The Foundations of a Community: Western PA Linux User Group – Part Two

When Jeremy, Jennifer, and Alex left town, many Linux user groups would just simply cease to exist. It is really easy to give all sorts of excuse for not stepping up… “I don’t know enough about Linux or I don’t code.” or  “I’ve never run a meeting before but I might go if someone puts together a good talk.” Fortunately WPLUG did not have this fate. Jeremy remained part of the board while guiding the following folks to be more involved: James O’Kane, Jonathan Billings, Evan DiBase, Zach Paine, and Rob Dale. These people became the second board of WPLUG. A local political activist, David Tessitor, formed bylaws on how WPLUG would operate after speaking to several members of the board.

These bylaws had several flaws:

  1. Only the board were voting members of the organization. Every one else were just guests.
  2. Any action required unanimous vote in favor of whatever was proposed. All it took was one against and the issue was forever not to be.
  3. If one board member would abstain or fail to vote on an issue would tabled until any of the board would bring it up again.
  4. Adding new members to the board was like any other action of the board – only by unanimous vote.
  5. The term was indefinite. The only way a board member could leave is resignation.
  6. There were no dues, so if we ever needed to rent a venue, we would have been forced to pass the hat.
  7. No facilities for resolving conflict in or outside the board existed.

In David’s defense, he was just documenting what this new board had wanted. In the board’s defense, none of them had setup an organization before. They had believed that they were keeping things simple. This set of bylaws, such as it was, was the governing document of WPLUG from 2000-2005.

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One Response to The Foundations of a Community: Western PA Linux User Group – Part Two

  1. Pingback: Techrights » Links 31/7/2010: Western PA Linux User Group, Android, and OLPC Goodwill

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