Becoming A Provisional Member - Twin Oaks - 2009

Shared by Twin Oaks Community
Tags: Visits and Visitors, Membership

[Excerpt from Membership Policy]



Anyone wishing to join T.O. must be a three-week visitor in the Visitor Program, approved by the Visitor Manager. The prospective member is expected to have made quota for cos entire visitor period. At its discretion, the Community Membership Team (CMT) may excuse a labor shortfall in one week, but in any event, the prospective member is required to have made quota for at least two weeks.

1. When a 3-week visitor wants to join Twin Oaks:

a. Co is given an informational briefing about the membership process.

b. This is followed by a membership meeting with the CMT. At least two members of the Team must be present.

c. A 3X5 card is posted requesting input on the prospective member.

d. Generally the Team will make a decision based on the meeting and the input. (Sometimes a non-binding poll is used to help the Team decide. The options on provisional membership polls are: ACCEPT, REJECT, VISIT AGAIN. Provisional member polls are distributed to all members.) Members will have up to ten days to give input or respond to a poll. Confidentiality will apply to all input and polls. There are no set restrictions on interpreting input or poll results. No formula determines the Team’s answer. Flexibility and consensus are valued in making Team decisions.

2. If a prospective member has debts or assets which are an impediment to membership because of the Property Code, co must make arrangements with the Legal Manager to the satisfaction of the CMT.

3. If an applicant is asked to visit again, the CMT will determine how much time must pass before a second three-week visit may occur. One year is the maximum time away that will be required before a second visit. If an applicant is rejected, co can reapply only after one year.

4. Those accepted for provisional membership must go away from Twin Oaks for at least one month before joining. The month away is 30 days and begins when the visitor leaves the community after the visitor period. The Membership Team can make exceptions in cases of hardship.

5. If more than six months passes between invitation to join and the proposed arrival date, co must visit again, reapply, and be re-accepted before joining. This six-month acceptance period can be extended under some circumstances. See the section on Waiting List, Section I(C)(3) of this policy.

6. All incoming members are required to have a medical exam and must send back a completed medical exam form to our Health Team before they return to the community as members. The community provides medical exam forms and instructions to prospective members. (Provisional members who can't afford an exam can have one done at Twin Oaks. They will be charged on a sliding scale.)

7. During the month away, all incoming members must also have a dental checkup and have all the necessary and recommended work done, unless they have already done this within six months prior to joining. Eyeglasses and contact lenses must be brought up to date.

8. Exceptions, such as setting aside money to have dental work, etc. done while at Twin Oaks, must be worked out with the Dental Manager/Health Team and Legal Manager, as appropriate.

9. Also during the month away, the prospective member should tie up loose ends, make arrangements for pets not approved for trial membership and procure whatever supplies the community doesn’t usually furnish for provisional members but which co is likely to want or need (for example, new boots, medicines, vitamins, stereo, etc.).

10. If the CMT learns significant new information about a visitor who has been accepted for provisional membership but has not yet joined the community, and this information causes the team to question cos membership, the CMT may suspend the acceptance decision until the team has a chance to talk with co. If, after this talk happens, the CMT feels the Community was not aware of significant information when they gave input, a new input period will happen after the new information is put out. The person in question must be given a chance to present cos views. If, on good authority, the CMT learns that serious bad faith declarations were made during an interview, the CMT may, at their discretion, revoke an acceptance decision before "Robert Tupelo-Schneck" , provisional membership has begun.


1. If a former member wishes to rejoin Twin Oaks and has been gone for more than a year, or was a provisional member and has been gone for more than 30 days, co follows the membership procedure described above for newcomers.
2. If the ex-member has been gone less than a year, the Membership Team issues a provisional member poll to full members with the following options:

ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK (a contract is not a possible outcome of the Feedback)
FEEDBACK (a contract is a possible outcome)

Whenever possible, the Membership Team will complete the initial poll prior to the ex-member’s return.

a. If fewer than 10% of the full members vote REJECT, FEEDBACK or ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK, then the returning ex-member is accepted as a provisional member without further process.

b. If 10% or more vote ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK, FEEDBACK or REJECT, but the total of FEEDBACK and REJECT votes is less than 10%, the returning ex-member is accepted with a Feedback.

c. If 10% or more of the full members vote FEEDBACK or REJECT, a Feedback is mandatory, with the possible outcome of a contract.

d. If 15% or more of the full members vote REJECT, then the Membership Team informs the Process Team that a feedback is required. Representatives of the Membership Team will attend the feedback. In the case of returning ex-members, the Membership Team will determine within two days following the feedback whether a contract is feasible and desirable. If the Membership Team decides against pursuing a contract, it will issue a poll one week after the feedback on which the only options are ACCEPT and REJECT. If the Membership Team decides to pursue a contract, it will instruct the Contract Team to meet and start a contracting process with the ex-member. See Section III of this policy on contracting process. One week after the contract has been made available to the community, the Membership Team will issue a second poll with the options of ACCEPT, ACCEPT WITH CONTRACT and REJECT.

e. If, on this second poll, 15% or more of the full members vote REJECT, the person is rejected. If fewer than 15% vote REJECT but 10% or more vote REJECT or ACCEPT WITH CONTRACT, the person is accepted with the contract.

3. If accepted, the month away requirement will be waived and these members will be placed at the top of any existing waiting list.


Four rules operate simultaneously in determining when persons accepted for provisional membership may begin their membership:

1. Assimilation. The number of members joining typically shall not exceed three per month in two consecutive months.

2. Gender Balance. If the gender ratio exceeds 60:40, no member of the majority gender may join until the ratio after cos joining will not exceed 60:40.

3. Waiting List. We will maintain an acceptance list of all people who are accepted for membership. When the community is full we will also maintain a ready-to-join list.

a. When we have enough openings that a ready-to-join list is not in effect:

i. When a person on the acceptance list knows when co will be ready to join, co writes the CMT to let them know the date that co wishes to arrive. Co may join on that date assuming 30 days have passed since their visitor period ended. Co would need to join within four weeks after their stated date or be considered to have deferred.

ii. To stay on the acceptance list for more than six months after the date a person was notified of cos acceptance, co would need to notify the CMT in writing of their desire to be extended on the acceptance list and co would need to visit T.O. for seven consecutive days during the fourth, fifth or sixth month of the acceptance period. This would extend their acceptance for three months (for a total of nine months).

iii. Six months, or nine months if extended, after cos date of notification, cos name is dropped from the acceptance list. Anyone in this position can always visit again to have the opportunity to renew cos eligibility to join Twin Oaks.

b. When a ready-to-join list is in effect:

i. When a person on the acceptance list notifies us of cos desired return date, cos name is placed on a ready-to-join list, which is prioritized in the order that accepted visitors contact us, with the exception that ex-members returning within one year are placed at the top of the list.

ii. When the six month mark has passed, folks on the ready-to-join list are automatically granted an extension to nine months.

iii. The CMT will send a form letter to those on the ready-to-join list six months after their date of notification, and every three months after that, asking if they want to stay on the ready-to-join list. To stay eligible, co will need to respond, in writing, within three weeks, to the CMT. Staying on the ready-to-join list can be extended indefinitely, until we have an opening to offer co. If this period lasts more than one year, further process is necessary (see c.iv below).

c. When an opening happens and there is a ready-to-join list:

i. We go down the ready-to-join list to offer the spot to the first available person who can join within 30 days.

ii. An offer for a spot may be refused once. If a second offer is refused, cos name is dropped from both the ready-to-join list and the acceptance list.

iii. If a person on the ready-to-join list notifies us of a change in cos date of availability to a later date, co will drop to the bottom position on the ready-to-join list.

iv. If a person was accepted over a year before being offered a spot, co would be expected to do a three-week visit and be re-accepted before being able to join. Co arrives for a scheduled three-week visit and will have their membership interview in the first week of their visit. The CMT will solicit input during cos visit and make a decision by the end of cos visitor period. If accepted, co can assume membership immediately or may choose to go away for up to one month before beginning provisional membership.

4. Doubling. Voluntary doubling to increase population above the number of existing member spaces is a community option to be considered by the planners at the point it becomes an issue.