Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

WSFS Main Business Meeting Report

This year's WSFS Main Business Meeting had a smaller turnout than the Preliminary Business Meeting. That is in my opinion primarily because the PBM did its designed job of weeding out those proposals that had no chance of passing, and also dealing with a lot of the routine business of receiving financial reports and managing resolutions. There are surely going to be people who also say it's part of the Great SMOF Conspiracy to prevent Real Fans from attending. It may just also be that there were a whole lot of single-issue voters at the PBM who didn't care about anything other than their own proposals.

As with yesterday, references here are to the WSFS Business Meeting Agenda on the LoneStarCon 3 web site.

Things in Section 4 are those constitutional amendments proposed by individual members that survived Objection to Consideration at the PBM. They had debate times assigned to them yesterday and were debated and voted upon today. Anything passed today is referred to next year's Worldcon, Loncon 3, where they will be voted upon again, and if ratified there, they will become part of the WSFS Constitution at the end of the 2014 Worldcon, first affecting 2015.

Item Worldcon Publications was amended by, which removed the requirement that Worldcons provide paper publications at cost upon request. This left only the removal of the requirement that memberships include paper publications by default. The proposal as amended PASSED by a show of hands. If ratified, future Worldcons would not be required to include paper publications.

Lisa was very disappointed that her own proposal was eviscerated and that Worldcons can ignore those people who are willing to pay extra for paper publications and can be told, "Sorry, we can't be bothered to produce paper for you. If you don't have a computer, we don't really care about you." I do hope that Worldcons do not immediately drop all of their paper publications if this proposal is ratified.

4.1.2, No Representation Without Taxation and 4.1.3, Keep Us Together were overlapping motions dealing with the separability of WSFS membership rights and the minimum cost of supporting memberships. I would have preferred that the second be considered as an amendment by substitution over the first one, but they were officially considered separately; however, the meeting voted to REFER both proposals to a committee to consider the issues involved and submit a report to next year's meeting with recommendations about them. Colin Harris' 4.1.3 proposal is IMO much better than the mean-spirited 4.1.2 (originally entitled "No Cheap Voting"), even though the two have similar effects. I've volunteered for this committee.

4.1.4, BDP Very Short Form, was killed by OTC on Friday.

4.1.5, Deleting Fan Hugo Categories, was killed by OTC on Friday.

4.1.6, the WSFS Accountability Act of 2013, was amended with a substitute version whose text I do not have; it was read at the meeting, and appeared to accomplish approximately the same things with fewer and simpler words. The substitute proposal PASSED on a show of hands.

4.1.7, YA Hugo, was killed by OTC on Friday. Yesterday's meeting voted to create a committee to discuss the YA Award Issue. Business Meeting Chair Don Eastlake will appoint the committee tomorrow. Write to if you are interested in being appointed to it. Once Don appoints the committee, the Chair of the committee will be the one to whom you write, and I'll publish contact information when I have it.

4.1.8, Expand Best Fan Artist to Include All Types of Fannish Art, Not Just Static and Visual, like the Worldcon Publications proposal earlier, was amended to rip out the heart of the proposal, in that the portion of the amendment that would have added "any visual or performance medium" was struck from the amendment. All that remained was the portion about "non-professional display (including at a convention or conventions)." The substantially revised motion PASSED on a show of hands.

Things in Section 2 are those constitutional amendments proposed by the Hugo Eligibility/Rest of the World Committee, or minority reports from that same committee. They affect the Hugo Award Eligibility Extension rules.

1.4.3 and 1.4.4, Two-Thirds is Good Enough, are two amendments that reduce the vote required to pass specific and blanket eligibility extensions from the current 3/4 to the more-typical 2/3 super-majority. The first one of the two was debated, as there are people who don't see a need to change it. When the first one passed, there was no further debate on the second. Both proposals PASSED by show of hands.

1.4.7, We Don't Need Another HEROW, makes the current non-US works eligibility extension permanent rather than year-by-year. This was rather intensely debated, with Vincent Docherty giving a well-thought-through speech explaining the justification for making this a permanent extension and Mark Olson, Ben Yalow, and others countering that with markets converging and e-publication becoming more the norm, the need to differentiate by country is rapidly disappearing. This one was close enough to require a counted vote: it PASSED 49-32.

Deb Geisler withdrew her name from consideration from the WSFS Mark Protection Committee. Because of the existing zone-residency restrictions, the election was effectively whether Deb Geisler or Ben Yalow would be elected to the committee, as there was only one available East Zone seat, while Tim Illingworth and I were effectively guaranteed to be elected. The meeting re-elected the incumbent members (Ben, Tim, and me) by acclamation, as we were the only people left on the ballot after Deb withdrew.

The Chair of the meeting can allow new motions, and he did: A proposal from Ben Yalow to strike out sections 1.8.2 and 1.8.5 of the WSFS Constitution. This would repeal the requirement that not more than three elected members of the MPC could live in one of the zones defined in 1.8.5. (Those are the old site selection rotation zones, left in the constitution now to define the residency restrictions.) There was some debate on this (I'm mildly opposed but don't consider it a significant issue) and it PASSED by a show of hands.

In summary: everything that made it to the Main Business Meeting passed (sometimes in significantly amended form) except the minimum membership proposals that were referred to committee. A new proposal striking the zone-residency requirements for MPC members also passed.

Remember, everything passed here must be ratified by next year's Worldcon before it goes into effect. Nothing here becomes part of the WSFS Constitution until ratified by the Loncon 3 WSFS Business Meeting.
Tags: business meeting, loncon, lonestarcon, worldcon, wsfs
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