Saturday, May 17, 2008

SLSA Elections (Part II) - Why should you care?

The Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) is the body that organises Second Life's calendar of independent surfing competitions, tallies the results and calculates the season's standings. It was established for, and only recognises the votes of, competition surfers. However, as the only open, non-commercial surfing association with a established constitution, the association has a number of other important leadership roles to play in Second Life surfing. Its rules and practices provide a standard by which other competition organisers stage their own events. The SLSA is also the voice of Second Life surfing and is really the only representative of the surfing community with any authority because it has an elected board of directors.

The surfing community needs a voice, as anyone who witnessed the lack of recognition for surfing in the recent Havok4 roll-out must surely agree. There is certainly room for improvement, but the SLSA is the body that can represent the surfing community on big issues that need to be visible on Linden Lab's agenda and others. This was never the SLSA's primary objective, but the need is there and sometimes the unwritten, unagreed duties to Second Life surfing as a whole can actually get in the way of its core business.


With SLSA membership growing by about 7% per month, and now over the 300 mark, representing the wider surfing community is not an easy responsibility to avoid. Surfing is one of the fastest growing pastimes in Second Life. If SLSA membership growth continues, it will be a 500-600 member association by early 2009. Surfing contributes more and more each month to the Second Life economy and surfing is an activity that actively helps to build economically viable communities in Second Life.


The SLSA is undoubtedly at a turning point in its history and under great pressure to change and change it should: with all due care and attention. Expanding its activities and interests risks weakening the association's core focus on competition surfing. Failing to expand its activities and interests risks making an increasing number of SLSA members irrelevant to the association. Exactly how the association should change, who it should represent, what interests it should put first and who should be allowed voting rights is the responsibility of today's eligible voters. Whether you agree or disagree with the current SLSA rulebook, today only the votes of competition surfers count.


Surfing and politics rarely mix and so perhaps surfers have a natural aversion to the process of elections, sitting on committees and arguing points of policy. Meanwhile, the weight of running elections, competitions and other SLSA activities
, let alone debating points of SLSA future policy, falls on the shoulders of a few brave individuals that volunteer to sit on the SLSA board. There are remarkably few of them and, given that most people come to Second Life to have fun, they sacrifice quite a lot of their fun time in order that others may enjoy their 'drama free' surfing.

Voting is a small price to pay for having the SLSA around.

SurfWatch: Election voices 2 (15 May 08)
SurfWatch: Election voices (14 May 08)
SurfWatch: SLSA Election Up-date (13 May 08)
SurfWatch: SLSA Elections (Part I) - What's going on? (10 May 08)
SurfWatch: New SLSA directors announced (2 Mar 08)
URL: SLSA Forum

URL: SLSA Rulebook
URL: SLSA Season Standings

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Election voices continued (2)

By Tauri Tigerpaw

What do surfers really want from the SLSA? (continued)

"The SLSA has been the governing body for competition surfing in Second Life since it´s conception. Certainly, not the only organisation to conduct surf contests, but is the 'official' group running contests. Considering the explosion of new members, I would like to see the SLSA offer twice as many contests or at the very least, two-day contests to allow more riders the chance to ride. I would love to see Saturday and Sunday contests. Twice as many openings (or at least an increase to 60). Pre-lims to be run on Saturdays and semis and the final on Sundays. Other than that more "quicky" events. Perhaps mini-contests between big events. SLSA parties? A chance for the riders to get to know the people behind the SLSA a little better? All of which are things they can think about after getting back on solid ground, so to speak.

"I think the SLSA does a great job and I for one apreciate all the hard work the board members do for the membership. I would only suggest that the board members ask us for help when they get in a jam. Most of us would be more than willing to help out to lighten the load." -- VW Sands (see pic, top left), competition surfer ranked 6th in the SLSA season standings.


"What I want from the SLSA is a stronger awareness that those with the loudest voices are rarely in the majority. And chocolate... lots and lots of chocolate... and waterballoons.... and crowns and tiaras for everyone.... and cute, mute surf boys.... oh wait... did I say that out loud?" -- Christine Daffodil (see pic, right), competition surfer ranked 7th in the SLSA season standings.

"I would like the SLSA to make a league of top surfers, maybe in some way permanently open to top surfers competing in an open division. I would like to see clear and complete SLSA rulebook with more responsibility and rights given to the directors. I would like to see a teams ranking and surfing teams formally sanctioned. That would add another level of excitement to SLSA competitions. I would love to see directors having time to think about the future. I definitely want to see SLSA surfers united and ready for compromise in main SLSA matters." -- Abel Halderman (see pic, left), competition surfer ranked 4th in the SLSA season standings and winner of April's SLSA Surfline Shortboard Pro.

"I expect from the new directors that they stay in their job up to the end. I would like all surfers to show them their support. Surfing has to be fun and not fighting against each other." -- Desirae Beaumont (see pic, right), competition surfer ranked 5th in the SLSA season standings and second place in the SLSA Surfline Shortboard Pro.



SurfWatch: Election voices (14 May 08)
SurfWatch: SLSA Election Up-date (13 May 08)
SurfWatch: SLSA Elections (Part I) - What's going on? (10 May 08)
SurfWatch: New SLSA directors announced (2 Mar 08)
URL: SLSA Forum

URL: SLSA Rulebook
URL: SLSA Season Standings

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Election voices

What do surfers really want from the SLSA? With a big election just around the corner for the Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA), SurfWatch's Tauri Tigerpaw contacted some of the top surfers in Second Life to ask them what they expected from the SLSA and its new board of directors.

"I know that the SLSA is trying it's best and it can't be easy with the rash of directors rotating in and out. But hopefully the SLSA can get that settled. What I really want from the SLSA is for it to regain its footing and work on strengthening the association and its competitions. A lot of good work was already being done on this until all chaos... or Havok if you will, broke loose. So I'd like to see them get back to that, and then look at ways to bring in new surfers and expand what is offered now. Going into this coming election as a nominee my goal for the organization has pretty much been to get re-organized. Once thing are going strong again we can look to the future." -- Ashleigh Dickins (see pic, left), competition surfer ranked 10th in the SLSA season standings and one of the three nominees in the coming election.

"All that I would want from the SLSA is for some stability and a sense of cohesion from the board of directors, right now there seems to be a bit of a disconnect. Hopefully the new directors can help fix that disconnect. I also want cake, lots and lots of cake... and elephant thongs for all... they help you surf better! Really they do, lowers the wind resistance!" -- Craig Stallion (see pic, right), competition surfer ranked 18th in the SLSA season standings and 3rd at last month's SLSA Surfline Shortboard Pro.

"I would like to have a committed and reliable SLSA directors board that focuses on the operation as it is, working on having competitions with less problems and reliable and impartial judging. After this maybe work on changes and new ideas, but only once we have the basics. I have lots of faith in the SLSA and wish the association the best." -- Cipriano Grut (see pic, left), competition surfer ranked 16th in the SLSA season standings.

"Well... I hope they're gonna change contest day! It's sick to stay at home Saturday nights for surfin' on Second Life. That's why I was not at the last competition - wanted to get drunk in real life!"
-- Vic Bonetto, competition surfer ranked 15th in the SLSA season standings.

SurfWatch: SLSA Election Up-date (13 May 08)
SurfWatch: SLSA Elections (Part I) - What's going on? (10 May 08)
SurfWatch: New SLSA directors announced (2 Mar 08)
URL: SLSA Forum

URL: SLSA Rulebook
URL: SLSA Season Standings

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

SLSA Election Up-date

The Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) announced more details of its upcoming elections via SLSA group notice in Second Life Tuesday. The SLSA now clarifies that there are two issues that require members votes on Saturday. Firstly a vote, for constitutional reasons, to permit the election process to elect new directors to the SLSA board and secondly voting for candidates to fill the three vacant seats on the board of directors.

The SLSA election was scheduled for 1 June 2008, but this would have forced the SLSA to continue its business throughout May and organise the surfing competition at Neart with just two directors instead of five. Ordinarily gaps on the board might be filled by appointing interim directors. However, there are not enough directors currently serving to form a quorum in order to vote in interim directors and so the solution is to hold a special election on Saturday 17 May 2008.


Three candidates have been nominated for seats on the SLSA board of directors: Sally LaSalle, Ashleigh Dickins and Colleen Brennan. Since the quarterly SLSA election was originally scheduled for 1 June 2008, to vote for directors to serve betwen June 1st and December 1st, directors elected on Saturday will have to serve the additional two weeks in May too.


According to the SLSA's rulebook, voting for directors is restricted to competition surfers from the last three month's SLSA competitions and so only surfers who competed in Monkeh Barrel and Surfline events are eligible to vote in this election (or 46 members by our calculations).


How to vote


1. Voting takes place via notecard in Second Life and eligible voters must give their notecards to all five of the following individuals by midnight Saturday 17 May 2008 Second Life time: Radical Twang, Milo Voss, Poid Mahovlich, Rani Decosta and Carenahh Kuu.


2. This election consists of two separate votes and each vote must be clearly mentioned in the notecard.


3. The first vote is for eligible voters to legitimise the election process itself. To vote, your notecard should state either “yes , I support the election” or “no, I do not support the election”.


4. The second vote is to elect three new SLSA directors to three vacant positions on the SLSA board. To vote on this, your notecard should state the names of the directors that you are voting for. You may vote for any or all of the following nominated candidates: Sally LaSalle, Ashleigh Dickins and Colleen Brennan.


5. For example, if you are voting to approve the election process and to vote for all three candidates, then your note card might read as follows:


Barchan Paderborn's vote:


1. Yes , I support the election

2. I am voting for: Sally LaSalle, Ashleigh Dickins, Colleen Brennan

Update 18 May 08
The deadline for voting in this special SLSA election was extended on Thursday 15 May afternoon via an SLSA Forum message by the current directors from Saturday 17 May 2008 midnight to Monday 19 May 2008 11.59 SLT.

SurfWatch: SLSA Elections (Part I) - What's going on? (10 May 08)
SurfWatch: New SLSA directors announced (2 Mar 08)
URL: Further questions on this election in the S
LSA Forum (10 May 08)
URL: SLSA Rulebook
URL: SLSA Season Standings