[Foundation-l] Board resolutions (chapters)

Ting Chen wing.philopp at gmx.de
Wed Jan 21 16:44:40 UTC 2009

Dan Rosenthal wrote:
> 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?
> -Dan
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This is my conclusion out of the "no overlapping areas" criteria. I may 
be wrong. I don't think that the concern of Florence is really a serious 
one. In many countries, for example Agentina, where we already have a 
chapter, a few cities are the absolute cultural center of the country, 
but in these cases there's no sense to constrain a chapter only in the 
cities. They can easily be established as national chapters, like 
Agentina. Another example is NYC is not constrained in the city, but has 
its area including the whole state. At the moment we have no cases where 
we have conflicts here, and I see no situation, which cannot be 
negotiated by one way or the other. Last but not least, if there are 
indeed grave conflicts and it is unsoluble according to the current 
rule, I don't see that rules are unchangable. We have come so far and 
have solved so much problems I don't think that we would one day die on 
this problem.


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