Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

WSFS Resolutions of Continuing Effect

Besides the WSFS Constitution, which governs the selection of Worldcon sites, the operation of the Hugo Awards, and other incidental matters about Worldcon organization, and the Standing Rules, which regulate the WSFS Business Meeting, WSFS business meetings over the years have passed what are technically known as "continuing resolutions." These do not have the strength of constitutional amendments, but they do reflect what the Business Meeting — the closest thing WSFS has to a legislature — was thinking at the time. As one notable SMOF (with whom I often disagree, but not on this point) said on The List That Shall Not Be Named, "A wise smof is very cautious in disregarding those resolutions." Continuing resolutions can be overturned by majority vote of a subsequent WSFS Business Meeting, and they can't conflict with the WSFS Constitution; however, they can often offer guidance as to how to interpret the constitution. Also, they cover areas where the BM is loathe to try and write technical rules into the Constitution, such as the size and readability of membership badges.

In addition to continuing resolutions, the Chairman of the Business Meeting sometimes makes rulings that are precedent-setting. Such rulings are "weaker" than continuing resolutions, and a subsequent BM's chair could rule differently, or the meeting could vote to overturn the ruling; however, it is again wise to not overturn precedents for no good reason.

For some years now, various WSFS committees (most recently the Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee, of which I am a member), have attempted to compile the Resolutions and Rulings of Continuing Effect and to publish them on the WSFS web site. For various reasons, including poor communication and the ongoing difficulty of ever updating the WSFS web site, the current RoCE list as of the day I write this is more than two years out of date. This may soon be caught up to only one year out of date, as the NPFSC has turned in copies of the 2008 and 2009 RoCE reports to someone who may be able to update the web site. The 2010 report awaits publication of the 2010 WSFS Business Meeting minutes, but we don't know when that will happen.

If you would like a copy of the 2008 and 2009 Resolutions and Rulings of Continuing Effect report, write directly to me (you can write to my LJ handle if you don't have my e-mail address, or send me an LJ message) and I'll send it to you. The files are in MS Word 97 (DOC) format or PDF. If neither of these work for you, let me know what does and I'll try to convert to that format.
Tags: worldcon, wsfs, wsfs business meeting

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