Saturday, May 29, 2010
Director Elect Kimmy Jigsaw
On June 1, 2010, the Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) will elect three new Directors to fill the seats of three departing Directors who have fulfilled their 6 month terms. Although only three candidates stepped forward with their intent to run for the three soon to be open seats, the election will still be held per the SLSA constitution. SurfWatch is conducting in-depth interviews in order for the members of the SLSA to better know the new Directors who will be representing them. We will not begin posting the interviews until all of the candidates wishing to participate have turned them in. As this is a voluntary process for the benefit of the group as a whole, SurfWatch will note if a candidate wishes to decline the interview when the interviews are posted.
SurfWatch: You are currently ranked #26 for this season's SLSA surf rankings and you've been SL surfing for more than 3 years. We understand you have announced your intent to run for SLSA Director this term. What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. would you bring as a director and why are you running?
Kimmy Jigsaw: I am running plainly and simply because I love the SLSA. I helped found it originally, and I know that it hits its highest potential when it is about fun and friendship. I have been involved in SLSA surfing since its inception. Along the way, I have made some of my best and most lasting friendships. We have bonded through surfing. From the start, this group was by surfers for surfers, and I want it to be that way always. I see the job of Board member as working for the surfers, not as being "in charge of surfing." This group started with grassroots dictating its path and has always been at its best when that is the case.
SW: What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?
KJ: The best thing we can improve is communication. I propose regular town hall meetings by the Directors . It must be made clear that the Board works for the people and that all serious ideas will receive serious consideration.
SW: What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what would be your first priority as an SLSA Director?
KJ: Well the top issue as always is group spirit. This is a people group on a social networking platform. If the people are not happy and not socially interacting, we have nothing but empty titles. We need to always be a welcoming group as well and let the new members know that, from day one, they matter. As I have already mentioned, I look forward to instituting town hall meetings and would also like to have a recruiting and training program started for new members. The rewards for participating for our old members are good new friends, fun surfing, and new positive spirit for the group.
SW: Why are you the best candidate for this job?
KJ: Well I hesitate to use the word "best" as a description. I am more comfortable with saying that I am "highly qualified". I have served before. I am willing to serve now, and I have years of experience in the SLSA at varied positions. I have been a Director, a Comp Official, Event Organizer, Judge, Team Captain. League Founder, Team Founder. In all my years here, I have been about building SL surfing. But the one title I like best is "surfer". I have always been a surfer and always will be. When I am on the Board, I will be a surfer first. Though I will not actively compete once elected, in terms of making any and all decisions, they will be done from the heart of a surfer.
SW: What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season? What were you most dissatisfied with?
KJ: I was most satisfied with the continuing evolution of SL surfing in terms of boards and waves. Thank you Seb (Sebastian Saramago) and Heather (Heather Goodliffe) for yet another great advancement with the new wave. I have been very pleased with the spirit and enthusiasm of some of our newest members. Of course, I am very proud of my own Tai Chi Team and always pleased with them. I think the one thing I was most dissatisfied with was communication and the Board seeming to be a bit remote from the surfers.
SW: Anything else you would like voters to know about you?
KJ: I love surfing in SL. I love my friends and my team. I sometimes have been a bit vocal about things and regret some of my past behavior. I hope people will forgive some things and realize that at the root of my past reactions has always been this love I have for the sport, the league, the team, and my friends. I am very approachable as a person and love making new friends. I try to treat everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve. I will promise to not allow my passions to override my duty to maintain a professional demeanor as a Board member representing our whole group.
Give us a brief statement or opinion on some of the major issues the SLSA faced in 2010 and possible issues moving into Season 2 (listed below):
1. Were you concerned with the low number of competitors signed up for the SLSA R1 May 15 Tai competition, and what do you foresee for the future of the two-round, two-weekend SLSA competition format?
KJ: Well that is always a concern but historically, once Spring has sprung and season rankings start to get set, we have had a decline in participation. In some years, we have countered this through the recruitment of new surfers. I go back to my earlier comment, and believe this should be one mission of the SLSA. Let new people know that they are welcome and that our comps are open to surfers of all levels. We may just need to reach out a little better and be more welcoming.
2.Do you have any concerns or opinions on competitors also working as officials during the same comp?
KJ: Not really as they won't work in the same session that they compete in. The two stage system was designed to welcome participation by our most experienced members. It gives them a chance to give back and in theory, allows for more diversity of staff. If anything, I believe we should increase the ranks of those qualified to judge and have more rotation in those positions. If we have only one opinion, then everyone has to surf to that opinion. Consistency is nice but within reasonable standards we can have consistent judging and a diversity of judges. That also would eliminate the criticism that judges have a vested interest.
3.Should SLSA HOF members be required to be SLSA members?
KJ: No, though I believe that once inducted, they are lifetime members.
4.Should alts be prohibited from entering competitions as "new" and upcoming surfers?
KJ: This is a matter of self governance. I would feel a little sad for someone if that was their only motivation to make an alt, to create some fake glory. But, at the same time, we need to recognize there are other reasons people might create an alt and they have no duty to tell us all their personal business and have us approve or disapprove. I think this is one area where governing least is governing best. We have to have some faith in our members having personal integrity. Usually those who don't, expose themselves anyway. So as far as SLSA becoming a secret police doing background checks on new people to see if they might be an alt, I do not approve. Let's look at an example that I personally think would be an invasion of privacy: Surfer A and Surfer B are married in RL and share a home and IP address. They don't however share in SL that they are spouses. Surfer A enjoys surfing and Surfer B witnesses this and decides to have a go at it as well. He makes an alt to be his surf person. Someone at SLSA checks IP addresses and accuses B of being A's alt. Well, the SLSA has no right to invade privacy in this way and definitely has no place to stand in judgement demanding any explanations. So in short, I just think this is one direction the SLSA should not get involved and rely on its members to have intergrity personally and as a group.
5.With the lack of available full sims to host SLSA surf comps, should we rely more heavily on the SLSA sim? What other activities should the SLSA sim be used for?
KJ: Well this is a very good question. I know that the sim is probably the SLSA's biggest expense and least utilized resource. I actually will demand that it be put into productive use or eliminated. One thing we have to realize is that the sim was requested by members but never really used by them. Perhaps that is because the Board was running it and not the members? I will immediately call for an action plan with accountability. We will have to have a plan in place and demand that certain results be achieved, or I would advocate eliminating the SLSA sim based on pure common sense. As far as sim availability, we may need to do better outreach and adjust our attitudes to show that we appreciate being allowed to have a comp at a sim. In the past, I believe sometimes the message was unintentionally delivered that the SLSA thought it was doing the sim some giant favor. The relationship between the SLSA and the surfing sims should be mutually beneficial, and we should all be thankful when we have a nice place to surf.