Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SLSA Director Candidates Interviews

SurfWatch conducts these in-depth interviews to help voters get a clear picture of the candidates that are running for the Board and gives candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters. Although this is not a standard election, we feel it is still important for the SLSA membership to know about the candidates and their thoughts. Both Kantbe Thursday and VW Sands returned their questionnaires. See their interviews below. Voting opens on March 1st. Stay tuned for more details!


Candidate Name: Kantbe Thursday

SW: You are currently ranked #? for last season's SLSA surf rankings

KT: We have rankings? HAHAHAHA… well… y'all know my old surfing nickname is Drowned Rat, right? OK, OK… if I really have to answer this one, I'm not ranked. It's difficult for me to be inworld most weekends during the times of our competitions, so I've only competed a couple of times and in SJ13.

and you've been SL surfing for more than ? years.

Probably about 3 years, but I'm sure if you'll watch me you'd be convinced it was at least 6 months. :-)


SW: 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?

KT: I've been a director for the previous 6 months, and have been pretty closely involved with the SLSA since I started surfing; I've just tended to help out more as an unofficial person in the background. I've also been on the SurfWatch staff for a little over a year. I'm kind of a consensus builder by nature (which is only slightly different from a baby and an arse kisser, I think). When decisions need to be made on behalf of the SLSA members, I like to consult our Constitution, Rules, and a number of people who's opinions I respect. I have a fairly open mind, some might say vacuous, but I do make my own decisions. In my role as the SLSA's Communications Officer for my current term with help from Sally LaSalle I've learned how to use the SLSA's web site. I really shouldn't take much credit for this, but I also maintain a list of public surfing sims that I stole from Socks Clawtooth back in July of
2009. Surfwatch has been gracious enough set up its Wave Report blog as a place a group of us can now maintain it. Surfwatch has also placed some multi-point teleporters around where we replicate this list of sims.

Why am I running?

My keyboard got stuck with the cmd-r key depressed... There are some outstanding things on the Boards' to-do list that I'd like to see to completion or resolution. Our Event Rules had some resent changes that we've needed for a while, but there is quite a bit more that can be done to help with letting people know what to expect. Previous boards have done a considerable amount of work in this area that didn't quite get finished. I'd like to help wrap that up. There's another project that's in its infancy right now that I'd really like to continue working on to see what we can accomplish. I can't really talk about it, but if successful, it could be very exciting.

SW: What areas of improvement do you currently see related to SL surfing?

I actually think we've made quite a few positive strides this past year. We seem to be over the hump with some of our darkest days. Sure, we had some pretty serious casualties as a result, but we seem to be moving past most of that. Our biggest challenges are still in what I think are our top issues in the next question (I hope it's OK to read ahead). One improvement that I think I can say, especially since I've been the Communications Officer for the past 6 months, is that we're still not doing a very good job of regular reporting on what the Directors are doing.

SW: What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing and what would be your first priority?

KT: Member involvement in events is our biggest issue. If we can't get people to be judges and staff at events, we simply can't have the competitions. It's been a real struggle for the past several seasons to find people with the time and willingness to be judges in particular. Since I'm only a L1 Judge and never had an opportunity to judge, I can't do much more than help facilitate more training, which has increased over the past several months.

Another issue is the continuing loss of surfing sims capable of sustaining what we now require for competitions. The SLSA does have Archipelago that we can use as a backup for competitions should there be insufficient sims for a season, but the directors are considering other ways to help. The discussions are at such an early stage right now, it would probably be best to not attempt to go into any details (don't you just hate a bureaucratic response?).

SW: What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season? What were you most dissatisfied with?

KT: The growing sense of camaraderie that I saw happening throughout the season and the growing number of new surfers were probably at the top of the list. On a more personal note, and not specific to last season, I've been particularly pleased to be able to work with the directors we currently have. It may not show, but many hours can go into being an active director. Y'all have a great group of people working for you right now.

What were you most dissatisfied with?

Not really much. I would have liked to seen people lined up and hopping up and down ready to be judges and staff at our competitions. The difficulty in finding judges and staff for competitions is a little frustrating, but as one who can rarely be inworld for competitions, I can understand what a challenge that can be for people. I was obviously saddened and concerned over the loss of some of our longest standing and popular surfing sims. I would have also liked to have seen a little better response to some of our Archipelago fund raising parties, even though the two auctions have gone really well.

SW: Anything else you would like voters to know about you?

KT: Like I said earlier, I tend to be a consensus builder. That means I like to hear peoples' opinions. I genuinely would like to encourage people to tell me what they think and what ideas they have for the SLSA. Please don't be offended if you IM me and get some sort of automated response. I do video recording in SL and have to turn off my user interface, which means I don't see chat and IM's while I'm doing that. I'll do my best to respond to every IM or notecard I receive; I promise I won't intentionally ignore anyone.

Oh, did I mention that one of my other nicknames is Chatty Cathy? ;-)


Candidate Name: VW Sands

SW: You are currently ranked (took last season off ;-) and you've been SL surfing for more than 4 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?

VS: Well, I´ve served 2 previous terms on the board so I have a pretty fair idea on how things work. I love organising surf comps, really enjoy entertaining the crowd and trying to keep things moving. Not sure if those are skills, competencies or traits but, lol. I´m running because we need folks that are willing to step up and I seem to have as much fun behind the waves as in them so.....

SW: What areas of improvement do you currently see related to SL surfing?

VS: Everything can be better in SL, not just surfing. More efficient scripts to lessen lag would benefit us alot. New formats for surf comps to speed things up maybe? Some new toys/waves/brands/designers to keep things moving forward?

SW: What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing and what would be your first priority?

VS: The SLSA is enjoying a really great stoke right now and I would love to see it continue. We do have an age old issue with super-long comp times and even though we have tried for like ever to get a handle on that I still believe we can find ways of making surf comps shorter (more efficient). Priority? Hmmmm....5-6 hour comp days for aging staff members ;-)

SW: What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season? What were you most dissatisfied with?

VS: I think like most folks I was stoked that the vibe of the old days returned. Thanks in part to a ton of new members as well as a staff that was short on conflict and long on fun. Can´t say I was dissatisfied with anything really. Always small things than can be improved on but nothing that we can´t do if we do it together :-)

SW: Anything else you would like voters to know about you?

VS: Only that I hereby deny anything and everything that has anything to do with grass skirts, purple mohawks, garter-belts disquised as boardies, pot farming, insurance fraud and money laundering ;-)

2 comments:

Abel Halderman said...

Good luck both of you!

D°XX said...

VW FOR PRESIDENT ! and i hope it Kan be Kantbe too :-) ride on.