Meeting Notes 2018-03-14

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Sudo Room Meeting-Flavored Party - March 14, 2018 (π day)

Attendees

icebreaker question: what's your favorite flavor of Pie?

  • Jake - crow pie
  • Charley - peanut butter pie
  • Tom - i don't know, tom pie
  • Andrew - chocolate creme pie
  • Sierk - gooseberry pie
  • Rick - rhubarb
  • Melissa - cherry
  • Dante - strawberry rhubarb
  • David - whoopie pie
  • Steve - pie, just pie
  • RAYC - pi day
  • yar - pie are squared
  • Matthew - rhubarb
  • Robb - the obvious i suppose, Occu-Pie

Agenda

New Membership Process

Proposal from Yar, 2/17 ( https://sudoroom.org/pipermail/sudo-discuss/2018-February/014034.html ):

I think we've lost a lot of potential members by not having an easier way to do this, and I'd like to propose a better process:

  • 1) We already have a "members" email list which is not being used for anything. Let's make this the list for existing members to talk about new members: https://sudoroom.org/lists/listinfo/members
  • 2) We can nominate new members by emailing that list. The "declaration of intent to join" form could also get sent there, and we can use the thread for nominations. You need 3 nominations to become a member. Members should only nominate people they've met in person, and they should say something about their interactions with that person.
  • 3) The "pondering period" starts with the first nomination, and it ends after 2 weeks.
  • 4) After 2 weeks, if you've had 3 nominations and no blocks, you are a member.

Thoughts?

  • juul remotely agrees
  • apparently no one responded to the email
  • WE ARE DISCUSSING IT NOW AND LAMENTING THE LACK OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE
  • Sierk advocates for the change, saying it has gone long enough without objections on the mailinglist and other reasons
  • Charley suggests changing the time period to 4 weeks and ensuring that anyone waiting for confirmation be brought up at the next real meeting
  • Charley says if we change pts.3 and 4 of the proposal to 4 weeks instead of two, we cut in half the time of uncertainty that people experience now
  • Melissa asks if this new procedure does away with the questionnaire entirely?
  • Rayc asks if this screens out Nazis (people suggest they would be blocked)
  • Sierk is ready to vote in favor of the original proposal (and on behalf of Yar) but now thinks that we could move to the new process without passing anything
  • yar says yes please. and yes nazis would be blocked unless they're very good at convincing everyone they're not nazis, which our current system wouldn't fix any better, nor would any system. also, i think it's important not to depend on an in-person meeting since we've shown those are not reliable. "people should say something about their interactions with that person" means to me that we expect them to ask some questions that would approximate the questionaire, but i don't think it needs to be required? we can still keep the web form and encourage people to use it
  • jenny also expressed support, on the thread. awesome idea <3 that would be 4 yays, 1 amendment, 2 potentially blocking concerns?
  • Melissa says the nominations are actually votes. Sierk says they are references.
  • RAYC says "if a person nominated someone who turned out to be bad, then that person would be looked down upon in the community..." even if it was three people, the damage (to their reputation) would be propogated to all those people
    • Discussion ensues suggesting that endorsements should be able to be made anonymously to prevent reputation damage if a person endorses someone who turns out to be a problem
  • Matthew says that if blame is not expressly a part of this proposal then it shouldn't be a concern as much
  • Yar: there's always going to be a squishy soup of human relationships around any proposal and that will always be an important part of a functioning community. if people are acting fucked up no system will save you
  • Jake read out the words of Jenny and Yar aloud in the room
  • Charley says 4 weeks is good because it gets more people participating
  • Jake checks in, (6 people yar, dante, sierk, jenny, jake, juul in favor of original proposal), 5 people are strongly in favor of a 4-week amendment (charley, matthew,dante,melissa,rayc)
  • Yar: how does 4 weeks get more people participating than 2 weeks?
    • Charley claimed that because we can make sure that the nominee gets discussed at a minimum of one meeting
    • Yar: but it won't because sometimes meetings don't happen, and it would cost new peoples' energy. but we can see how it goes, i wouldn't block the amended version
      • jnny: agreed, would not block. think it's a good idea because ideally we will get back to having monthly (at least) actual meetings eventually
    • Yar: as long as graduating to a full member doesn't *require* the meeting to happen. that's the part that i worry about the most
      • charley: a requirement of a meeting is not the proposal, it's just that an intervening meeting providing a forum for discussion is an intended effect of lengthening the clock
  • Dante says that having non-anonymous endorsements is important for accountability if someone makes a pattern of bad endorsements
    • nobody feels strongly about enabling anonymous endorsements
    • Yar: I would probably block a nomination for a random "Mr. X" with no context, or at least want to talk to someone I know about it first :)
      • thex is already a member :)
  • The intention of my amendment is expressly to include in the discussion people who are allergic to mailing lists, not to make it harder to become a member.
  • how many people is quorum we have 5 people in favor of the 4wk amendment and didn't hear anyone object to it
    • i think it's 7 members

the amendment: replace instances of "2 weeks" with "4 weeks"

  • 1) We already have a "members" email list which is not being used for anything. Let's make this the list for existing members to talk about new members: https://sudoroom.org/lists/listinfo/members
  • 2) We can nominate new members by emailing that list. The "declaration of intent to join" form could also get sent there, and we can use the thread for nominations. You need 3 nominations to become a member. Members should only nominate people they've met in person, and they should say something about their interactions with that person.
  • 3) The "pondering period" starts with the first nomination, and it ends after FOUR weeks.
  • 4) After FOUR weeks, if you've had 3 nominations and no blocks, you are a member.
  • yay: jnny, jake, yar, charley, melissa, robb, rayc, david,
    • proposal passes (8-9 members + no blocks = quorum)

Proposal: Endorse The Village Statement to the City of Oakland

submitted by jenny 3/14 (sorry)

  • jnny
  • Yar says very yay
  • sierk
  • charley is strongly in favor
  • Every member present raised their hand in favor. None opposed. The proposal is adopted.

New Member Candidates

Tom Levine asks to be nominated

  • jnny nominates with enthusiasm :)
  • yar seconds. also i thought you already were
  • sierk with gooseberry pie
  • and rayc
  • and jake

Andrew Vaziri asks to be nominated

  • rayc nominates
  • sierk also
  • melissa also
  • matthew also
  • rayc show and tell
    • rayc is showing a piece of plywood with an image of nikola tesla somehow imprinted into the wood that he got at a music festival, "I present sudoroom with this piece of art to be put somewhere"

Action Items

Discussion of Steve:

  • WHO WROTE THIS? -- Steve needs to demonstrate that he understands our safe space policy, and commit to not yelling at people and not engage with anyone who asked to disengage. He should commit to not talking to Rayc unless Rayc talks to him. He has already demonstrated an understanding of some of his behaviors being less than ideal, and has presented clear plans of how he will change them. I do not believe he should be asked to leave the Omni at this time unless he repeats any of these behaviors. I leave my computer on the table, bag on the floor, etc. when I go to the restroom or step out to go to the store all the time, and sudo room is a trusted space where I feel comfortable doing this, and steve should not feel otherwise. Rayc moving things he shouldn't is a known issue, and (at least in sudo discuss) he has shown a total lack of understanding of why Steve might have been upset after he asked that his possessions (his bag, not the table) not be moved or endangered and was ignored. Going forward, perhaps Rayc might be asked to commit to not touching Steve's things, or anyone else's things once he has been asked not to.
  • Jake : I left a written note on a table asking Steve to clean up the table he was using a lot, his response was rude and basically no, then I got a phone call from RAYC a few days later saying that Steve was freaking out yelling at him for moving "his" (steve's) table (steve does not own any of the tables at omni) and refusing to calm down even though Max of Phat Beets came out of his office and asked for some peace. I had back and forth with Steve on the mailinglist which was very unpleasant and shows that there is a really unhealthy attitude that I don't think belongs at sudoroom. Steve has gone feral in using sudoroom/omni as his "home" and seems to be unwilling to calm down and politely engage with anyone about it.
  • Rayc's post (first of several):
  • Steve tries to talk
  • Rayc: i wrote the email (linked above) and [hard to transcribe but rayc is very upset and recounting steve blaring F-you F-you "that is my table" i don't want to talk to you directly. i've been hospitalized by a bouncer, i've got a hole in my head, i've got PTSD, i'm shaking right now, and it was a lot worse when it was happening (out by the 48th street doors) Max of Phat Beets came out to ask Steve to quiet down, they were having a meeting, I was freaking out, i texted Jake, I called Jake because i couldn't handle this and got advice to try to proceed without breaking down completely. Later in the day Steve approached me and i told him to not talk to me and he kept talking to me, and i told him politely that I didn't want to talk to him and he kept trying, and the third time just said "you should get that looked at", and it happend again later that day, and on the email list he's still directly addressing me. And I still feel really uncomfortable with him here, that's why i haven't been here for the last few days, and on email i told him not to engage with me except through a mediator, I still have a project to work on, in the past when his computer got "stolen" [was missing in omni] he got really violent and talked in the past about setting up batteries to electrocute people who touched his property in sudoroom, i don't feel comfortable
  • (jake) Melissa speaks so derisively about Rayc' experience that I and rayc thought she was being sarcastic, says that this is a "witch hunt"
  • Jenny says this has to be a mediation process
  • Steve says "can i express clearly an apology...yes i set myself up, i left my laptop under a table because i sleep in a microcontainer
  • Melissa says this is Fucking Disgusting Rayc
  • Rayc: I'm going to
  • Jake: Steve do you agree to not address or try to communicate with Rayc, and to engage with a mediator
  • Jenny: rayc with regard to mediation, it does not require that you immedaitely sit down with steve and duke it out, you can meet separately on your own time
  • Dante: we need a conflict steward, i volunteer to be it, i talk to both sides and check in
  • Jake asks Steve and Rayc if they're OK with Dante as conflict mediator
  • Rayc: when people treat me this way I cut them out of my life, so I now have no friends or acquaintances who are disrespectful to me
  • Melissa: are you using sudoroom to [inaudible]
  • Yar: i've also had bad experiences with steve not understanding or respecting boundaries about when people don't want to be talked to
  • juul: steve is living at sudo room. His stuff is nearly constantly there and unpacked. Seeing his stuff packed away and moving it in order to move something else is perfectly reasonable behavior and rayc should not be made to feel otherwise. Steve reacted completely unreasonably and violated safe space policy by continuing to engage with rayc after rayc had repeatedly and reasonably asked him to stop. In addition: steve having to be told to clean up after himself and permanently taking up a table at sudo room with almost zero contribution in return is unacceptable as is his lack of personal hygiene causing strong body odor smells in sudo room. We should draft a letter to steve explaining what about his behavior needs to change and whether or not to institute a safe space ban should be left to rayc.
  • Yar: it sounds like rayc is calling for a safe space ban. i'm always inclined to ban first and ask questions later when it comes to safe space issues, but also appreciate the system only works when people exercise *some* reluctance or self criticism. but steve's responses on this issue honestly disturb me. they seem like gaslighting and don't address the core issue rayc is addressing
  • Jake is calling for a residing in sudoroom ban, not because steve left a mess on the table but because he's an ASSHOLE who only shows contrition when he's about to actually face consequences
  • Jenny: also at the omni finance working group meeting the other night we discussed that you need to move your tinyhome off of the omni sidewalk
  • Steve: i agree to move my tinyhome. I didn't understand jake's note which i found to be aggressive and rude and...
  • Melissa: this is fucking disgusting and i can't believe that people would do this. He loves this place even if he is an asshole. You just have no shortage of people to throw away don't you?
  • Dante: i think this was a misunderstanding between steve and jake, and he thinks that jake thought that stuff that wasn't his
  • Rayc: normally there's this unspoken policy (and signs) of "no personal storage at omni" but if steve didn't have his personal storage violating this rule then this would not have transpired
  • Steve: how many of us have ever stored a laptop here at night
  • Jake: that's not the issue. Dante can you clarify your position about Steve failing to heed Rayc's repeated requests to STOP interacting
  • Dante: Steve you were way out of line, you need to clarify that you understand that
  • jnny: we've just lost 5 people, at least 2 potential new members - which is why we have a mediation process that happens out of band from the meetings
  • jake: issue is twofold - with rayc and with people who use the space as their living room
  • rayc: walking around in the same building is an issue, if i could ask for steve to take space for safe space reasons
  • Jake: Jenny quits the meeting and leaves after requesting that actual mediation moves to the mediation process

Rayc decides to pack up and leave while arguing with Melissa who is extremely angry and yelling at me and Rayc

  • Melissa: (yelling) can we stop indicting people and trying to kick them out of the space [robb asks Melissa to quiet down]
  • yar: i'm sad you think this is about "throwing steve away". setting boundaries for a while is not throwing someone away. rayc had to leave for a while and then came back too.
  • Yar: Melissa, it sounds like you have very strong feelings about this which go beyond this one case and I would be interested in talking to you about this sometime. I have been having a crisis of faith about the idea of safe spaces personally, as I feel they can be a form of violence, but ... omg stop interrupting me lol... but i haven't yet thought of another way to solve the problems of people who aren't respecting boundaries. i have thought long and hard about this for years. my only answer right now is that conflicts are painful no matter what happens and we have to be able to sit with that pain without taking it out on others
    • nobody is telling her you're writing this she is about to leave
    • i tried to tell Melissa that Yar is trying to speak to her through the chat but it's not working

Omni Delegation Change

  • Melissa is not able to be a delegate due to time constraints