[Foundation-l] Board resolutions (chapters)

Dan Rosenthal swatjester at gmail.com
Wed Jan 21 10:22:47 UTC 2009

On Jan 21, 2009, at 2:13 AM, Florence Devouard wrote:

> Nathan wrote:
>> On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 5:52 PM, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org>  
>> wrote:
>>> 2009/1/20 Ting Chen <wing.philopp at gmx.de>:
>>>> Not quite. One criteria is that the chapters should have well  
>>>> defined
>>>> geographical areas and they should not overlap. So an Amsterdam  
>>>> chapter
>>>> beside a Dutch chapter is not possible.
>>> It was my understanding from the sub-national chapters document that
>>> such chapters might be permitted to form anyway:
>>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sub-national_chapters
>>> (Question: "Aren't we setting up sub-national chapters to compete  
>>> for
>>> funding with nation-based chapters?")
>>> What I'm taking your statement to mean is that when a subnational
>>> chapter is formed where a national chapter could be later formed,  
>>> the
>>> overlap and potential harmful consequences of such overlap would  
>>> have
>>> to be carefully considered before national chapter is approved.  
>>> Would
>>> that be a fair characterization? Or are you meaning 'is not  
>>> possible'
>>> truly in the sense of 'will never happen'?
>> Earlier in this thread, Ting clearly stated that recognition of a
>> sub-national chapter meant a national chapter could not later be  
>> formed.
>> Andrew Whitworth indicated the same. Is that not the definitive  
>> answer to
>> the question?
>> Nathan
> This would be real bad, because it could exclude entire areas that do
> not drain sufficient memberships or funds to be able to really  
> create a
> sustainable chapter.
> That could be typically the case of a country with two big cities  
> and a
> big rural area. Two chapters could be created in each city, leaving  
> all
> wikipedians in the rural areas helpless. If such was to happen, I hope
> WMF would either accept the creation of a national chapter, or  
> negotiate
> with the city-chapters so that they can extend membership to  
> neighbours.
> Note that this is already the case for many national chapters. In the
> French one, we host a couple of people living in Switzerland ('cause
> they are French in nationality), as well as from Belgium and  
> Luxembourg,
> ('cause these nations have no chapter).
> I suspect a consensus will need to be found, so that 1) no harm is  
> made
> to current chapter and 2) no one be excluded which would defeat the  
> process.
> As such, flexibility should be a must.
> Ant

I agree with your concern here Florence, but I don't see anything  
saying that national chapters cannot form if there is a sub national  
chapter there. I don't quite know where Ting extrapolates "chapters  
should have well defined geographical areas and they should not  
overlap"  into "If we have a sub national chapter, we cannot have a  
parent national chapter"; it sounds like a misreading of "Should not"  
into "Must not".

I can think of several good reasons why sub-national chapters should  
not preclude a national chapter; not the least of which being the  
concerns raised by Florence, but also situations in places such as  
China where subnational chapters in one area of the country may not  
adequately represent the rest of the country.

Was this some sort of unilateral proclamation by Ting, or has the  
chapters committee officially made some sort of decision on this topic?


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