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Minutes of September 15, 2003 SLAA Business Meeting

Present are: Cathy, Chuck66, Marabel, Shimbo=Al, TimF, VJ=Vicki, touchstone=Gina, Cudbme, Christina, hhope=Becky, JC=John, Jen, SteveS, AllenH

Meeting begins with a moment of silence at 9:57 PM EST. At 9:59 PM EST, the following announcements were read:

Notices (not requiring action at this business meeting):

A. We would like to welcome our new operators since 7/15/02 -- bringing us to 81 operators: Jamie-S=Jamie (7/21); RennyD=Renny (7/25); JC=John (7/27), NoAngel=Angelique (7/31), touchstone=Gina (8/11), VBron=Ron (8/17), Syncrolynx=Rob (8/22), Chuck66=Chuck (8/25), cudbme (8/25), and CLStan=Chris (8/29).

B. A new "Anorexia Meeting" began Friday, August 22nd -- it will be every Friday at 10pm ET in #SLAA2, concurrent with the regular Feedback Meeting in #SLAA. The contact people will be: JC=John and Syncrolynx=Rob.

C. One operator's email account is "bouncing" because of being too full (Bri). One operator's email account is"bouncing" because it is no longer accurate (Dave). If you see any of these two operators, please let them know. They may email slaaonline@yahoo.com with any updated information.

D. There are a number of upcoming SLAA conferences or retreats:

Please let us know if you know of any we have missed.

E. The #SLAA Online Group has closed nominating for the Liaison Officer position on Sun-7-Sep-03. Two of the three nominees accepted the nomination: Cathy and Deanna. We will vote by email to slaaonline@yahoo.com through the end of September.

F. The "Website Review Committee" was formed in June and currently includes VJ=Vicki, Marabel, Cathy, sisterjam=Jameela, TimF=Tim, and ChrisT=Chris. If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

G. The "Speakers Committee" was formed in February and currently includes Carrie, Steve, Ubergoober=Glenn, and TimF=Tim. If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

H. The "Openletter Committee" was formed in January and currently includes Osiyeza=Camille, Marabel, Steve, and Guest50341=Walter. If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

I. An email received 8/14 from a member in Brazil asks, "Is there anyway to accomodate people who speak Portuguese and not English? There is a lot of interest in Brazil." We would need to check with StarLink-IRC.Org -- who has a policy against non-English speaking "channels" or "rooms" -- to see how they would react to this. We would also need to be sure that there is enough interest to support an additional meeting or meeting time(s).

Vicki then asks, "Any further announcements that may have been missed? Thanks so much Tim F for gathering these together."

TimF replies, "No NEW announcements, but a couple things to mention from these:

A)JC=John and Syncrolynx=Rob (also VBRon=Ron) are new ops because of adding the new Anorexia Meeting.

D) the Southern Maine conference does not have a phone or website, but I know a contact from OUR ROOM - and will pass that on privately to anyone asking.

I) StarLink-IRC would not have a problem with a Portugese recovery meeting here - I believe I may have met the member that asked about this...and he can speak English, but not his native language. I'm not sure how to proceed with this, since the email didn't come to slaaonline@yahoo.com but rather to a member (so I guess I'll email that member back).

Vicki thanked Tim, and asked if there was anyone else with information on these committees, and there were no further announcements.

Vicki continued, "Ok, lets take some time now if you haven't taken it yet to review the minutes from last months meeting (at) http://slaaonline.org/minutes/030815.html. Ok, is there any additions or corrections to the minutes as stated on the above site for the August 15, 2003 Business Meeting?"

Tim nods "no" and says "Good job, Marabel".

Vicki then asks, "Since there seem to be no additions or corrections, do we have a motion to accept the minutes as read and a second?"

Tim moved to accept the minutes, and Marabel seconded.

Vicki moves on to Old Business at 10:12 PM EST.

Old Business:

On 7/7, a member raised a concern about members remaining in the chat room for long periods while not at their keyboard. The member cited on 7/7, a lively conversation was occuring between a number of members, but three members were also in the room and were idle for 1 hour 46 minutes, 3 hours 16 minutes, and 4 hours 25 minutes. Similarly on 7/10, one member was idle 1 hour and 47 minutes and another for 4 hours and 45 minutes. Similiarly on 7/12, one member was idle 7 hours and 42 minutes at 5:22 am — which was also for the entire 10pm ET meeting. Similiarly on 9/1, one member was idle 7 hours and 42 minutes at 5:22 am — which was also for the entire 10pm ET meeting.

On 7/9, a member raised a concern about inconsistencies in handling crosstalk. The member illustrated that the previous day while sharing, another member said, "yes we heard that before." A different member later complained that it could easily be perceived as, "we don't want to hear this," but the operator did not address the issue.

New Business:

As the group was discussing the handling of crosstalk, another issue arose concerning the need for scripts to address the problems of lengthy shares and shares that were not focusing on the sharer only had come up. Since the meeting time was coming close to closing time, Tim made a motion to refer these items to the SLAA Scripts Committee (the one that most don’t hear of often, because only a few ops are members) for a vote.

Vicki opened the floor for discussion.

Tim takes the floor. "I won't be so proud as to deny that I was the member making this item for business. I feel that since our meetings are "closed" and our room is technically a 24/7 meeting in progress, to be idle for an hour is acceptable (while making dinner or eating or running to the store). But to be idle for 2 hours or 7 hours while remaining in the room is not appropriate in my humble opinion. We currently do not have a guideline or etiquette statements about this type of behavior, but I feel that if an operator sees a member idle for more than 90 minutes and is obviously not at keyboard (not responding to requests to say something), then I feel that the trusted servants of our #SLAA Online Group should have the privilege of kicking the member from the room...not banning, just kicking (unless auto-rejoin is enabled). Then, a two-minute ban will usually circumvent the auto-rejoin capacity of most programs. That is just my opinion."

Shimbo (Al) replies, "As one that does occasionally (more than not) get logged in, then pulled away from the keyboard, I like being in there even if I not saying anything, sometimes I do forget I am logged in, or logged in when no one is there, then ppl show up, while I am now doing other things. I would mind at all being kicked (with a nice message, like idle too long) if I am really there, I would rejoin and say hi. If not, I probably got called away. I like Tim’s idea."

TimF responds, "At first, since Al was someone that admitted to this, I was wondering what direction he was going LOL. But let me give two other examples. What if a person leaves this room idle and leaves, and their spouse or SO arrives? This opens the door to a non-recovery person seeing conversation that was intended for us addicts. Also..."

(Shimbo admits "Everyone in this household is in recovery".)

TimF continues, "Recently a member left themselves logged into their groups.yahoo.com site and thought nothing of it, but his son came home late and sent a very sexual message (an inappropriate survey URL site) to EVERY group that the member belonged to. The next day, that member got a lot of angry mail and needed to make amends with quite a number of his groups (according to him)…so I see this as a proactive step toward everyone's peace of mind."

Shimbo in response says, "In my case, I do lock my screen, and wish my son would join in here. Lord knows he needs to, but not ready to take that step yet. I would say, if an op is uncomfortable with someone idle, kick them, it’s no big deal. Maybe a bot to detect and do it auto would be in order."

Shimbo then wonders aloud in the room if CStar can deal with idles.

VJ says, "I’m not sure, Al"

TimF answers "no".

Shimbo frowns.

VJ comments, "The safety of the room seems to be the biggest peril to someone staying on. Just someone being able to go back over other peoples conversations when they weren't involved in them can make it tempting for some people to snoop and lurk. That would be a big part of why it would seem to me to be effective to limit the idle time in the room. I’m not sure if I would want to kick someone out and also not sure that I want to sit around timing them..."

SteveS asks, "We are talking outside meeting times?

VJ continues, "I usually get busy chatting and don't take a lot of notice if someone is away, especially if they have the brb thingy."

VJ in response to SteveS, says, "Yes, Steve."

Al asks, "2 hour limit?"

VJ replies, "1 hour is what was brought up, idle time."

Jen mentions, "I am an idle person a lot of times because my children are always coming in and out, but I still get a lot of strength hope and experience when I am able to go back and read what people have shared.

Then there are other times... I’m just really am not in a sharing mode... I am more in a thoughtful mode and it has nothing to do with anybody else, it’s just where I’m at. The only time I am concerned for someone to just be sitting there is when it is someone I don't know and they don't respond to IM’s when you ask them if they know where they are at. That is the only time I might kick someone, especially if there is a meeting going on."

[TimF takes the floor, and Marabel times out at 10:37 PM EST. Marabel resumed at 10:45 PM EST. Missing minutes provided by TimF (Thanks Tim!).]

VJ asks, "Is that also the case of being idle?"

Tim remarks, "Chatting in PM changes idle time – so a member actively engaged in PM will NOT be idle, unless they are chatting with Yahoo or ICQ or MSN."

VJ says, "Oh, ok."

Chuck66 takes the floor. "My concern is for the safety of the people coming to meetings. I would hope that in lieu of that recent accident that measures would be taken to ensure that kind of safety. I don't know that I would want to attend an online group if there was a tremendous risk of somebody sending stumbling things my way. It would appear that this medium is able to help people all over the world. It would seem like their "safety" should have some kind of priority."

VJ comments, "It sounds like most of us basically are in agreement that a limit would be best if idle. How to go about doing that and who would do this?"

TimF asks, "May I propose a motion?"

VJ answers, "Yes, please."

TimF replies, "I move that, ‘Addition to our behavioral guidelines: A trusted servant (operator) may kick a member from the room if they are idle for more then 90 minutes and not responding to chat requests in the room or privately. This will NOT always be the case, but is a privelege depending upon the discretion of the trusted servant, the member, and the room's atmosphere.’ "

Cathy seconded the motion.

VJ put the motion to a vote. The membership unanimously voted "Yes".

VJ comments, "Maybe we actually get to cover 2 orders of business tonight?" Then she moved to the second item of Old Business.

VJ shares, "On 7/9, a member raised a concern about inconsistencies in handling crosstalk. The member illustrated that the previous day while sharing, another member said, "yes we heard that before." A different member later complained that it could easily be perceived as, "we don't want to hear this," but the operator did not address the issue. Ok, discussion on this item (I don’t know who brought ths up, btw)?"

Tim answers, "This was brought to us by Jamie-S (not that it matters). In being in this room for many years, crosstalk issues have come and gone. They seem to come up occasionally (especially based upon the members), then become a mute point for long periods. Toward that end, operators have three aliases: /crosst, /crossq and /crossr." [Tim then shares what each of these scripts are.]

/crosst – "A Gentle Reminder: In being an "active listener," we do not interrupt, judge, ask questions or become involved with crosstalk or cross commenting while others are sharing."

/crossq – "A Gentle Reminder: In being an "active listener," please keep comments to a word or short expression like "nods" or "WTG" so as not to be distracting. Even a frown can be interpreted as disapproval - please be vigilant in your support."

/crossr – "A Gentle Reminder: As a fellowship, S.L.A.A. has no opinion on outside issues, and seeks no controversy. S.L.A.A. is not affiliated with any other organizations, movements or causes, either religious or secular."

Tim continues, "I personally feel that this is a matter of the leader of any meeting to be vigilant about, but paying due respect to the unity of our group...and feel that no further action is required."

Cathy contributes, "I know often if I am the TS of a meeting and someone appears to be crosstalking I would talk to that person in PM usually, as I find 99% of the time it is a newcomer who doesn't know better."

TimF nods.

Cathy continues, "So just because it wasn't addresed in the mainroom does not necessarily mean it wasn't addressed, but I wasn't there when this happened so I can't say one way or the other, just an observation."

Vicki shares, "Awhile back in a meeting of another fellowship that I have been in, crosstalk became a huge issue, because there were people giving advice in their shares to others and that in itself is crosstalk from what we found out, along with people going way over on their sharing times. But maybe that is because ya just don't know where to put people who share a bit too long or in too much detail.... how to handle people doing crosstalk seemed more like what the issue was when I recall talking to Jamie. When someone new becomes an OP or TS, how do you politely say, ‘don't say that, or please focus on yourself’, because we don't want to offend anyone else....but also need to keep the meeting on track and let everyone feel safe sharing? As I recall now, this was the issue and it does seem like something that when people are new to chairing a meeting, would be nice to be addressed by others who have dealt with these issues for awhile."

Becky openly wonders, "What is one’s ‘sharing time’ in numbers?"

JC=John also wonders about time limits.

Marabel takes the floor. "I think that /crosst, /crossq and /crossr cover the majority of those concerns with the exception of time limits. I think it would be helpful if there is also a script that reminds of time limits to allow others to share (if there isn't one already I'm not aware of). Just my thoughts."

Allen shares, "I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the lack of cross talk here in SLAA. The leaders here do an excellent job and the only one I've had problems with in the past was the person that brought this issue to the committee. Interesting. Thanks."

VJ addresses the group with, "Regarding the time limit, I have seen it done before in very, very few meetings. The OP/TS takes a watch and figures out the number of people divided by the time and then equals out how much time each person will have to share. That may seem a bit too much and too organized. It does work for some meetings though so everyone can have a chance to share...just to answer what was asked previously that I know about."

Cudbme said, "I have been here a few months and really have not seen too much crosstalk except for many one person I'm sure Tim is aware of.. hehe…but anyways, as far as the time thing, I've noticed at f2f they flip up just a colored card. I suppose we could set up a 'icon' flag , like a script…something innocent to remind of time. But sometimes it seems though there are many in the group no one wants to share. So to hurry others along seems well…hmmm…hard to judge. I suppose we'll just have to count how many are online and the 'tone' of the meetings. But for the most part, meetings seem rather excellent, imho."

Tim reminds, "1) Talking about time of shares is getting a little off from this item. 2) Since we are talking about it, though, I'll share briefly."

VJ and Cudbme smile.

Tim continues, "3) Our opening scripts for EVERY meeting politely ask that members adjust their sharing to accommodate those in attendance to share. 4) Only FEEDBACK MEETINGS have a specific request: original share = 5 minutes and two feedback shares = 3 minutes, and there is a pop-up for ops to use (but is rarely used) – "About one or two minutes Tim, please, so everyone has a chance to share." What I advise a new Trusted Servant on this is, to only use it on a Feedback Meeting night, and then only use it at the double-time point, meaning the original share is 10 minutes or a feedback is 6 minutes. But so much is personal discretion. Sometimes a person really needs the floor or a feedback is just a gem for EVERYONE, that a little latitude is appropriate. Also, some people can type fast and some can't, and I don't like discriminating against slow typists...so I tend to remain flexible when I lead. Those are my thoughts. Again, as to crosstalk, I feel that we can dispense with this item with no further action LOL."

Becky comments, "I love those pop-ups about cross talk Tim, btw." JC agrees.

(From this point, there is no further action on the second item of Old Business. The meeting now turns to discussion on the item of New Business, which is as follows: As the group was discussing the handling of crosstalk, another issue arose concerning the need for scripts to address the problems of lengthy shares and shares that were not focusing on the sharer only had come up. Since the meeting time was coming close to closing time, Tim made a motion to refer these items to the SLAA Scripts Committee (the one that most don’t hear of often, because only a few ops are members) for a vote.)

Becky takes the floor again. "Just one more thought. I personally would love to see something like, "please remember to focus on yourself" included in one of the pop ups."

Vicki and Marabel agrees.

Tim adds, "That could be easily added as /crossf in future releases of the scripts - great idea."

Vicki then says, "I think its time to close the meeting then, unless I am missing something."

Marabel, Tim and JC all send up the "!" for the floor.

Becky said, "We don't have codependancy or control issues in this recovery (slaa) but it cant hurt just in case. LOL." Tim and Steve both laugh.

Marabel asks, "VJ, does there need to be a motion in regards to this last item of business? Just curious…"

Becky giggles, "So where is seconds?" VJ smiles in response.

Vicki responds, "I don’t think so Marabel, and thanks."

John then takes the floor to share. "My name is John sex and love addict. Unrelated to the last piece of business, just wanted to say that I feel really welcome to this online community. I’m one of the newbie ops, just about over 1 month now."

Tim smiles, and Marabel "woohoo’s", and Becky says, "Great to have you."

JC=John continues, "And I just wanted to say that I am really grateful for all of the warm welcome that I have received. I have been going to f2f SLAA meetings for over 13 years, and feel like I have found a new community that I can rely on to help me through. It is an honor to be a part of this community, and I appreciate everything that Tim and others have done to make me feel welcome. I feel very blessed. I didn’t say much tonight at this meeting, but I got a lot out of what others said. I look forward to serving in the future. That’s all. Thanks for letting me share."

Tim gives John a welcome hug, and Vick says "Glad you are here, John."

Tim then takes the floor for a point of order. "While we have discussed this item, there was no motion (that I recall). And we cannot introduce new items after 75 minutes - but this one was on the floor. I would like to move that we refer this item to the SLAA Scripts Committee (the one that most don't hear of often, because only a few ops are members)."

Vicki asks, "There is a Scripts Committee?"

Tim replies, "Yeppers, LOL."

Cathy laughs and says "Second!"

Allen laughs and says "Third!"

Vicki responds, "Sounds like just the thing to do. We don’t need to vote on this, do we?"

Marabel says, "Fourth."

Vicki smiles. Tim says, "We should."

Vicki asks, "Where is the motion then?"

Tim moves and comments, " ‘I would like to move that we refer this item to the SLAA Scripts Committee (the one that most don't hear of often, because only a few ops are members).’ This committee, unlike most, are not open to ANY members – only ops."

Vicki puts the motion to the floor for a vote. The motion passes with a majority (but only after a little playful tomfoolery with Cudbme sending first a "nay", followed by an abstention, then finally sending a "yea").

Tim makes a final announcement before the meeting closes.

"Tonight I was hoping to unveil the NEW and long awaited schedule for Trusted Servant coverage of meetings. It is posted at http://slaaonline.org/ts.html and four meetings are in trouble: Sunday Noon, Tuesday & Friday 4:30, and the Aussie/Kiwi meeting. So if you can get to them, please ask for ops to volunteer! Lastly, if anyone knows of SLAA members in Hawaii. We have new contact info (a Yahoo group) and can pass this info on to them."

Vicki asked, "Would anyone like to lead us in an ending prayer?"

Becky prays, "It is so awesome Higher Power,when a bunch of addicts can get together and do the business of recovery. I think that is something you give us... and ask that you will continue to give us, the recovery heart that you have already, amen."

JC says "Amen", as do everyone else.

Meeting ends at 11:32 PM EST.