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Board resignations

The entire Readercon board has now either resigned or announced intention to resign at the next meeting.

EDIT: Please read the Readercon convention committee's statement on recent events: http://readercon.org/publicstatement.htm

Comments

( 74 comments — Leave a comment )
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colonelrowe
Aug. 3rd, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the information, Rose, and for all your work over these past difficult days.
rosefox
Aug. 3rd, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
It is hard work but well worth doing.

Thank you for continuing to hold us accountable; it's painful (for everyone) when we fall short, but heartening to see how many people believe we can do better. I know a lot of the critiques come from a place of real love for Readercon and its community, and that's doing a tremendous amount to keep us all going.
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p_m_cryan
Aug. 3rd, 2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting this, Rose. You have been a class act through this situation.
rosefox
Aug. 3rd, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
(no subject) - saare_snowqueen - Aug. 4th, 2012 01:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
anonymous_sibyl
Aug. 4th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Thanks for keeping us apprised. I appreciate it.
livejournal
Aug. 4th, 2012 12:27 am (UTC)
Friday Night Massacre
User colonelrowe referenced to your post from Friday Night Massacre saying: [...] The entire Readercon board has resigned or announced their intentions to resign. [...]
gwynnega
Aug. 4th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
Thank you for all your hard work through this difficult time, Rose.
dxmachina
Aug. 4th, 2012 01:18 am (UTC)
Thanks to you and the rest of the committee. I know this was very difficult.
mroctober
Aug. 4th, 2012 01:21 am (UTC)
I feel like a sense of relief and redirection will now be the focus of posts about Readercon rather than vitriol and pain.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 5th, 2012 08:35 am (UTC)
I feel like it's now going to be all about back-patting and people telling themselves what a great job they've done instead of discussing the institutionalized problem of sexism. Well done, everyone.
(no subject) - jamiam - Aug. 5th, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
rose_lemberg
Aug. 4th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC)
Thank you for your work.
tacithydra
Aug. 4th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC)
Thank you for all your hard work, Rose.
pats_quinade
Aug. 4th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
Seconded. Or thirded. Or fourthed. However many it is.
Christopher Cevasco
Aug. 4th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)
Thanks, Rose, for the update and for everything you've been doing both publicly and (I'm sure) behind the scenes. This seems like a big step in the right direction, which makes me very optimistic about what was heretofore a very depressing situation. Readercon has consistently been one of my absolute favorite conventions ever since I started attending, in no small part to the great work folks like you and the rest of the committee put into organizing it. I fervently hope to be able to attend it again next year and for many years to come, and now it looks like that hope may not be in vain. Again, thanks!

Edited at 2012-08-04 01:39 am (UTC)
rosefox
Aug. 4th, 2012 06:56 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for the kind words.
schreibergasse
Aug. 4th, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
So who's going to be on the Board now?
(also, thanks)
rosefox
Aug. 4th, 2012 03:26 am (UTC)
We will need to hold board elections at some point in the near future.
agiel
Aug. 4th, 2012 01:59 am (UTC)
I know this must have been very tough for everyone, but I really do feel like this could be a step in a helpful direction. I want the con to do better.

Thank you for keeping us in the loop.
p_m_cryan
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
I want the con to do better.

You summed up succinctly, in the best possible way, exactly what I've been floundering around for days trying to say.
vschanoes
Aug. 4th, 2012 02:01 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for letting us know, Rose. And thank you for what I know must be your incredibly hard work during this entire situation. Your stance and actions have both been above reproach and absolutely honorable, and I want you--and everyone else--to know how much I appreciate everything you've done and said. I'm sad that it had to come to this, but I really do think that this is the best way forward to restore faith in Readercon as being the wonderful convention I and so many others have always enjoyed.

Edited to note that I'm not the only one who loves Readercon.

Edited at 2012-08-04 02:06 am (UTC)
rosefox
Aug. 4th, 2012 03:26 am (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words.
ron_newman
Aug. 4th, 2012 02:23 am (UTC)
This sounds like a good, and necessary, start.
fibro_witch
Aug. 4th, 2012 03:24 am (UTC)
Rose you have gone out of your way to make things right. You deserve so much more than a simple thank you.
rosefox
Aug. 4th, 2012 03:24 am (UTC)
Thanks. The board members deserve full credit for their independent decisions to resign.
(no subject) - tigerbright - Aug. 4th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
livejournal
Aug. 4th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
Readercon update
User coyotegoth referenced to your post from Readercon update saying: [...] [...]
nick_kaufmann
Aug. 4th, 2012 03:37 am (UTC)
I'm dittoing what everyone else has said here: Well handled, Rose. It must have been very difficult and frustrating for you. Thanks for everything. My hope is that the ConCom will now reverse the Board's decision, if possible.
rosefox
Aug. 4th, 2012 03:50 am (UTC)
I'm just the messenger in this case; the board members independently decided to resign.

As for how the concom is addressing the other matter, stay tuned. Once we get all the details sorted out, we'll be issuing a detailed statement.
(no subject) - nick_kaufmann - Aug. 4th, 2012 03:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rosefox - Aug. 4th, 2012 04:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vschanoes - Aug. 4th, 2012 05:56 am (UTC) - Expand
ron_newman
Aug. 4th, 2012 05:35 am (UTC)
For those of us who attend cons, but have no idea how they are organized and run ...

Does the Board of Directors report to the Convention Committee, or vice versa? Is there a new Board and a new Committee for each year?
rosefox
Aug. 4th, 2012 06:25 am (UTC)
The board of directors is elected from the concom; they serve different functions. The board's job is to handle business matters such as the disbursement of funds. (For example, the year that half our proceeds went to the Paul Williams Fund, that was a board decision.) The concom's job is to make the convention happen.

There are annual board elections. I believe we'll need a special election to replace the board members who resigned, and they'll only serve pro tem, until the next annual meeting in January. The concom is a much more static body; once you join it with the rest of the committee's approval, you're part of it until you decide to leave (or, in an extremely rare circumstance, voted off by the rest of the committee). For each convention the conchair and program chair are selected by the concom, and then concom members volunteer for the various duties necessary to make the con happen.

One of my personal goals for Readercon in the next few months is to make all these processes much, much more transparent to our attendees.
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t_windling
Aug. 4th, 2012 08:08 am (UTC)
Many thanks to you, Rose, and to everyone who worked behind the scenes to resolve this deeply unfortunate situation with civility and grace. I loved the Readercons that I've been able to attend in the past, and very much hope to come back in the future.

Edited at 2012-08-04 08:15 am (UTC)
rosefox
Aug. 4th, 2012 08:41 am (UTC)
Thank you! We'd love to have you back anytime.
thebluerose
Aug. 4th, 2012 09:27 am (UTC)
All things being equal, how exactly does the board stepping down fix things? It leaves a con that is probably run by volunteers without an organisational base for next year. So somebody else (probably several someones) have to then step up and take over and essentially clean up the mess.

Do the members stepping down have to abide by some agreement that they accept they collectively made a bad decision (because obviously they DO think that or they wouldnt be stepping down) and that they refrain from being board members on other cons for X period of time? Or do we think that they have learned from their mistake?

I can't help feeling that there is a distinct lack of accountability here "oops we did a bad thing, now we are awfully sorry, going away now" and thats OK? Its better that it all just ......goes away? I am sure there is an element of that in mind, but I really do feel sorry for the people who have essentially been forced to step in and take over to ensure the con keeps going.

(Anonymous)
Aug. 4th, 2012 10:28 am (UTC)
I have no connection to Readercon other than as a frequent attendee and signatory to the petition, but here's an attempt to answer how this starts to fix things:

The old board stepping down is not a complete fix, but is a necessary step. There are hundreds of people who signed the petition and said they would not attend Readercon in the future unless this happened. The old board lost all credibility on the issues of keeping attendees safe, respecting women, and following their own established rules. The old board also would not have been able to set new rules of any sort and have anyone believe them. And by remaining in place, they would have compounded this public relations disaster.

I have no idea if the old board members are fleeing entirely in a huff or are going to stick around to pass on knowledge, answer questions, assist in the transition, and/or continue to do some of the work involved in keeping the con going. They don't need to continue to be on the board in order to do those things, and hopefully the community will not sense blood in the water and demand that the old board members also be permabanned from any association with Readercon. Many people love Readercon and recognize that some or much of what we love about Readercon is due to the hard work of the old board members. It's just that after this debacle, the old board members can no longer effectively set policy, enforce policy, or be a public face of the leadership of Readercon. The con needs new people to do those things.

I am relieved to know that the board members have recognized what the community needs to hear soon from a new board: This is not your father's Readercon board. Though perhaps phrased differently.
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crotchetyoldfan
Aug. 4th, 2012 12:06 pm (UTC)
Finally.

I'm not aware of, and have deliberately not looked to see, who the board members are. My endorsement of "all should resign" was based on the logic of the situation and not personality.

Thanks for following through on this Rose. I'm sure it has been difficult.

Now it is time to move on, and I personally think that the next steps ought to be:

new board elections
revisiting the Walling decision
rewrite of the policy to eliminate "lifetime bans" in favor of

"indefinite suspension" + "two year minimum suspension" + "opportunity to petition for reinstatement of attendance privileges" + "inclusion of victim(s) in review process"

THEN

then

I strongly encourage Readercon and other convention concoms and boards that work together/share staff/influence each other to begin work on the (for lack of a working title) 'convention trouble-makers database and information clearinghouse'

non-profit, open sourced, etc., etc.

This is the next level and sorely needed, since coming to the conclusion that one convention's banning of an individual will have little or no effect on the dedicated problem-child is a no-brainer. There is no reason not to have a vetted (important aspect) black list. There is no reason for the individual convention to be the first line of defense or the first-named in a lawsuit. That role should properly be filled by a body specifically set up to deal with such things. The individual convention can then simply "follow its guidelines"
schreibergasse
Aug. 4th, 2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
That all sounds like a good policy to me, although I think that policy amendment in particular is something that people can disagree about. I just hope we disagree *politely*.
(no subject) - rosefox - Aug. 4th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
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livejournal
Aug. 4th, 2012 12:27 pm (UTC)
A useful development in the Readercon/Rene Walling situation
User xiphias referenced to your post from A useful development in the Readercon/Rene Walling situation saying: [...] they couldn't even start to trust the Con again unless the ENTIRE BOARD stepped down. So they did. [...]
james_nicoll
Aug. 4th, 2012 02:52 pm (UTC)
People who have been denied the opportunity to follow the discourse closely and either rue or lament that may find a link round-up here.
pickledginger
Aug. 4th, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the news, and thank you for being a voice of reason and ethics and diplomacy throughout this internal and external debate.

(Yay! I may be able to go back to Readercon in good faith after all. *crosses fingers*)
(Anonymous)
Aug. 5th, 2012 06:08 am (UTC)
Rose, Thank you for your hard work in this difficult time. I will continue to support and attend Readercon as long as there is a Readercon. best, Darrell Schweitzer
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