Structure Group Report 2009-10-07

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Structure Group Report

Posted to Central 7th October 2009

The group currently has 30 members and is open to any member of Freegle Central would like to join in:

This is a summation of our discussions this past week:

Regional Modsquads

A series of questions were posed on Central around present modsquads and what role/form/area mods' groups might take in the future. Feedback is being collated and will be fed back to Structure and People working groups within the 7 next days.

Freegle organisational and support groups

  • Proposal that owners and moderators of Central, Cafe, working and help groups etc are publicised to these groups' members and listed on each group in the files section.
  • Debate over whether any eventual committee should also have an owner or moderator presence on organisational and support groups; some felt that these roles need to be shared as widely as possible â€" for democratic and security reasons - others that there was a safeguard in having an elected representative on each group.

What is Freegle?

A long and ongoing debate on what is and what can be Freegle. Views range from:

  • Freegle being just a website with a list of groups
  • Freegle being an association with a committee that acts on behalf of groups.
  • Middle ground - something along the lines of:

o a democratic association of groups o a website o facilitating support between groups o central PR o media promotion

What is a Freegle member?

Another long debate. The choices are between:

  • the groups that affiliate
  • those groups' moderators/volunteers
  • those groups' individual members.

The reason for the debate is because the members of Freegle, if we wish to have a democratic system, need to be those that have a vote. Some feel that groups should be considered members, and therefore the votes would lie with each group, others felt that every moderator and volunteer of each group or non-moderator volunteers should have a vote.

Ethos/Mission Statement

A succinct and clear statement of what it means to be a group affiliated to Freegle is felt to be required. The minimum suggestion of 'Everything free and legal' to a wider statement about community building and environmental responsibility has been suggested. Some feel there should be no compulsion for a group to have any acknowledgement of being affiliated to Freegle on their group to those that feel there should an agreement to some policies/rules.

It was also felt that it is important:

  • to ensure no individual(s) can dominate or garner unelected power
  • that a 'complaints' process is put in place
  • that a clear, concise 'mission statement' be drawn up that affiliated groups should agree and adhere to
  • that groups need to retain their autonomy beyond agreeing to that 'mission statemente'.

Polls and Proposals

It is intended to propose a/some polls on the above areas in the next day or two along with a timetable for progress. Sorry we haven't got the polls wording ready today, but we found in discussion that we all had quite different opinions and views on what we, and what we thought others, wanted as Freegle. We know that there is some frustration about in perceived lack of progress, but we are trying to get this right from the beginning and ask for just a few more days before we start coming back to Central with definitive poll suggestions. It was agreed that any poll on structures should always include ˜none of the above' as an option to ensure that restricted unpopular choices are not forced.

Back to Freegle Structureor forwards to Structure Group Report 2009-10-14