Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Chicon 7 Day 3: Main Business Meeting Report

Saturday's Business Meeting was The Main Event: consideration of four WSFS constitutional amendments, all affecting the Hugo Awards.

Lisa and I were down to Columbus CD in plenty of time, but there turned out to be a panel in the room from 9 AM. Panels are supposed to be 75 minutes, although I expect most panelists are unaware of this. at 10:15 AM sharp, I and the rest of the waiting WSFS meeting people came in and the panelists in there scattered, some making very annoyed noises that "we have this room until 10:30!"

When I've been responsible for the WSFS Business Meeting, I have almost every year had to convince Programming of the following requirements to make the WSFS Business Meeting run smoothly:

  • Start time 10:00 (I tried Noon in 1993 and got so much static about it that I gave up)

  • Run time 3 hours (It usually takes between 90 and 120 minutes per session, but it really helps to leave extra time for ad hoc meetings)

  • Nothing in the room in the slot before the meeting (allows time for set-up and pre-meeting lobbying)

  • Access to the room at least 30 and preferably 60 minutes before start (Same reason as above)

Programming, most of the time, tends to consider these requirements at least mildly insane. It's not unusual to have the meeting treated as "just another talking-heads panel." The 3-hour slot is as much as to avoid conflicts with the following panel as anything else, since panelists rarely understand the idea of the Business Meeting being a guaranteed function and running long. (We hit the jackpot on that at Westercon last year.) It takes a lot of nagging to get this just right sometimes, particularly if the people doing the scheduling aren't themselves Business Meeting regulars.

This evening, I set the Business Meeting videos to uploading before going out to the parties for a while. It took about two hours or so for them to upload, even over the in-room wired connection. (Thanks to the friend whose paid connection I'm sharing since it covers 3 IP addresses.)

Part 1: Best Fancast, Best Semiprozine/Fanzine, Best Graphic Story ratification debates/votes. philfoglio's speech urging re-ratification of Graphic Story is about 37 minutes into Part 1.

Part 2: Best Young Adult Book debate/vote

There is a short gap between the two parts where nothing substantive happened and the meeting took a brief recess.

Here's the long-and-short of the substantive WSFS Business. Follow along with the Chicon 7 Business Meeting Agenda page for details and full text.

  • 3.1: Best Fancast. Ratified; takes effect at end of of this year's Worldcon and will be first presented as a regular category next year. Must be re-ratified by 2016 Business Meeting or category "sunsets."

  • 3.2: Semiprozine. Ratified with several small changes, all of which were ruled to have not increased the proposal's scope and therefore the revised proposal takes effect at the end of this year's Worldcon. In particular, the phrase "(or the equivalent in other media)" struck out of Best Fanzine in clause 3 of the proposal was restored and remains part of the category definition.

  • 4.1: Graphic Story. Re-ratified per its "sunset clause." Now a permanent category.

  • 4.2: Young Adult Book. After substantial debate and huge amendment that struck out the second sentence (so that works could be simultaneously eligible in two categories), the proposal was defeated 51-67.

  • Mark Protection Committee: The three incumbent MPC members were re-elected without opposition.

  • None of the proposals required a counted vote except the vote on Young Adult Book. Even Best Graphic Story, which I expected to be close, turned out to be overwhelmingly in favor of retaining the category.

    With all substantive business now concluded, the only business remaining before the meeting Sunday morning is to formally receive the results of Worldcon Site Selection and to entertain Question Time for bids for future Worldcons. After that, we'll hold the traditional Worldcon Chairs Photo Opportunity, and after that, the Mark Protection Committee Meeting. The problem that I see is that the Business Meeting tends to bloat up to the time permitted, and the MPC Meeting doesn't really get the entire slot anyway because the Neil Gaiman play going on right after the BM needs time to set up, so we may have to scramble to find another place to move the MPC meeting. We can't just hold it out in the open because people will wander in assuming it's a random conversation rather than a (theoretically) directed meeting.
Tags: chicon, worldcon, wsfs

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