Expectation of Board Members
Board Member Expectations
Everything Expected of a Keyholder
Board members are required to be keyholders. As such, they are expected to meet the existing keyholder requirements.
As a board member, we are expected maintain a higher level of commitment to Unallocated Space than a regular keyholder. This may be financial, but is usually in the form of running a regular event that brings in dues and donations. It also means answering a lot more email and potentially reading and writing long, horrid positions such as this one. A Candidate should be able to consistently meet these time commitments.
There is also a certain level of liability involved with being a board member - nothing particularly dangerous so long as the safeguards in place (insurance is paid, leases are signed, etc.) Our job is to maintain those safeguards. A Candidate must be willing and able to take on an elevated level of liability
We need to know that board members are going to stick around, and that they have at least SOME historical knowledge of the operation of Unallocated Space. A Candidate should be a member in good financial standing for no less than a year.
Every member of Unallocated space is dedicated to its success in some way or another, even if they're just pitching us $25/mo. Board members must understand that, and value the opinions of those that seek them out. Just because someone's idea may not be practical, it is still legitimate. This is a place to foster ideas - we work very hard to enable them. A Candidate must be able to see all sides of a problem.
The board exists to deal with the most complex and difficult problems the space has. There isn't another level to go to; all answers must be sought until found. A Candidate must to be able to make the unpleasant decisions and stay objective and positive regardless of any personnel situation.
Often, the duties of a board member involve resolving disputes between members. This is always a delicate issue. The ideal resolution is the least dramatic one that leaves all involved parties able to work with each other peaceably in the future. A Candidate should have a history of productive and clean conflict resolution.
This position is also a very public position - meaning that many of the questions that people have regarding operations and special requests both from inside and outside the membership will be directed towards the board (The Keyholders do a fantastic job of answering the easy questions. So, we get all the difficult ones.) A Candidate should have the skills necessary to answer these gracefully and articulate their communication as though they represented Unallocated Space
All of the decisions that have been made by the board begin with a debate. Considerations for all points and sides of the argument are made, countered and argued. A Candidate must be able to articulate and present arguments respectfully. A Candidate must be able to consider points and counterpoints and be able to make informed decisions with this information.
Whatever power we are entrusted with as board members, it is only respected by the people we serve so long as we do not abuse our authority. The authority of a board member can only be leveraged to affect personal disputes, or anything that may be a financial liability for Unallocated. Beyond that, a board member may propose a vote to the rest of the board, and respect the vote of the board, whether you agree with it or not. A Candidate must respect the limits of their authority.
A Candidate must understand that the Keyholders are the primary stakeholders in the governance of Unallocated Space. It's the Keyholders that keep the doors open. We should respect that their vote is important, and that every effort should be made to push to the Keyholders every vote that does not expose us to liability issues, or interpersonal management issues.
A Candidate must be able to recognize their weaknesses and know when to abstain from a vote.
We don't need any 'yes' men/women on the board. There's no favor exchange or political manipulation. Be capable of articulating an opinion. A Candidate must be able to consider reasonable argument, but not be bullied or negotiated into changing their vote.
We deal with a lot of people's personal issues, whether that be the state of their finances or disciplinary problems. We are not a community of judgement and we should respect that the situations that come to us may be deeply personal, and may impact that person's relationship to the Space. It may make it difficult for an individual to continue working with the community if they perceive that they are being judged by members, keyholders or non-members. It also creates a polarization between ourselves and that individual.
Adding to this, board votes should appear unified. It should not be clear who voted for or against an issue. This helps our positions when discussing issues with Keyholders and membership.
A Candidate must demonstrate their respect for the privacy of others.