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Minutes of December 15, 2003 SLAA Business Meeting

Members present are: Chuck66, hhope=Becky, TimF, VJ=Vicki, ValerieR, cjs, debbie, Jamie-s, JoelR, JWR=Jaime, Steve, and SteveS.

Meeting begins at 10:01 PM EST with the following announcements from Vicki:

We would like to welcome our new operators since 10/15/02 -- bringing us to 83 operators: Krista (10/16), Donatella=Toni (12/10), Circe=Susan (12/10), and `Pug`=Andrew (12/10).

There are a number of upcoming SLAA conferences or retreats:
Fri-19-Dec-03 12-Step Weekend Retreat (3 days) - Chester VT - 617-625-7961
Sat-24-Jan-04 Steps 10, 11, 12 Workshop (1 day) - Fair Oaks CA - http://sacslaa.homestead.com/Events.html
Fri-30-Jan-04 2nd Annual Men's Retreat on Vashon Island (3 days) - Seattle WA - www.slaa-seattle.org
Please let us know if you know of any we have missed.

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.comto express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

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.comto express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

The “Openletter Committee” was formed in January and currently includes Osiyeza=Camille, Marabel, Steve, Guest50341=Walter, Laura, and TimF=Tim. If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.comto express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join. We hope to have a new "Open Letter" in place by the end of November.

The “Daytime Meeting Committee” was formed in January and currently includes VJ=Vicki, cudbme, Ubergoober=Glenn, Jen, touchstone=Gina, Cathy, Marabel, Steve, and Tim. If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.comto express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

Tim notes a correction, that this committee was formed in the previous month (December).

Tim also makes two announcements:

Our operator Debbie (US, not Australia) has a baby granddaughter Tue-9-Dec-03. To see baby pictures, visit http://mywebpages.comcast.net/timothyf/baby.

One operator (on 10/21) suggested adding an "OPEN MEETING" to our schedule. So far, all our meetings are CLOSED to only sex addicts. This would permit attendance by therapists, clergy, and laypersons. They suggested starting this meeting on a monthly basis instead of weekly, citing 7pm ET on the first Monday of every month. Beginning such a meeting would not require group conscience; only the volunteering of at least two trusted servants to host this meeting on a regular basis.

Vicki then shares the Serenity Prayer before opening up the floor.

Jaime asks, “Would an open meeting follow the same format and have the same guidelines?”

Vicki replies, “This is a business meeting.”

Jaime says, “I know. I meant the OPEN MEETING that Tim was referring to.”

Vicki asks, “Are you referring to the guidelines we will discuss tonight on the agenda? Then I am confused.”

Tim raises his hand to interrupt with a brief explanation.

Jaime says, “I’ll back up and listen first. Sorry. I was referring to the potential 7 pm Monday meeting. I’ll be good now.”

Vicki responds, “I was just confused, nothing new there.”

Tim again raises his hand and asks, “May I?”

Vicki then goes on to say, “The first order of business is to review the minutes from the previous month’s meeting.”

Then Vicki remembers Tim’s hand and responds, “Oh yes, Tim, was waiting for you. Go ahead.”

Tim then replies, “Thanks, Vicki. Over the years, we've added (and occasionally dropped) meetings. This was an announcement -- rather than an item for group conscience -- because we already have a procedure in place. It only takes two trusted servants (ops) to start an 'official meeting' here. As we added the Anorexia Meeting four months ago, one operator was suggesting that we add an OPEN MEETING on a monthly basis, suggesting the first Monday of every month at 7pm (so as not to conflict with any #SLAA, #SCA, or #SAA meeting). All this takes is two (or more) trusted servants to be willing, so (this) is an announcement toward gathering support toward that end goal. The likely format would be "open discussion", but would be OPEN to people that are not claiming to be sex and/or love addicts and/or anorexics, so it would/could be attended by therapists, clergy, news, etc. Simple as that.”

Vicki says “Thanks. Now for the meeting minutes, that are located at: http://slaaonline.org/meet.html. Please review these for a few minutes and then we will vote to approve them or change them as read.”

Tim approves the minutes by saying, “Having been at last month’s meeting – and having reviewed the minutes – I see no additions or corrections – I move to approve them as entered.”

Vicki asks, “Is there a second to approve the minutes as read?

Steve then shares the Daytime Meeting announcement and says it “should read November instead of January methinks.”

Tim then takes the floor for a point of order. TimF reminds, “The minutes are found at http://slaaonline.org/minutes/031115.html for November. Steve is referring to tonight’s agenda (in which I made a typographical error). I don’t think this error need be reflected in any minutes.”

Vicki then responds, “Ok, let’s make sure we are all reading the right page then (smiles). I made a mistake and put up the wrong page as the minutes, sorry. But good eye, Steve (smile), and good eye to you too, Tim.”

Tim smiles, and comments, “TimF signs Steve up for the Website Committee” and as an aside shares, “That’s a joke – he is my other arm.”

Vicki asks, “Now are there any seconds to the minutes as read on http://slaaonline.org/minutes/031115.html ?”

Vicki answers her own question with, “I second the motion, so the motion carries and the minutes are good as read. If you look at http://slaaonline.org/meet.html you can follow tonight’s meeting agenda.”

Vicki now opens the floor for Old Business.

Old Business:

The first item is, “On 7/11, a member raised a concern about the ability to ban a person without first giving the member notice about the ban. After much discussion at the October meeting, we all agreed to review slaaonline.org/guidelines.html and discuss further if any changes are necessary.”

Vicki asks, “Do you want to update us on this item Tim?”

Tim replies, “Sure. Thanks Vicki. Back in July, an operator was put into a triangle that felt uncomfortable for them. A person was banned (on our policy of a 7-day ban without notice), and in a day complained to another op, because they felt that they were not heard. Ultimately, this whole matter was satisfactorily resolved to everyone’s benefit (and was very short-lived), but the operator felt conflicted by being in the middle of it and questioned our approach to the ability to ban members. We have had procedures in place for some 6 years, slowly changed (in very small ways) by group conscience. Our old website that existed at angelfire was not always clear…that page is still shown at http://slaaonline.org/etiguide.html. but includes Steps, Traditions, meeting formats, behavior concerns (convoluted), and recommended books. Our newer site (pending group conscience) lists things in much more of a top-down approach detailing all kinds of questions on some 20 pages, so ONE page is just for behavior…http://slaaonline.org/guidelines.html, and that page is our best resource, but ‘technically’ has NOT been granted group conscience, nor any of the new pages at that subsection of our new website. So last month, we agreed to review that one page. It is very accurate in most regards. In a recent review on my part (having been here for years), I see that it is lacking one important factor, that is NOT ABOUT WARNINGS, but if a BAN is instituted, we impose a ban for 30-days (or 60 or 90, etc.) and then ALSO require 14-days of sobriety AND a request from the person that was banned to return to our room before we lift the ban. That small fact is NOT reflected on this page (YET), but otherwise, the page stands as MUCH more accurate and clear than the etiguide.html page,
and I hope if you’ve had a chance to review it, you won’t have a problem with letting group conscience let this page pass. Otherwise, I suggest we table this to committee (rather than discuss this topic for 30 minutes).”

Vicki asks, “The page you were that was previously shown isn't the one listed by you in your share but http://slaaonline.org/etiguide.html?”

“That is the OLD version,” Tim responds.

“Some people here tried to bring up http://slaaonline.org/etiquide.html but it wouldn’t come up.” Vicki said.

Tim answers, “New version at http://slaaonline.org/guidelines.html .”

Vicki says, “We are wondering where the old version is right now J. I am just the messenger sometimes.”

Tim replies, “Oh, I see…sorry if I type something wrong. I typed a ‘q’ instead of a ‘g’…silly me.”

Vicki continues, “On 7/11, a member raised a concern about the ability to ban a person without first giving the member notice about the ban. After much discussion at the October meeting, we all agreed to review slaaonline.org/guidelines.html and discuss further if any changes are necessary. They look a lot alike.” Vicki then raises her hand for the floor.

Tim says, “Go ahead Vicki, (since you brought this up).”

Vicki said, “I did?”

Tim said, “Ayup.”

Vicki laughs and says, “Figures. Since this is so all encompassing to look at that whole page…”

“Back around the fireworks days, LOL,” Tim interrupts.

“And I do think that it is important.” Vicki smiles and continues. “Tim brought up that maybe a committee to go over it might be wise…there sure is a lot to iron out. It looks good to me but some of the things on it may need to be changed with group conscience.
I just feel very uncomfortable at times with so many rules. I like to be flexible, so I would like people’s input on this.”

Steve takes the floor. “I agree with Tim’s suggestion to let the website review committee do it’s work and put the finishing touches on the page. I also believe that Vicki’s suggestion that we remain flexible is valid and might be incorporated. Finally, I think we ought let all here (and those who might read the minutes) know how to contact the website review committee with suggestions. After the website review committee declares the page done, we should reopen this discussion.”

As a recap, Vicki posts the announcement with the Website Committee information:
“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.comto express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.”

Vicki asks, “The floor is still open for discussion. Anyone like to share?”

Tim takes the floor. “I feel that the “old” page was very confusing, and didn’t accurately reflect that our room is truly considered a 24/7/365 meeting in progress at all times. The new page reflects changes that our group conscience has made over the last couple years, along with interjecting Starlink-IRC.Org rules, so as I have a behavior problem with any member. I like to point them to BOTH pages (feeling that the latter is more clear, but technically not accepted by group conscience), and I encourage other ops to familiarize yourselves with this (since it is really more realistic). But rather than discuss this at length, I too, agree to table this back to the Website Committee.”

Tim then moves to table this item to the Website Committee.

ValerieR giggles, and Steve second’s Tim’s motion.

Vicki then says, “OK, then the issue is tabled to the Website Committee.”

Tim reminds, “We need to vote on that.”

Vicki asks, “Can we have a deadline to report back to the business meeting? May I add that to the motion?”

Tim responds, “You can make that a friendly amendment – or just let it ride – up to you, Vicki (but we need to vote to table in either case).

Vicki replies, “I don’t want to be unfriendly J.” Tim laughs. “But I want to know that this is moving forward as you do I am sure. Let’s vote then on this motion to table this til’ next meeting, or let’s vote to turn this project over to the Website Committee who will report at next meeting with progress?”

Tim brings up a point of order – “We have a motion and a second to refer to committee.”

Vicki asks, “What does that mean?”

Tim answers, “I agree with your second comment (let the committee report next month).”

Vicki then brings the motion to the floor for a vote. “All in favor of letting the Website Committee report next month on this item vote ‘+’ in favor and ‘–‘ if opposed.

The motion passes, with all members present (8) voting in favor of tabling the item for next month.

Vicki asks, “Are we in time to have new business now?”, and Tim replies, “Yes, up until 15 after.”

New Business:

“At the September meeting, an operator once again volunteered to make available server space and bandwidth to maintain a 'bot' in the #SLAA chat room. This could be used to: 1) provide the opening and closing readings to any member;
2) provide more up-to-date announcements at meetings other then the 10pm meetings.
3) provide member assistance topics when an operator is not in the room;
4) optionally save a transcript of what is typed in the room for a period of a few days or a week (like #SCA does) for review by officers in cases of behavior problems.
There would no cost, a small learning curve for the Webmaster and Co-Webmaster. In the past, the key objections were:
1) cost (this would be considered a 7th Tradition gift by the operator); and
2) if server space was given, that member could later make possible changes or requests -- but we now are paying for our own server (for our website) and the 'bot' would be easy to control remotely (and if a problem was encountered with its functioning, it could be halted or even banned until the problem was resolved to the satisfaction of all officers).
Comments on this new business item?”

Tim shares, “This suggestion has come and gone many times in last few years. The biggest hurdle was money. Another is learning curve and 'security and control'. I feel that we should go one of two ways on this item: either allow this feature to be tested in a limited way in the coming six months (as offered) should group conscience permit this,
or if discussion gets too heavy (over 10 minutes now)...table this to the "Daytime Meeting Committee" for further review in the coming month – and report on 1/15/04.”

“This item is on the Daytime Committee review agenda items, thanks Becky J,” says Vicki.

“P.S., how much does it cost, Tim?” Vicki asks.

Tim responds, “An operator is offering his server and bandwidth to us at no cost to our group (as a 7th Tradition donation).” Vicki says, “Wow.”

Steve also responds, “I think this is a fairly complex technical undertaking which would require significant time to accomplish, and that our time is better spent in the coming months tweaking the new website and implementing the forum.”

JoelR shares, “As I understand it, Steve, he would be developing bots that would just run off of his server. It would be less technical for the ops than now. Am I wrong about this?”

Vicki asks Steve or Tim to address this question before going on to Becky’s share. Tim defers to Becky.

“Just wanted to mention that I am willing and desirous to learn more, so until my job is filled by someone else, it would be cool with me.”

Jaime asks for the floor next, and Tim also defers to Jaime. Vicki asks, “Geesh, Tim reads minds too?”

Jaime shares, “Having flooded my way offline today and got back on to find I couldn't post to the room and was restricted to PM, I'd be happy for a 'bot…but I think the use of the tech team's time should be left to their decision. If they think they 'd have time to try it out, I'd love to see it.”

“Thanks Jaime, I like how you put that personally,” says Vicki.

Tim takes the floor. “The one question I really saw posed was from Joel...having a 'bot' would certainly simplify the life of many ops (especially older ones that have old scripts, UNIX, Mac, and Java), but writing the 'scripts' for a 'bot' to do the work is a little labor intensive...and moreover, involves a learning curve! I've never used 'bot' software, and I don't know if Steve has either. We are currently the Webmaster and Co-Webmaster here, so this is not a small task. This is not a quick fix to having new ops help the Daytime Meetings, that is why I suggested 6-months of trial-and-error *IF* we undertake this.
Otherwise, I suggest referring it to committee.”

Steve also shares, “I think Joel suggested that a member volunteered his programming services as well as server/bandwidth ...not sure if that is the case ...but even if it is, it would be wise for more than one person to understand how the system works. Any system must be maintained ...”

Tim interrupts, “I mentioned an op volunteering server/bandwidth -- NOT programming services.”

Steve continues, “…and any one member may fall away from our group. So if we do undertake this task, we should be careful to ensure that several members understand how to maintain the system.” Tim nods.

Vicki also nods, and comments, “But sure isn’t able to understand that jazz.”

Tim adds, “Actually, that is why the two-month delay in the Forum coming back online. Perhaps I’m wrong though.” Also as an aside, Tim thinks JWR is James.

Jaime asks, “I’d certainly like to support the idea, but not to the point of oppressing the tech team. Tim & Steve: What do you WANT to do about this?”

As an aside, Vicki asks JWR=Jaime, “I want to find out if your name is Jaime or James, JWR J.”

Jaime answers, “Born James, nicked Jaime, currently aka JWR.”

Tim replies to Jaime’s question, “Well - my answer is convoluted (like much of my life). I feel that this op has offered this for well over a year...including server space of our website, which group conscience felt was NOT appropriate, since that would put him in a position of control (not that we suspect that would happen)…but hosting a 'bot' is much less critical. If the 'bot' is defunct - no big deal. If the 'bot' misbehaves - we can ban it,
so having him host a 'bot' is NOT critical to our mission goals imho. Therefore, my thinking is I'd *LOVE* to explore this opportunity, but also at a very leisurely pace,
allowing time to do constructive work on our webspace as top priority and seeing this as a secondary vision, but having it in place would allow for that learning curve to begin. That is my two cents.”

Jaime says, “Motion in order? Move that we accept and explore over say 6 months?”

JoelR seconds.

Vicki responds, “There is a motion and second on the floor.”

Tim comments, “Would like Steve’s input on James’s question (about how Tim & Steve feel).”

Jamie comments, “Is very embarrassed about not getting Steve’s opinion first.”

Steve replies, “Uhm, I agree with most everything Tim said, that a bot would add utility, could increase the ease of running a meeting and could enhance security ...”

Jaime interrupts, “Hi All. JWR here 42 days resober and counting (damn).”

Steve continues, “…and I think it would be, for me personally, an intriguing project to undertake. I disagree with only one point, that the bot would not be critical. If and when the bot goes ‘live’, we will begin to depend on it. Many ops will need the bot to run a meeting (unix/mac/java), so we should explore it, yes…”

Tim comments, “5 of 83”

Steve continues, “…but carefully and slowly.”

Vicki says, “I think that was the nature of the motion, to allow you and Tim to investigate.”

Tim answers, “Points well taken, Steve – and nice forward thinking.”

Vicki then shares, “Before we vote on this motion, let’s take a tally of who is present in the meeting at this time with !”

Seven members are present.

Vicki continues, “We accept and explore over 6 months…vote “+” for or “ – “ against.

The motion passes, with six members voting “yes” and one member abstaining.

Vicki asks, “Given the time, does anyone want to make a motion to adjourn the meeting?”

Tim, Joel and Vicki all say “what?” Then Tim asks, “Becky? (and then JWR)?”

Becky replies, “Here. Yes, I would love to adjourn the meeting.”

Tim asks, “When you were stating willingness to learn, was that about working with the ‘bot’?”

Becky replies, “I move that the meeting come to the end. Yes. LOL.”

Vicki asks, “Is there a second to that motion?”

Becky continues, “I am willing for everything bot and meeting ending, but bot first,” and giggles.

JoelR asks, “I had a question before meeting ended, is this out of order?”

Jaime shares, “I’d be interested in exploring the possibility.”

Vicki answers, “Nope Joel, go ahead. Let’s hold off for a minute then.”

JoelR asks, “I don’t know if this is new business…but I wanted to ask, do all business meetings run concurrent with regular meetings?”

Vicki responds, “Yep. It was decided to do that awhile back, Joel.”

Tim also responds, “Joel – yes – but ALWAYS on the 15th of the month (so the day of the week changes), so that it isn’t too early for West Coast or too late for East Coast.”

Joel replies, “I understand…I was just wondering.”

Vicki asks Tim, “Maybe what you wanted was volunteers for the committee Tim?” Tim smiles.

Tim tells Jaime, “JWR – please email slaaonline@yahoo.com with subject (or body) of “BOT”. Seems we already have TimF, Steve, hhope=Becky, JWR=James…anyone else interested, please do the same.”

Vicki volunteers, “I’m on there too somewhere.” Tim replies, “Ok.”

Vicki asks, “Anyone else before we close? Is there a motion to close?”

Becky replies, “Did. Do again.” Steve seconds the motion.

Vicki says, “Becky made the motion, Steve seconded. Would someone please volunteer to do a prayer?”

Steve closes with the following prayer at 11:39 PM EST: “God help us to live slowly: To move simply: To look softly: To allow emptiness: To let the heart create for us. Amen.”