority vote. The positions and respective duties are listed below:
- Maintains the agenda for meetings, ensures topics are dealt with, and recognizes speakers in a fair and inclusive way.
- Ensures that all group business is handled and all group decisions are made in the way described in these Articles of Association, by bearing them in mind and referring to them whenever needed.
- Takes notes during meetings and collaborates with others to include their notes in final meeting minutes.
- Posts notes publicly after each meeting.
- Presents the budget during meetings, as articulated in the budget process below.
- Coordinates with Scribe to ensure budget-related information is accurate and available to all members.
- Co-facilitates (with the Facilitator) the budget process below.
- Conflict Steward
- Facilitates the conflict resolution process according to the Articles of Association, but not necessarily a moderator.
- Stewards selection of a moderator and schedules meetings among conflicting parties and moderator.
- Documents meetings and communications relevant to the conflict resolution process.
- Promotes good-faith participation in the process by conflicting parties on a basis of mutual respect and growth towards better relationships and a stronger community.
- If conflict resolution goes before the whole group, co-facilitates with Facilitator, and handles points of information about conflict resolution with reference to the documentation.
- Does not act as Conflict Steward in conflicts involving self.
Section 2.3 Benefits
The following are benefits available to all members:
- Usable assets and resources available within reasonable constraints of time and under the condition of sharing.
- sudo room strives to make assets and resources available to as many non-member participants and beneficiaries as possible.
- Note: no personal property should be stored in sudo room unless a system for personal storage can be provided by sudo room.
- Note: the use of sudo room environments for habitation and/or domestic use is strongly discouraged.
- Approved discounts and services negotiated through the collective purchasing power of sudo room.
- Items are up to the discretion of sudo room to determine through its budgeting and decision-making processes.
- A safe space, which is defined as:
- "A place where anyone can relax and be fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability; a place where the rules guard each person's self-respect and dignity and strongly encourage everyone to respect others." â€” Advocates for Youth via Wikipedia.
- A place free of physical violence or threats thereof.
Article 3. Decision-Making
Section 3.0 Governance
As a collective, sudo room members govern themselves and each retains equal rights and mutual responsibilities.
Sub-Section 3.0.0 Meetings
- Meetings are held regularly, with sufficient notice for interested members to participate.
- A meeting to conduct official business of sudo room must include at least 10 members.
Sub-Section 3.0.1 Agenda
Agendas will be initiated with a default structure left open to addition until the beginning of the next meeting. Additions to the agenda during the meeting require a simple majority to be added, otherwise they are tabled until the next meeting.
- Announcements / Updates
- Decision Procedure: Not applicable during meetings.
- Public announcements may be objected to with timely notice and the burden on the objector.
- Fiscal Solvency (Budget)
- Decision Procedure: Automatically approve the budget formed using the procedure outlined below. All amendments to the automatic budget must be made using a consensus process.
- Conflict Resolution
- Decision Procedure: Fair Process described below.
- Proposals for Amendment
- Decision Procedure: Follow "Amendments" Article below.
- Decision Procedure: By consensus.
- Official sudo room endorsements of other events, activities, groups, or actions.
Section 3.2 Conflict Resolution
Sub-Section 3.2.0 Process
The resolution of disputes and disagreements within sudo room is encouraged through informal process and the spirit of a collaborative environment. There is a process, however, by which issues that are not resolved informally and that arise within the scope of these articles of association:
- The party who seeks resolution finds someone to act as Conflict Steward in the matter, and works with this Conflict Steward to find a Mediator.
- The Mediator is an impartial and uninvolved third party who consents to assist, and with whom all conflicting parties consent to work toward a solution.
- The Conflict Steward organizes meetings for conflict resolution and maintains records of all meetings and relevant communications among the conflicting parties.
- The Conflict Steward, Mediator, and the conflicting parties arrange to meet to work out a resolution to which all conflicting parties consent.
- If at least one conflicting party does not consent to meet, or if at least one conflicting party is unavailable to meet in a reasonable time, all relevant circumstances considered, or if the Conflict Steward and Mediator agree after at least one meeting that further meetings would not be likely to lead to resolution, the issue is brought before the group in the following way:
- The issue is added to the agenda of the next official meeting scheduled at least one week in the future, and documentation is gathered by the Conflict Steward and made available to the group at least one week beforehand (on wiki), and notice is broadcast to the group (on mailing list), but information that would compromise anyone's privacy or dignity is not made public. In the description of the issue, the form of remedy sought by the plaintiff(s) is included. Both the Conflict Steward and Mediator must give their approval of the factual content of the documentation before it is posted. Both the Conflict Steward and Mediator must expressly affirm that the form of remedy sought by the plaintiff(s) is consistent with sudo room's values. The request for remedy must include an implementation plan approved by the Conflict Steward and the Mediator if it is not obvious how to implement it.
- During each meeting's agenda item on Conflict Resolution, all unresolved issues on the wiki are brought up for discussion followed by a vote.
- First, the Conflict Steward presents all relevant documentation about the issue.
- Then, a category of severity is established by consensus according to sudo room's values and the facts of the case. The category determines the voting threshold for sustaining a sanction against any party to the conflict. The categories are (in order of decreasing severity):
- Conflict calling for membership suspension or termination.
- Decision Procedure: 2/3 vote
- Conflict where only material compensation is sought.
- Decision Procedure: 1/2 vote
- All other conflicts.
- Decision Procedure: Consensus
- Conflict calling for membership suspension or termination.
- Then, the opportunity to represent perspective is granted to each conflicting party and to the Mediator, and general discussion may be held about the issue if any member wishes. The Conflict Steward co-facilitates with the Facilitator in order to answer questions specific to the conflict and provides information about the history of the conflict by referring to the documentation.
- Then, a brief period of deliberation of definite time is held, during which members are free to consider the issue or discuss it directly with others.
- Then, members may propose alternative remedies to the conflict, along with any appropriate implementation plans.
- Finally, a vote is held on the plaintiff(s)' proposed remedy, and then alternative remedies are voted upon in the order they were proposed, but only if at least one member indicates that the remedy under consideration is still relevant. After all remedies have been considered in this way, the matter is considered resolved. The Conflict Steward then ensures all relevant parties understand the remedy or remedies that passed and any corresponding implementation plans.
- Any conflicting party unsatisfied with the decision may place an appeal on the agenda in the same way that conflicts are placed on the agenda, except that a majority of the group must vote to accept the appeal during a meeting, and the process begins anew. The appeal must propose an alternative remedy and refer to values that were not served by the original decision.
- If at the end of any step in the process more than an hour has passed during the current meeting in considering the conflict, any member may request that a majority vote be held on whether to table the conflict until the next meeting.
Sub-Section 3.2.1 Principles and Values Specific to Conflicts
In the pursuit of fairness, due process in the resolution of conflicts must include:
- Presumption of innocence.
- Right to an appeal and a fair process.
- Respect for the privacy and dignity of all members.
- Proportional and effective remedies.
Section 3.3 Corporate and Tax Status
The diversity of organizational structures shall be preserved, in order to maintain the opportunity for the most effective means of instituting incentives for creativity and innovation.
Section 3.4 Fiscal Solvency
Sub-Section 3.4.0 Assets
- sudo room assets are managed through member benefits above and the budgeting process below.
Sub-Section 3.4.1 Budgeting
sudo room employs a transparent, and collaborative budgeting process that attempts to reflect the shared values of all members as articulated by the group's purpose. The budget is located (insert link here). It is managed through the following procedure each month:
- Determine if membership dues can be reduced
- Transparently prioritize budget allocations. (In no particular order) allocate income to match expenditures, contribute to standing funds, and determine remaining surplus
- Any surpluses that remains will be divided based on member contribution and treated as internal credits (or a soft dividend) available for members to:
- Leave to the discretion of sudo room to allocate
- Allocate in the budget, at the member's discretion, to various available internal projects as defined below.
- Provide as future contributions to membership dues.
- Note: there is a substantial distinction for external projects as defined below.
- To ensure stability, sudo room must maintain several standing funds:
- 3 months worth of rent + utilities
- Rainy Day fund (for emergency expenditures)
- Maintenance fund (for necessary infrastructure replacements)
- Operations fund (for necessary, small operational expenditures)
Sub-Section 3.4.2 Income
sudo room accrues income through several sources, including events, crowd-funding initiatives, and membership dues.
Sub-Section 3.4.3 Dues
Dues shall be paid by members on a sliding scale basis, from the minimum $10 per month rate to the recommended donation calculated using the process below. Exemptions of individuals from paying dues may be approved on a case by case basis by the general membership on the grounds of financial hardship or refusal to participate in the monetary system
The recommended monthly dues for members is calculated as follows:
- dues = average over all members of ( 1 month's overhead + a % of any defecit in each standing fund + a risk premium (min. 5% of all other dues components)
- For instance, early on, overhead could be (rent + utilities + services), in which case dues = (500 + 100 + 20 + (10 + 5 + 0 + 10) + 64) / 23 = $30.83 per member
Sub-Section 3.4.4 Expenditures
- Internal Projects
- Infrastructure, maintenance and improvements.
- Capital Projects
- External Projects
- Not funded this way. Use alternative methods, such as through discounts or crowd-funding opportunities offered as Benefits above.
Sub-Section 3.4.5 Surplus
sudo room strives to maintain a zero-sum budget, in which there is no surplus.
- Definition: surplus = income - expenditures - standing funds
Article 4. Amendments
Section 4.1 Process
Amendments shall be made by:
- Announcing the proposed amendment by posting:
- On the official sudo room wiki.
- On the sudo room discussion email list
- At least 1 week before the meeting at which a vote on the amendment will be held
- Recieving feedback and commentary posted:
- On the official sudo room wiki.
- On the official sudo room anonymous etherpad: https://pad.riseup.net/p/sudoroom
- On any sudo room email list.
- Adding an agenda item to an official meeting's agenda.
- The agenda item includes time to review the feedback, receive in-person feedback, and discuss.
- Decision procedure: Consensus
Section 4.2 Dissolution / Termination of Association
Dissolution must be proposed in the same manner as all other amendments to these articles. For clarity, the decision procedure will use consensus.
Article 5. Empowerment of members
Section 5.1 Non-member access
- To empower members to deal with problematic non-members:
- Any member may deny non-members access to sudo room assets (and require the non-member in question to vacate the physical space) at any time, with no reason given, unless some other member currently present in the space is willing to vouch for the non-member in question as a guest.
- Before denying a non-member access (and requiring the non-member in question to vacate the physical space), the member must ask both the non-member and the members present in the space if any member is vouching for the non-member as a guest.
- For a non-member, being denied access (and required to vacate the physical space) is not a ban, and the non-member in question may return after 12 hours.
Section 5.2 Domestic Use
The bay area is in the throes of a housing crisis. Despite the abundance of resources (space, buildings, etc), the distribution of those resources is unfair. For many it can be costly and difficult to fulfill the basic human need of shelter. However, sudo room, as a creative community and hacker space, must maintain a division between habitation and usage of the space. As such the following are resolved:
- sudo room is not intended to be used for habitation or domestic purposes.
- No-one is allowed to sleep in sudo room at any time.
- Any member can require that anyone sleeping in sudo room must leave immediately.
- Repeated sleeping at sudo room is grounds for being temporarily or permanently denied access to sudo room's assets, including its physical space.